Proteus: A Scalable BFT Consesus Protocol for Blockchains

03/11/2019 ∙ by Mohammad M. Jalalzai, et al. ∙ 0

Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus exhibits higher throughput in comparison to Proof of Work (PoW) in blockchains. But BFT-based protocols suffer from scalability problems with respect to the number of replicas in the network. The main reason for this limitation is the quadratic message complexity of BFT protocols. Previously, proposed solutions improve BFT performance for normal operation, but will fall back to quadratic message complexity once the protocol observes a certain number of failures. This makes the protocol performance unpredictable as it is not guaranteed that the network will face a a certain number of failures. As a result, such protocols are only scalable when conditions are favorable (i.e., the number of failures are less than a given threshold). To address this issue we propose Proteus, a new BFT-based consensus protocol which elects a subset of nodes c as a root committee. Proteus guarantees stable performance, regardless of the number of failures in the network and it improves on the quadratic message complexity of typical BFT-based protocols to O(cn), where c<<n, for large n. Thus, message complexity remains small and less than quadratic when c is asymptotically smaller than n, and this helps the protocol to provide stable performance even during the view change process (change of root committee). Our view change process is different than typical BFT protocols as it replaces the whole root committee compared to replacing a single primary in other protocols. We deployed and tested our protocol on 200 Amazon EC2 instances, with two different baseline BFT protocols (PBFT and Bchain) for comparison. In these tests, our protocol outperformed the baselines by more than 2× in terms of throughput as well as latency.

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