Filecoin Power Fault Tolerance Technical Report

Filecoin Power Fault Tolerance Technical Report

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Abstract
Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) accounts for faults as the number of faulty nodes and is thus cumber- some to apply to many modern decentralized systems. We introduce the Power Fault Tolerance (PFT) model, which reframes BFT in terms of participants’ influence over the outcome of a protocol, instead of the number of nodes. In PFT, n is the total power, and f is the fraction of power controlled by faulty or adversarial participants. This work:
  • provides a formal definition and properties for PFT;
  • generalizes Byzantine Consensus (BC) protocols of different classes (permissioned, permissionless, and federated) into a single class of Power Consensus (PC);
  • explores new directions for PC protocols, particularly for blockchains, and protocols that can detect and make progress during catastrophic network partitions;
Future Work
This technical report aims at presenting a definition of power and influence and models faults in a distributed system in terms of power. Future work for this technical report include:
  • Formalization of conservation of power: power must be conserved whenever participants cast their vote for a candidate value.
  • Provide examples for Proof-of-Stake protocols and FBA protocols.
Acknowledgements
This work is the cumulative effort of multiple individuals within the Protocol Labs team, and would not have been possible without the help, comments, and review of the collaborators and advisors of Protocol Labs. Juan Benet and Nicola Greco conceived of the power model. Juan Benet formalized the Power Fault Tolerance and Power Scheme in collaboration with the rest of the team, who provided useful contributions, comments, review and conversations.
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