A Radically New Functional Blockchain Architecture: Chainweb

Proof-of-work blockchain networks like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum are characterized by low throughput (5-15 transactions per second). Efforts to improve throughput through protocol modifications, such as block size increases, have no hope of reaching levels required to take on modern fiat-currency payment networks. However, efforts that seek to replace Proof-of-Work (Proof-of-Stake and variants) or integrate it with off-chain networks and processes (payment channels, side chains) degrade assurance, censorship resistance or trustless-ness of the original design. Recovering and elaborating on early proposals for Bitcoin scaling, we present ChainWeb, a parallel-chain architecture which can combine hundreds to thousands of Proof-of-Work blockchains pushing throughput to 10,000 transactions per second and beyond. The network transacts a single currency, using atomic and trustless SPV (Simple Payment Verification) cross-chain transfers orchestrated at the application layer with capability and coroutine support in the Pact smart contract language. Chains incorporate each other’s Merkle tree receipts to enforce a single “super branch” offering an effective hash power that is the sum of each individual chain’s hash rate. In addition to massive throughput, other benefits accrue from having a truly parallelized smart-contract blockchain system.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Talk

The session will begin wtih an overview of blockchain architectures, and proceed into a summary of both the functional work done to construct the Chainweb, as well as the graph and probability theory involved, ending with a discussion of Haskell as a base architectural choice.

Learning Outcome

The outcome of this talk will result in an understanding of a real world use-case for functional, haskell-based Blockchain architecture, as well as notions of graph theoretic security.

Target Audience

Haskell, Blockchain, Functional Architecture

Prerequisites for Attendees

Some blockchain knowledge, some haskell knowledge

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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