Blockchain moderated by empty blocks to reduce the energetic impact of crypto-moneys

Philippe Jacquet, Bernard Mans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

While cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications continue to gain popularity, their energy cost is evidently becoming unsustainable. In most instances, the main cost comes from the required amount of energy for the Proof-of-Work, and this cost is inherent to the design. In addition, useless costs from discarded work (e.g., the so-called Forks) and lack of scalability (in number of users and in rapid transactions) limit their practical effectiveness. In this paper, we present an innovative scheme which eliminates the nonce and thus the burden of the Proof-of-Work which is the main cause of the energy waste in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. We prove that our scheme guarantees a tunable and bounded average number of simultaneous mining whatever the size of the population in competition, thus by making the use of nonce-based techniques unnecessary, achieves scalability without the cost of consuming a large volume of energy. The technique used in the proof of our scheme is based on the analogy of the analysis of a green leader election. The additional difference with Proof-of-Work schemes (beyond the suppression of the nonce field that is triggering most of the waste), is the introduction of (what we denote as) “empty blocks” which aim are to call regular blocks following a staircase set of values. Our scheme reduces the risk of Forks and provides tunable scalability for the number of users and the speed of block generation. We also prove using game theoretical analysis that our scheme is resilient to unfair competitive investments (e.g., ”51 percent” attack) and block nursing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Communications
Volume152
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2020

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