Throughput performance is a critical issue in blockchain technology, especially in blockchain sharding systems. Although sharding proposals can improve transaction throughput by parallel processing, the essence of each shard is still a small blockchain. Using serial execution of smart contract transactions, performance has not significantly improved, and there is still room for improvement. A smart contract concurrent execution strategy based on concurrency degree optimization is proposed for performance optimization within a single shard.
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- Blockchains & Decentralized Systems
- Explained: Why a blockchain's size and scalability matter
- Microsoft Open-Sources CCF Framework to Improve Blockchain Ledgers Throughput and Latency
- Harmony — A High-Throughput, Low-Latency Public Blockchain Platform for Decentralized Economies
- What is Solana and why is it the hottest blockchain of the moment?
- Amazon Managed Blockchain
- Layer 1 Blockchain Tokens: Everything You Need to Know
- How the Consensus Protocol Impacts Blockchain Throughput
- Six cryptocurrencies that offer the fastest transaction time – WEF
Blockchains & Decentralized Systems
Both in the design and deployment of blockchain solutions many performance-impacting configuration choices need to be made. We introduce BlockSim, a framework and software tool to build and simulate discrete-event dynamic systems models for blockchain systems. BlockSim is designed to support the analysis of a large variety of blockchains and blockchain deployments as well as a wide set of analysis questions.
At the core of BlockSim is a Base Model, which contains the main model constructs common across various blockchain systems organized in three abstraction layers network, consensus, and incentives layer.
The Base Model is usable for a wide variety of blockchain systems and can be extended easily to include system or deployment particulars. The paper describes the Base Model, the simulator implementation, and the application of BlockSim to Bitcoin, Ethereum and other consensus algorithms.
We validate BlockSim simulation results by comparison with performance results from actual systems and from other studies in the literature. We close the paper by a BlockSim simulation study of the impact of uncle blocks rewards on mining decentralization, for a variety of blockchain configurations. In the design as well as the deployment of blockchain solutions, many architectural, configuration and parameterization questions need to be considered. Since it is usually not feasible or practical to answer these questions using experimentation or trial-and-error, model-based simulation is required as an alternative.
In this paper, we propose a discrete-event simulation framework called BlockSim Alharby and Van Moorsel, to explore the effects of configuration, parameterization and design decisions on the behavior of blockchain systems. BlockSim aims to provide simulation constructs that are intuitive, hide unnecessary detail and can be easily manipulated to be applied to a large set of blockchains design and deployment questions related to performance, reliability, security or other properties of interest.
That is, BlockSim has the following objectives:. Generality: we want to be able to use BlockSim for a large set of blockchain systems, configurations and design questions. Extensibility: BlockSim should be easy to manipulate by a designer or analyst to study different types and aspects of blockchain systems.
Simplicity: the above two objectives should be met while making BlockSim easy to use, both for simulation studies and for extending it. This paper expands on the short introduction of the BlockSim framework in Alharby and Van Moorsel , and discusses all facets of the tool design, implementation and use.
At the core of BlockSim is a Base Model, which contains model constructs at three abstraction layers: the network layer, the consensus layer and the incentives layer Van Moorsel et al. The network layer captures the blockchain's nodes and the underlying peer-to-peer protocol to exchange data between nodes. The consensus layer captures the algorithms and rules adopted to reach an agreement about the current state of the blockchain ledger. The incentives layer captures the economic incentive mechanisms adopted by a blockchain to issue and distribute rewards among the participating nodes.
The Base Model contains a number of functional blocks common across blockchains, that can be extended and configured as suited for the system and study of interest. The main functional blocks include Node, Transaction, Block, Consensus and Incentives, as we describe in section 3. These are then implemented through a number of Python modules, discussed in section 4, and complemented by modules event, scheduler, statistics, etc.
The public nature of permissionless blockchains provides for particularly powerful opportunities to validate the simulator. We validate the BlockSim simulation results by comparing against theoretical results invariants such as block rate , against data from the existing public blockchain systems such as Ethereum and Bitcoin and against results from the literature.
