Algorand: Scaling Byzantine Agreements for Cryptocurrencies

Yossi Gilad, Rotem Hemo, Silvio Micali, Georgios Vlachos, Nickolai Zeldovich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

977 Scopus citations

Abstract

Algorand is a new cryptocurrency that confirms transactions with latency on the order of a minute while scaling to many users. Algorand ensures that users never have divergent views of confirmed transactions, even if some of the users are malicious and the network is temporarily partitioned. In contrast, existing cryptocurrencies allow for temporary forks and therefore require a long time, on the order of an hour, to confirm transactions with high confidence. Algorand uses a new Byzantine Agreement (BA) protocol to reach consensus among users on the next set of transactions. To scale the consensus to many users, Algorand uses a novel mechanism based on Verifiable Random Functions that allows users to privately check whether they are selected to participate in the BA to agree on the next set of transactions, and to include a proof of their selection in their network messages. In Algorand’s BA protocol, users do not keep any private state except for their private keys, which allows Algorand to replace participants immediately after they send a message. This mitigates targeted attacks on chosen participants after their identity is revealed. We implement Algorand and evaluate its performance on 1,000 EC2 virtual machines, simulating up to 500,000 users. Experimental results show that Algorand confirms transactions in under a minute, achieves 125× Bitcoin’s throughput, and incurs almost no penalty for scaling to more users.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSOSP 2017 - Proceedings of the 26th ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages51-68
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781450350853
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event26th ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, SOSP 2017 - Shanghai, China
Duration: 28 Oct 201731 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameSOSP 2017 - Proceedings of the 26th ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles

Conference

Conference26th ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, SOSP 2017
Country/TerritoryChina
CityShanghai
Period28/10/1731/10/17

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).

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