[Resource Topic] 2024/813: How to Redact the Bitcoin Backbone Protocol

Welcome to the resource topic for 2024/813

How to Redact the Bitcoin Backbone Protocol

Authors: Mehmet Sabir Kiraz, Enrique Larraia, Owen Vaughan


We explain how to extend the Bitcoin backbone model of Garay et al. (Eurocrypt, 2015) to accommodate for redactable blockchains. Our extension captures fluid blockchain-based databases (with mutability requirements) and compliance with existing legislation, such as the GDPR right to be forgotten, or the need to erase offending data from nodes’ databases that would otherwise provoke legal shutdowns. Our redactable backbone protocol retains the essential properties of blockchains. Leveraging zero-knowledge proofs, old data can be erased without requiring trusted third parties or heuristics about past chain validation. Our solution can be implemented on Bitcoin immediately without hard-forks, and it is scalable. It allows the redaction of data from UTXOs or unconfirmed transactions that have not yet flooded the network, while guaranteeing invariance of the Bitcoin state. Thus, offending data does not need to persist in the system, not even temporarily.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2024/813

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