The BlockSim simulation results are within a statistically acceptable margin of the real-life or published results, as discussed in section 6. We also demonstrate the use of BlockSim for a simulation study that considers stale rate, throughput and mining decentralization, for a range of possible blockchain configurations not all existing in real-life systems.
Using BlockSim we can demonstrate that uncle inclusion such as in Ethereum is beneficial for mining decentralization. The structure of the paper is as follows. Section 2 discusses an overview of blockchain and its underlying layers. Also, it discusses an overview of modeling and simulation. Section 3 discusses the core Base Model of BlockSim including the design objectives behind it. Section 4 presents the implementation of the Base Model. Section 5 presents the application of BlockSim to Bitcoin, Ethereum and other consensus protocols as case studies.
Section 6 discusses the validation of BlockSim against actual systems and studies from the literature. Sections 7 and 8 show a BlockSim simulation study as well as the evaluation of BlockSim against the design objectives. Section 9 discusses the related work. Section 10 concludes the paper. A blockchain is a distributed ledger, with an aim to keep track of all transactions that ever occurred in the blockchain network.
This ledger is replicated and distributed among the network's nodes. Such a ledger has two main purposes, to provide an immutable log of all transactions, and to make the transactions transparent i.
The technologically most intriguing type of blockchain is the public or permissionless blockchain. The main feature of permissionless blockchains is that the nodes that participate in maintaining the ledger do not need to be trusted or even be known to each other.
That is, any user can join and participate in the network. Permissionless blockchains contain a cryptocurrency, to reward nodes for investing resources in maintaining the blockchain. The first and most popular permissionless blockchain system is Bitcoin Nakamoto, , which is a digital payment system that enables non-trusting entities to commit financial transactions.
Other blockchains e. The term blockchain comes from the fact that data about multiple transactions is grouped into blocks. Each block is uniquely identified by its cryptographic hash and each block is attached and linked to the one that came before it. This results in a chain of blocks. Once a block is generated and attached to the blockchain ledger, the transactions in that block cannot be modified by any node, since it would require the node to rewrite all subsequent blocks.
This makes blockchain systems immutable and protected against double-spending attacks Alharby and Van Moorsel, Any participating node in a permissionless blockchain can generate a transaction and broadcast it in the network. Each node has a pool to keep pending incoming transactions transactions that need to be executed. To generate and attach a new block to the blockchain ledger, a subset of the nodes called miners select several pending transactions from their pools, execute them and then create a new block containing those transactions.
How and when blocks are generated depends on the consensus protocol adopted by the blockchain system see section 2.
Once a miner has successfully created a block, it will then broadcast it to other nodes in the network. Upon receiving the block, each node validates the block's correctness and appends it to its ledger. If the majority of the nodes attach the block to their ledger and start building on top of it, the block will be confirmed and considered as part of the blockchain ledger.
The miner of that block can then collect a reward for the block as well as the fees associated with its transactions as compensation for their efforts. Blockchain systems can naturally be divided in three layers, the network, consensus and incentives layer, as depicted in Figure 1. We will utilize these layers to structure the BlockSim simulator and therefore here provide a system explanation in layers as well.
The network layer captures the network's nodes and the underlying network protocol to distribute information between nodes. The incentives layer captures the economic mechanisms adopted by a blockchain to issue and distribute rewards among the participating nodes. The network layer in blockchain systems contains the nodes in the network, their geographical and relative locations and the connectivity among them.
It defines which information is to be propagated as well as the mechanism to propagate such information. The main constitute in the network layer is a node. A node can be an ordinary user who wants to create and submit a transaction to be executed and included in the ledger or a special node, known as miner , who maintains and expands the ledger by appending new blocks.
A node has a unique identifier and maintains its balance, a local copy of the blockchain ledger and, if the node is a miner, an individual transactions pool. The transactions pool keeps the pending transactions received from other nodes in the network.
