Sky Seminar: Aniket Kate (Purdue) – Building Asynchronous Systems for a Simple Honest Majority Using a Chain of Integrity

Speaker: Aniket Kate

Location: Soda 510

Date: August 31, 2023

Time: 12-1pm PST

Title: Building Asynchronous Systems for a Simple Honest Majority Using a Chain of Integrity


Current major blockchain systems involve all nodes participating in every all aspects of state machine replication, including data dissemination, ordering and execution. However, this approach does not scale for growing systems, causing slowdowns as more tasks are processed. Moreover, with rise of DeFi, GameFi, we may want to leverage the same infrastructure to also manage oracles/randomness services or to perform privacy-preserving computation. This will result in significant further reduction in the underlying blockchain’s throughput and latency. This talk focuses on using the same blockchain infrastructure more efficiently at scale.

Although a few have put forth ideas of segregating blockchain tasks, the existing strategies still hinge on a super majority (67%) of honest nodes and all nodes participating in every task. The foundation of this work lies in a realization that, while tolerating the same faults and networking conditions, it is possible to alleviate the load on blockchain nodes for all tasks except one: ordering. We find that by effectively solving the ordering task with 67% honest nodes, a spectrum of pertinent distributed tasks (ranging from data dissemination and execution to DKG, MPC, and distributed oracles) can be addressed asynchronously, requiring only 51% honest nodes. This talk delves into the intricacies of constructing asynchronous distributed solutions using 51% honest nodes, employing a chain of integrity that only orders commitments to data/events.