[Bitcoin-development] "network disruption as a service" and proof of local storage

Matt Whitlock bip at mattwhitlock.name
Fri Mar 27 15:16:43 UTC 2015


I agree that someone could do this, but why is that a problem? Isn't the goal of this exercise to ensure more full nodes on the network? In order to be able to answer the challenges, an entity would need to be running a full node somewhere. Thus, they have contributed at least one additional full node to the network. I could certainly see a case for a company to host hundreds of lightweight (e.g., EC2) servers all backed by a single copy of the block chain. Why force every single machine to have its own copy? All you really need to require is that each agency/participant have its own copy.


On Friday, 27 March 2015, at 2:32 pm, Robert McKay wrote:
> Basically the problem with that is that someone could setup a single 
> full node that has the blockchain and can answer those challenges and 
> then a bunch of other non-full nodes that just proxy any such challenges 
> to the single full node.
> 
> Rob
> 
> On 2015-03-26 23:04, Matt Whitlock wrote:
> > Maybe I'm overlooking something, but I've been watching this thread
> > with increasing skepticism at the complexity of the offered solution.
> > I don't understand why it needs to be so complex. I'd like to offer 
> > an
> > alternative for your consideration...
> >
> > Challenge:
> > "Send me: SHA256(SHA256(concatenation of N pseudo-randomly selected
> > bytes from the block chain))."
> >
> > Choose N such that it would be infeasible for the responding node to
> > fetch all of the needed blocks in a short amount of time. In other
> > words, assume that a node can seek to a given byte in a block stored
> > on local disk much faster than it can download the entire block from 
> > a
> > remote peer. This is almost certainly a safe assumption.
> >
> > For example, choose N = 1024. Then the proving node needs to perform
> > 1024 random reads from local disk. On spinning media, this is likely
> > to take somewhere on the order of 15 seconds. Assuming blocks are
> > averaging 500 KiB each, then 1024 blocks would comprise 500 MiB of
> > data. Can 500 MiB be downloaded in 15 seconds? This data transfer 
> > rate
> > is 280 Mbps. Almost certainly not possible. And if it is, just
> > increase N. The challenge also becomes more difficult as average 
> > block
> > size increases.
> >
> > This challenge-response protocol relies on the lack of a "partial
> > getdata" command in the Bitcoin protocol: a node cannot ask for only
> > part of a block; it must ask for an entire block. Furthermore, nodes
> > could ban other nodes for making too many random requests for blocks.
> >
> >
> > On Thursday, 26 March 2015, at 7:09 pm, Sergio Lerner wrote:
> >>
> >> > If I understand correctly, transforming raw blocks to keyed blocks
> >> > takes 512x longer than transforming keyed blocks back to raw. The 
> >> key
> >> > is public, like the IP, or some other value which perhaps changes 
> >> less
> >> > frequently.
> >> >
> >> Yes. I was thinking that the IP could be part of a first layer of
> >> encryption done to the blockchain data prior to the asymetric 
> >> operation.
> >> That way the asymmetric operation can be the same for all users (no
> >> different primers for different IPs, and then the verifiers does not
> >> have to verify that a particular p is actually a pseudo-prime 
> >> suitable
> >> for P.H. ) and the public exponent can be just 3.
> >>
> >> >
> >> >> Two protocols can be performed to prove local possession:
> >> >> 1. (prover and verifier pay a small cost) The verifier sends a 
> >> seed to
> >> >> derive some n random indexes, and the prover must respond with 
> >> the hash
> >> >> of the decrypted blocks within a certain time bound. Suppose that
> >> >> decryption of n blocks take 100 msec (+-100 msec of network 
> >> jitter).
> >> >> Then an attacker must have a computer 50 faster to be able to
> >> >> consistently cheat. The last 50 blocks should not be part of the 
> >> list to
> >> >> allow nodes to catch-up and encrypt the blocks in background.
> >> >>
> >> >
> >> > Can you clarify, the prover is hashing random blocks of 
> >> *decrypted*,
> >> > as-in raw, blockchain data? What does this prove other than, 
> >> perhaps,
> >> > fast random IO of the blockchain? (which is useful in its own 
> >> right,
> >> > e.g. as a way to ensure only full-node IO-bound mining if baked 
> >> into
> >> > the PoW)
> >> >
> >> > How is the verifier validating the response without possession of 
> >> the
> >> > full blockchain?
> >>
> >> You're right, It is incorrect. Not the decrypted blocks must be 
> >> sent,
> >> but the encrypted blocks. There correct protocol is this:
> >>
> >> 1. (prover and verifier pay a small cost) The verifier sends a seed 
> >> to
> >> derive some n random indexes, and the prover must respond with the 
> >> the
> >> encrypted blocks within a certain time bound. The verifier decrypts
> >> those blocks to check if they are part of the block-chain.
> >>
> >> But then there is this improvement which allows the verifier do 
> >> detect
> >> non full-nodes with much less computation:
> >>
> >> 3. (prover pays a small cost, verifier smaller cost) The verifier 
> >> asks
> >> the prover to send a Merkle tree root of hashes of encrypted blocks 
> >> with
> >> N indexes selected by a psudo-random function seeded by a challenge
> >> value, where each encrypted-block is previously prefixed with the 
> >> seed
> >> before being hashed (e.g. N=100). The verifier receives the Markle 
> >> Root
> >> and performs a statistical test on the received information. From 
> >> the N
> >> hashes blocks, it chooses M < N (e.g. M = 20), and asks the proved 
> >> for
> >> the blocks at these indexes. The prover sends the blocks, the 
> >> verifier
> >> validates the blocks by decrypting them and also verifies that the
> >> Merkle tree was well constructed for those block nodes. This proves 
> >> with
> >> high probability that the Merkle tree was built on-the-fly and
> >> specifically for this challenge-response protocol.
> >>
> >> > I also wonder about the effect of spinning disk versus SSD. Seek 
> >> time
> >> > for 1,000 random reads is either nearly zero or dominating 
> >> depending
> >> > on the two modes. I wonder if a sequential read from a random 
> >> index is
> >> > a possible trade-off,; it doesn't prove possession of the whole 
> >> chain
> >> > nearly as well, but at least iowait converges significantly. Then
> >> > again, that presupposes a specific ordering on disk which might 
> >> not
> >> > exist. In X years it will all be solid-state, so eventually it's 
> >> moot.
> >> >
> >> Good idea.
> >>
> >> Also we don't need that every node implements the protocol, but only
> >> nodes that want to prove full-node-ness, such as the ones which want 
> >> to
> >> receive bitnodes subsidy.
> >
> >
> > 
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