Nodes communicate the following information to each other. If a node generates a new transaction, it cryptographically signs it and propagates it to its peers to have it confirmed and recorded in the blockchain ledger. In case the node is a miner, every time it generates a block, it notifies its peers so they can validate it and append it to their copies of the ledger. As information propagation mechanism for blockchains several protocols have been proposed, including relay networks and advertisement-based protocols Gervais et al.
In the advertisement-based protocol used in most blockchains Gervais et al. If the recipient node responds by requesting the data, the node will send it. Otherwise, the node will not send it as the recipient node has already had the data. The consensus layer in blockchain systems defines the algorithms and rules for reaching an agreement about the blockchain's state among the network's nodes. Such rules specify which node is eligible for generating and appending the next block to the blockchain ledger, how often blocks are generated as well as how to resolve potential conflicts that may occur when nodes have multiple, differing copies of the ledger.
In PoW, nodes i. Regardless of what is required to be invested by the nodes, the intuition behind such algorithms is to introduce a cost for maintaining the ledger. The cost introduced should be more than enough to deter nodes from behaving maliciously Wang et al. At the same time, nodes are only rewarded for their efforts if they follow the rules and maintain the ledger honestly see section 2. To illustrate the consensus layer, we discuss the PoW algorithm here as it is the most common algorithm for permissionless blockchains, used by Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In PoW, the computing power invested by a miner determines how frequent that miner will generate and append blocks to the blockchain ledger. To generate a block, the miner has to repeatedly try nonces random numbers until the hash of the nonce combined with the block information will be within a certain threshold referred to as the block difficulty. The only way to find the nonce is by trial-and-error, and thus, the more hash power invested by a miner, the more likely that miner will find the nonce.
This process is a competitive task since all miners in the network are competing against each other to find the desirable hash value of the next block. Note that the block difficulty can be dynamically adjusted to control how often blocks are generated.
Due to the delay incurred by propagating blocks between nodes in the network see Network Layer , other nodes might generate the next block before hearing of another competitive block that has recently announced. This leads to conflicts, known as forks, which occur when nodes have multiple, differing views of the ledger. The task of the consensus layer in blockchain systems is to resolve such conflicts.
Different consensus algorithms use different rules to select which blockchain fork should be accepted as the global chain. For example, the PoW algorithm used by Bitcoin and Ethereum resolves the conflicts by adopting the longest chain. The incentives layer utilizes the blockchain's cryptocurrency to establish an incentive structure, distributing rewards among the participating miners who maintain the blockchain's ledger.
The incentive model is essential to maintain any permissionless blockchain system. Incentives should compensate miners fairly for their work and motivate them to behave honestly Aldweesh et al. The incentives also protect the blockchain system from various attacks e.
Explained: Why a blockchain's size and scalability matter
In recent years, none have been more contentious than the battles over which cryptocurrency and blockchain pair will eventually come to dominate the rest. Since the beginning of the crypto wave, the clear consensus choice has been Bitcoin, which has sat atop the market capitalization charts from the earliest days. As the grandfather of all cryptocurrencies, the Bitcoin blockchain is beginning to show its age. It suffers from a variety of real-world limitations, not least of which is its inability to scale. The one notable exception is Ethereum , which has long been the lone, large-scale competitor to Bitcoin. For its part, though more advanced than Bitcoin, Ethereum also suffers from some issues that it would need to overcome to achieve market dominance.
Microsoft Open-Sources CCF Framework to Improve Blockchain Ledgers Throughput and Latency
While blockchain has brought us great advantages like transparency, immutability, and decentralisation, it can lack the privacy needed for some transactions. Zero-knowledge proof is an encryption scheme whereby one party the prover can prove the truth of specific information to another party the verifier without disclosing any additional information. Like all forms of technology, zero-knowledge proofs have a range of advantages and disadvantages. The many concerns around privacy and data sovereignty led consulting firm EY to release ZKP and blockchain solutions. In , EY released Nightfall, a public ZKP protocol that allows companies to preserve confidentiality while conducting private and secure transactions on public blockchains. Nightfall and Starlight both aim to allow users greater security and privacy on blockchain applications. End-to-end encryption has played a big part in allowing messages to be sent privately. However, traditional messaging applications require users to verify their identity to a server.
