License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0)
When quoting this document, please refer to the following
DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.AFT.2023.5
URN: urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-191943
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Wang, Xuechao ; Azouvi, Sarah ; Vukolić, Marko

Security Analysis of Filecoin’s Expected Consensus in the Byzantine vs Honest Model

LIPIcs-AFT-2023-5.pdf (1 MB)


Filecoin is the largest storage-based open-source blockchain, both by storage capacity (>11EiB) and market capitalization. This paper provides the first formal security analysis of Filecoin’s consensus (ordering) protocol, Expected Consensus (EC). Specifically, we show that EC is secure against an arbitrary adversary that controls a fraction β of the total storage for β m < 1- e^{-(1-β)m}, where m is a parameter that corresponds to the expected number of blocks per round, currently m = 5 in Filecoin. We then present an attack, the n-split attack, where an adversary splits the honest miners between multiple chains, and show that it is successful for β m ≥ 1- e^{-(1-β)m}, thus proving that β m = 1- e^{-(1-β)m} is the tight security threshold of EC. This corresponds roughly to an adversary with 20% of the total storage pledged to the chain. Finally, we propose two improvements to EC security that would increase this threshold. One of these two fixes is being implemented as a Filecoin Improvement Proposal (FIP).

BibTeX - Entry

  author =	{Wang, Xuechao and Azouvi, Sarah and Vukoli\'{c}, Marko},
  title =	{{Security Analysis of Filecoin’s Expected Consensus in the Byzantine vs Honest Model}},
  booktitle =	{5th Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies (AFT 2023)},
  pages =	{5:1--5:21},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-303-4},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2023},
  volume =	{282},
  editor =	{Bonneau, Joseph and Weinberg, S. Matthew},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-191943},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.AFT.2023.5},
  annote =	{Keywords: Decentralized storage, Consensus, Security analysis}

Keywords: Decentralized storage, Consensus, Security analysis
Collection: 5th Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies (AFT 2023)
Issue Date: 2023
Date of publication: 18.10.2023

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