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Player-Replaceability and Forensic Support are Two Sides of the Same (Crypto) Coin
Authors: Peiyao Sheng, Gerui Wang, Kartik Nayak, Sreeram Kannan, Pramod ViswanathAbstract:
Player-replaceability is a property of a blockchain protocol that ensures every step of the protocol is executed by an unpredictably random (small) set of players; this guarantees security against a fully adaptive adversary and is a crucial property in building permissionless blockchains. Forensic Support is a property of a blockchain protocol that provides the ability, with cryptographic integrity, to identify malicious parties when there is a safety violation; this provides the ability to enforce punishments for adversarial behavior and is a crucial component of incentive mechanism designs for blockchains. Player-replaceability and strong forensic support are both desirable properties, yet, none of the existing blockchain protocols have both properties. Our main result is to construct a new BFT protocol that is player-replaceable and has maximum forensic support. The key invention is the notion of a ``transition certificate’', without which we show that natural adaptations of extant BFT and longest chain protocols do not lead to the desired goal of simultaneous player-replaceability and forensic support.
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