Episode 155: Testing PoW Consensus Algorithm Security with Ren Zhang from Nervos
11/11/2020
In this week’s episode, we revisit the topic of consensus algorithms with Ren Zhang (https://twitter.com/nirenzang), a researchers at Nervos and previously at imec-COSIC (KU Leuven). We chat about an earlier work he did on evaluating PoW consensus protocols security and explore his more recent work on NC-Max - a consensus protocol that breaks the throughput limit and enables the full utilization of the nodes’ bandwidth in confirming transactions Here are a few of the links we mention in the interview: - Consensus Algorithms & HotStuff with Ittai Abraham (https://www.zeroknowledge.fm/127) - Majority is not Enough:Bitcoin Mining is Vulnerable (https://www.cs.cornell.edu/~ie53/publications/btcProcFC.pdf) - FruitChains: A Fair Blockchain (https://eprint.iacr.org/2016/916.pdf) - RSK technology (https://www.rsk.co/) - Subchains: A Technique to Scale Bitcoin and Improve the User Experience (https://www.bitcoinunlimited.info/resources/subchains.pdf) - Lay Down the Common Metrics: Evaluating Proof-of-Work Consensus Protocols' Security (https://www.esat.kuleuven.be/cosic/publications/article-3005.pdf) by Ren Zhang & Bart Preneel - NC-Max: Breaking the Throughput Limit of Nakamoto Consensus (https://eprint.iacr.org/2020/1101.pdf) by Ren Zhang, Dingwei Zhang, Quake Wang, Jan Xie and Bart Preneel - SquirRL (https://arxiv.org/abs/1912.01798) - A recent paper extending the "Lay Down the Common Metrics" paper - Markov decision process (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markov_decision_process) on Wikipedia - Monsters in the Mempool with Dan Robinson from Paradigm (https://www.zeroknowledge.fm/153) - Prism: Deconstructing the Blockchain to Approach Physical Limits (https://arxiv.org/pdf/1810.08092.pdf) - Alan Szepieniec on Hash Functions & Supersonic SNARKs (https://www.zeroknowledge.fm/105) More on Nervos: For the UTXO Programming Model of Nervos, the best starting point is Ren’s colleague Xuejie Xiao's blog (https://xuejie.space/2019_07_05_introduction_to_ckb_script_programming_validation_model/). An explanation of Nervos DAO (https://xuejie.space/2019_07_05_introduction_to_ckb_script_programming_validation_model/) An introduction of the Virtual Machine and smart contract support (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vezNBU5Isgg) Thanks to our sponsor Least Authority (https://leastauthority.com/). Least Authority is a security consulting company known for their dedication to pushing the limits on how to build privacy-respecting solutions. They are a team of security researchers, open source developers, privacy advocates, cryptographers who specialize in security audits, design specification reviews, and security-by-design. Given that privacy is at the core of their work and mission, least authority recognizes the importance of privacy in DeFi and other decentralizing technologies and the role it plays in preserving balance of power. Least Authority is supporting this through a growing list of security reviews, building distributed systems and regular contributions to open source software projects. To find out about their work, visit leastauthority.com (https://leastauthority.com/) to check out their security audit reports. And get in touch at contactus@leastauthority.com (mailto:contactus@leastauthority.com) if you want to talk about the security of your DeFi project. If you like what we do: Follow us on Twitter - @zeroknowledgefm -https://twitter.com/zeroknowledgefm Join us on Telegram -https://t.me/joinchat/B81tQ57-ThZg8yOSx5gjA Catch us on Youtube -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYWsYz5cKw4wZ9Mpe4kuMg Read up on the r/ZKPodcast subreddit -https://www.reddit.com/r/zkpodcast Give us feedback! -https://forms.gle/iKMSrVtcAn6BByH6A Support our Gitcoin Grant -https://gitcoin.co/grants/329/zero-knowledge-podcast-2 Support us on the ZKPatreon -https://www.patreon.com/zeroknowledge Or directly here: ETH: 0xC0FFEE1B5083230a5154F55f253B6b6ae8F29B1a BTC: 1cafekGa3podM4fBxPSQc6RCEXQNTK8Zz ZEC: t1R2bujRF3Hzte9ALHpMJvY8t5kb9ut9SpQ

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