Published on Wed Aug 14 2019

Aleph: Efficient Atomic Broadcast in Asynchronous Networks with Byzantine Nodes

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The spectacular success of Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology in recent years has provided enough evidence that a widespread adoption of a common cryptocurrency system is not merely a distant vision, but a scenario that might come true in the near future. However, the presence of Bitcoin's obvious shortcomings such as excessive electricity consumption, unsatisfying transaction throughput, and large validation time (latency) makes it clear that a new, more efficient system is needed. We propose a protocol in which a set of nodes maintains and updates a linear ordering of transactions that are being submitted by users. Virtually every cryptocurrency system has such a protocol at its core, and it is the efficiency of this protocol that determines the overall throughput and latency of the system. We develop our protocol on the grounds of the well-established field of Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (ABFT) systems. This allows us to formally reason about correctness, efficiency, and security in the strictest possible model, and thus convincingly prove the overall robustness of our solution. Our protocol improves upon the state-of-the-art HoneyBadgerBFT by Miller et al. by reducing the asymptotic latency while matching the optimal communication complexity. Furthermore, in contrast to the above, our protocol does not require a trusted dealer thanks to a novel implementation of a trustless ABFT Randomness Beacon.