Currently, an increasing number of third-party applications exploit the Bitcoin blockchain to store tamper-proof records of their executions, immutably. For this purpose, they leverage the few extra bytes available for encoding custom metadata in Bitcoin transactions. A sequence of records of the same application can thus be abstracted as a stand-alone subchain inside the Bitcoin blockchain. However, several existing approaches do not make any assumptions about the consistency of their subchains, either (i) neglecting the possibility that this sequence of messages can be altered, mainly due to unhandled concurrency, network malfunctions, application bugs, or malicious users, or (ii) giving weak guarantees about their security. To tackle this issue, in this paper, we propose an improved version of a consensus protocol formalized in our previous work, built on top of the Bitcoin protocol, to incentivize third-party nodes to consistently extend their subchains. Besides, we perform an extensive analysis of this protocol, both defining its properties and presenting some real-world attack scenarios, to show how its specific design choices and parameter configurations can be crucial to prevent malicious practices.

Analysis of a consensus protocol for extending consistent subchains on the bitcoin blockchain / Longo, R.; Podda, A. S.; Saia, R.. - In: COMPUTATION. - ISSN 2079-3197. - 8:3(2020), p. 67. [10.3390/COMPUTATION8030067]

Analysis of a consensus protocol for extending consistent subchains on the bitcoin blockchain

Longo R.;Podda A. S.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Currently, an increasing number of third-party applications exploit the Bitcoin blockchain to store tamper-proof records of their executions, immutably. For this purpose, they leverage the few extra bytes available for encoding custom metadata in Bitcoin transactions. A sequence of records of the same application can thus be abstracted as a stand-alone subchain inside the Bitcoin blockchain. However, several existing approaches do not make any assumptions about the consistency of their subchains, either (i) neglecting the possibility that this sequence of messages can be altered, mainly due to unhandled concurrency, network malfunctions, application bugs, or malicious users, or (ii) giving weak guarantees about their security. To tackle this issue, in this paper, we propose an improved version of a consensus protocol formalized in our previous work, built on top of the Bitcoin protocol, to incentivize third-party nodes to consistently extend their subchains. Besides, we perform an extensive analysis of this protocol, both defining its properties and presenting some real-world attack scenarios, to show how its specific design choices and parameter configurations can be crucial to prevent malicious practices.
2020
3
Longo, R.; Podda, A. S.; Saia, R.
Analysis of a consensus protocol for extending consistent subchains on the bitcoin blockchain / Longo, R.; Podda, A. S.; Saia, R.. - In: COMPUTATION. - ISSN 2079-3197. - 8:3(2020), p. 67. [10.3390/COMPUTATION8030067]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/310341
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