Towards solving the data availability problem for sharded ethereum

Daniel Sel, Kaiwen Zhang, Hans Arno Jacobsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The success and growing popularity of blockchain technology has lead to a significant increase in load on popular permissionless blockchains such as Ethereum. With the current design, these blockchain systems do not scale with additional nodes since every node executes every transaction. Further efforts are therefore necessary to develop scalable permissionless blockchain systems. In this paper, we provide an aggregated overview of the current research on the Ethereum blockchain towards solving the scalability challenge. We focus on the concept of sharding, which aims to break the restriction of every participant being required to execute every transaction and store the entire state. This concept however introduces new complexities in the form of stateless clients, which leads to a new challenge: how to guarantee that critical data is published and stays available for as long as it is relevant. We present an approach towards solving the data availability problem (DAP) that leverages synergy effects by reusing the validators from Casper. We then propose two distinct approaches for reliable collation proposal, state transition, and state verification in shard chains. One approach is based on verification by committees of Casper validators that execute transactions in proposed blocks using witness data provided by executors. The other approach relies on a proof of execution provided by the executor proposing the block and a challenge game, where other executors verify the proof. Both concepts rely on executors for long-term storage of shard chain state.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSERIAL 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 Workshop on Scalable and Resilient Infrastructures for Distributed Ledgers
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages25-30
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450361101
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2018
Event2nd Workshop on Scalable and Resilient Infrastructures for Distributed Ledgers, SERIAL 2018, in conjunction with the Middleware 2018 - Rennes, France
Duration: 10 Dec 2018 → …

Publication series

NameSERIAL 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 Workshop on Scalable and Resilient Infrastructures for Distributed Ledgers

Conference

Conference2nd Workshop on Scalable and Resilient Infrastructures for Distributed Ledgers, SERIAL 2018, in conjunction with the Middleware 2018
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityRennes
Period10/12/18 → …

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Data availability
  • Distributed systems
  • Ethereum
  • Proof of stake
  • Sharding

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