Harmony — A High-Throughput, Low-Latency Public Blockchain Platform for Decentralized Economies
Register Now. This item in japanese. May 16, 1 min read. Sergio De Simone. Microsoft Confidential Consortium Framework CCF is an open-source framework aiming to enable the creation of blockchain ledgers that can execute transactions with throughput and latency similar to those of a centralized database, says Microsoft.
It is based on a unique, multi-role architecture, and designed to scale without sharding, allowing for massive improvements in speed and throughput while preserving a developer-friendly, ACID-compliant environment. Flow empowers developers to build thriving crypto- and crypto-enabled businesses. Applications on Flow can keep consumers in control of their own data; create new kinds of digital assets tradable on open markets accessible from anywhere in the world; and build open economies owned by the users that help make them valuable. Smart contracts on Flow can be assembled like Lego blocks to power apps serving billions of people, from basketball fans to businesses with mission-critical requirements. While we originally started building Flow for our own use-cases, it has quickly become far bigger than us. In a traditional blockchain, every node stores the entire state account balances, smart contract code, etc.
What is Solana and why is it the hottest blockchain of the moment?
Solana is a blockchain platform designed to host decentralized , scalable applications. Founded in , Solana is an open-source project currently run by Solana Foundation based in Geneva, while the blockchain was built by San Francisco-based Solana Labs. Solana is much faster in terms of the number of transactions it can process and has significantly lower transaction fees compared to rival blockchains like Ethereum. PoH is a proof for verifying order and passage of time between events, and it is used to encode trustless passage of time into a ledger. In the whitepaper, Yakovenko notes that blockchains that were then publicly available did not rely on time, with each node in the network relying on its own local clock without knowledge of any other participants' clocks in the network. The lack of a trusted source of time i. PoH gets past this hurdle, with every node in the network able to rely on the recorded passage of time in the ledger on the trustless basis that is key to blockchain functioning. Yakovenko's previous work experience was in the field of distributed systems design with leading technology companies such as Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM.
Amazon Managed Blockchain
Bitcoin is the first system to achieve consensus at the global scale using blockchain as its underlying technology. Its success has spurred a new wave of imagination and ideas across all disciplines. However, the current blockchain technology cannot support many of these ideas due to its poor performance and we are working on blockchain technology which obtains high performance in all the dimensions throughput, latency, storage, computation, communication etc.
Layer 1 Blockchain Tokens: Everything You Need to KnowRELATED VIDEO: Blockene: A High-throughput Blockchain Over Mobile Devices - Dr Muthian Sivathanu - AIS
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How the Consensus Protocol Impacts Blockchain Throughput
Hyperledger Fabric performance observations are obtained from testing smart contracts, driven by Fabric-SDK-Node clients through a series of benchmarks. The benchmarks use a single machine test topology with an orderer and two peers, as depicted in Figure 1 below:. During benchmarking, all transactions are driven via a Hyperledger Fabric client gateway. Throughput and latencies for each benchmark are measured, as are resource statistics during the benchmark process. The benchmarks utilize a single machine test topology for ease of test recreation. You can expect higher throughput if you were to use dedicated hardware for each peer and orderer node. All benchmarks are facilitated by the fixed-asset smart contract that is deployed to the Hyperledger Fabric network.
Six cryptocurrencies that offer the fastest transaction time – WEF
Integrate once and never worry about scaling again. Solana ensures composability between ecosystem projects by maintaining a single global state as the network scales. Never deal with fragmented Layer 2 systems or sharded chains.