[Resource Topic] 2023/1344: Analyzing the Real-World Security of the Algorand Blockchain

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Analyzing the Real-World Security of the Algorand Blockchain

Authors: Fabrice Benhamouda, Erica Blum, Jonathan Katz, Derek Leung, Julian Loss, Tal Rabin


The Algorand consensus protocol is interesting both in theory and in practice. On the theoretical side, to achieve adaptive security, it introduces the novel idea of player replaceability, where each step of the protocol is executed by a different randomly selected committee whose members remain secret until they send their first and only message. The protocol provides consistency under arbitrary network conditions and liveness under intermittent network partitions. On the practical side, the protocol is used to secure the Algorand cryptocurrency, whose total value is approximately $850M at the time of writing.

The Algorand protocol in use differs substantially from the protocols described in the published literature on Algorand. Despite its significance, it lacks a formal analysis. In this work, we describe and analyze the Algorand consensus protocol as deployed today in Algorand’s ecosystem. We show that the overall protocol framework is sound by characterizing network conditions and parameter settings under which the protocol can be proven secure.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/1344

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