Survey on Cryptocurrency Networking: Context, State-of-the-Art, Challenges

08/19/2020
by   Maya Dotan, et al.
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Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are realized using distributed systems and hence critically rely on the performance and security of the interconnecting network. The requirements on these networks and their usage, however can differ significantly from traditional communication networks, with implications on all layers of the protocol stack. This paper is motivated by these differences, and in particular by the observation that many fundamental design aspects of these networks are not well-understood today. In order to support the networking community to contribute to this emerging application domain, we present a structured overview of the field, from topology and neighbor discovery to block and transaction propagation. In particular, we provide the context, highlighting differences and commonalities with traditional networks, review the state-of-the-art, and identify open research challenges. Our paper can hence also be seen as a call-to-arms to improve the foundation on top of which cryptocurrencies are built.

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