Paper 2024/408

Stateless and Verifiable Execution Layer for Meta-Protocols on Bitcoin

Hongbo Wen, The Nubit Team, University of California, Santa Barbara
Hanzhi Liu, The Nubit Team, University of California, Santa Barbara
Shuyang Tang, The Nubit Team, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Tianyue Li, The Nubit Team, University of California, San Diego
Shuhan Cao, The Nubit Team, University of Southern California
Domo, Layer 1 Foundation
Yanju Chen, University of California, Santa Barbara
Yu Feng, The Nubit Team, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Bitcoin ecosystem has continued to evolve beyond its initial promises of decentralization, transparency, and security. Recent advancements have notably been made with the integration of Layer-2 solutions, which address scalability issues by offloading transactions from the main blockchain. This facilitates faster and more cost-effective transactions while maintaining integrity. The advent of inscriptions and ordinal protocols has further broadened the spectrum of capabilities, enabling the creation of unique, indivisible assets on the blockchain. Despite these technological strides, the inherent limitations of Bitcoin's script being Turing-incomplete restrict complex executions directly on the blockchain, necessitating the use of Bitcoin indexers. These indexers act as off-chain execution layers, allowing for the incorporation of Turing-complete programming languages to manage and update state transitions based on blockchain data. However, this off-chain solution introduces challenges to data integrity and availability, compounded by the decentralized nature of blockchain which complicates data maintenance and accuracy. To address these challenges, we propose a new modular indexer architecture that enables a fully decentralized and user-verified network, mitigating the risks associated with traditional decentralized indexer networks susceptible to Sybil attacks. Our solution, INDECURE, leverages polynomial commitments as checkpoints to streamline the verification process, significantly reducing the overhead associated with integrity checks of state transitions. By implementing a robust data attestation procedure, INDECURE ensures the reliability of state information against malicious alterations, facilitating trustless verifications by users. Our preliminary evaluations of INDECURE across various indexer protocols—BRC20, Bitmap, and satsnames—demonstrate its superiority in reducing computation time and data block size while maintaining high integrity in state transitions. This modular approach not only enhances the security and efficiency of Bitcoin's off-chain executions but also sets a foundational layer for scalable, secure blockchain applications.

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Publication info
BitcoinIndexerOrdinalBRC-20Execution LayerCryptocurrency
Contact author(s)
hongbowen @ ucsb edu
hanzhi @ ucsb edu
htftsy @ riema xyz
til062 @ ucsd edu
shuhanca @ usc edu
domodata @ proton me
yanju @ ucsb edu
yufeng @ ucsb edu
2024-05-22: revised
2024-03-06: received
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      author = {Hongbo Wen and Hanzhi Liu and Shuyang Tang and Tianyue Li and Shuhan Cao and Domo and Yanju Chen and Yu Feng},
      title = {Stateless and Verifiable Execution Layer for Meta-Protocols on Bitcoin},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2024/408},
      year = {2024},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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