Fair Byzantine Agreements for Blockchains

Po-Chun Kuo, Hao Chung, Tzu-Wei Chao, Chen-Mou Cheng
2020 IEEE Access  
The Byzantine general problem is the core problem that consensus algorithms are trying to solve, which is at the heart of the design of blockchains. As a result, we have seen numerous proposals of consensus algorithms in recent years, trying to improve the level of decentralization, performance, and security of blockchains. In our opinion, there are two most challenging issues when we consider the design of such algorithms in the context of powering blockchains in practice. First, the outcome
more » ... a consensus algorithm usually depends on the underlying incentive model, so each participant should have an equal probability of receiving rewards for its work. Secondly, the protocol should be able to resist network failures, such as cloud services shutdown, while maintaining high performance otherwise. We address these two critical issues in this paper. First, we propose a new metric, called fair validity, for measuring the performance of Byzantine agreements. Intuitively, fair validity provides a lower bound for the probability of acceptances of honest nodes' proposals. This is a strong notion of fairness, and we argue that it is crucial for the success of a blockchain in practice. We then show that any Byzantine agreement could not achieve fair validity in an asynchronous network, so we will focus on synchronous protocols. This leads to our second contribution: we propose a fair, responsive, and partition-resilient Byzantine agreement protocol able to tolerate up to 1/3 corruptions. As we will show in the paper, our protocol achieves fair validity and is responsive in the sense that the termination time only depends on actual network delay, as opposed to arbitrary, pre-determined time-bound. Furthermore, our proposal is partition-resilient. Last but not least, experimental results show that our Byzantine agreement protocol outperforms a wide variety of state-of-art synchronous protocols, combining the best from both theoretic and practical worlds. INDEX TERMS Blockchain, Byzantine agreement, consensus, fair, responsiveness, synchronous network. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ VOLUME 8, 2020
doi:10.1109/access.2020.2986824 fatcat:fam2mcdu7ndcdgsonxz7kckefq