Communication complexity of byzantine agreement, revisited

Conference Paper

As Byzantine Agreement (BA) protocols find application in large-scale decentralized cryptocurrencies, an increasingly important problem is to design BA protocols with improved communication complexity. A few existing works have shown how to achieve subquadratic BA under an adaptive adversary. Intriguingly, they all make a common relaxation about the adaptivity of the attacker, that is, if an honest node sends a message and then gets corrupted in some round, the adversary cannot erase the message that was already sent - henceforth we say that such an adversary cannot perform "after-the-fact removal". By contrast, many (super-)quadratic BA protocols in the literature can tolerate after-the-fact removal. In this paper, we first prove that disallowing after-the-fact removal is necessary for achieving subquadratic-communication BA. Next, we show a new subquadratic binary BA construction (of course, assuming no after-the-fact removal) that achieves near- optimal resilience and expected constant rounds under standard cryptographic assumptions and a public-key infrastructure (PKI). In comparison, all known subquadratic protocols make additional strong assumptions such as random oracles or the ability of honest nodes to erase secrets from memory, and even with these strong assumptions, no prior work can achieve the above properties. Lastly, we show that some setup assumption is necessary for achieving subquadratic multicast-based BA.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abraham, I; Chan, THH; Dolev, D; Nayak, K; Pass, R; Ren, L; Shi, E

Published Date

  • July 16, 2019

Published In

  • Proceedings of the Annual Acm Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing

Start / End Page

  • 317 - 326

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781450362177

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1145/3293611.3331629

Citation Source

  • Scopus