New Systems and Algorithms for Realizing Efficient, Scalable, and General Permissioned Blockchains
PI: Dr. Heming Cui, HKU
Blockchains are promising to embrace broad applications, including cryptocurrencies, inter- bank ledgers, supply chains, and medical record services. In a blockchain, participants form a network via computers (nodes) to confirm a strongly consistent, total order of appended blocks, each containing a number of transactions. Existing blockchain systems reside in two categories: public and permissioned. A public blockchain (typically, Bitcoin) allows any computer to join as a node, but it relies on cryptocurrencies to encourage nodes to follow its block appending protocol. This reliance makes public blockchains unsuitable for general distributed applications (e.g., medical blockchains). To decouple from cryptocurrencies, a permissioned blockchain (typically, Hyperledger Fabric, or HLF) selects a subset of joined nodes to run a distributed consensus protocol for appending blocks. However, these consensus nodes often become efficiency or reliability weak spots when more nodes join the blockchain (e.g., HLF evaluated merely 100 nodes). In short, no existing blockchain system meets all the three crucial requirements of efficiency, scalability, and generality.
This proposal will pursue two objectives by creating two permissioned blockchain systems:Blockchain-powered In-Datacenter Ledger (BIDL) and Efficient, General, and Scalable Internet permissioned Blockchain (EGES). They both meet all these three requirements; they are respectively designed for mostly synchronous networks (datacenters) and asynchronous networks (Internet).