[Resource Topic] 2017/1070: The Transaction Graph for Modeling Blockchain Semantics

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The Transaction Graph for Modeling Blockchain Semantics

Authors: Christian Cachin, Angelo De Caro, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez, Björn Tackmann, Marko Vukolić


The advent of Bitcoin paved the way for a plethora of blockchain systems supporting diverse applications beyond cryptocurrencies. Although in-depth studies of the protocols, security, and privacy of blockchains are available, there is no formal model of the transaction semantics that a blockchain is supposed to guarantee. In this work, we fill this gap, motivated by the observation that the semantics of transactions in blockchain systems can be captured by a directed acyclic graph. Such a transaction graph, or TDAG, generally consists of the states and the transactions as transitions between the states, together with conditions for the consistency and validity of transactions. We instantiate the TDAG model for three prominent blockchain systems: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Hyperledger Fabric. We specify the states and transactions as well as the validity conditions of the TDAG for each one. This demonstrates the applicability of the model and formalizes the transaction-level semantics that these systems aim for.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/1070

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