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Polygraph: Accountable Byzantine Agreement

Proceedings of the 41st IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS'21). Proceedings of the 34th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC'20). Workshop on Verification of Distributed Systems (VDS'19) collocated with NETYS 2019.

Authored by:
Pierre Civit, University of Sydney
Seth Gilbert, NUS
Vincent Gramoli, University of Sydney


Over the last several years we have seen a boom in the development of new Byzantine agreement protocols, in large part driven by the excitement over blockchains and cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, Byzantine agreement protocols have some inherent limitations: it is impossible to ensure correct operation when more than 1/3 of the processing power in the system is controlled by a single malicious party, unless the network can guarantee perfect synchrony in communication. At first, one might hope to relax the liveness guarantees, while always ensuring safety. Alas, in a partially synchronous network, this type of guarantee is impossible. If the adversary controls more than 1/3 of the computing power, it can always force disagreement.

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