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Library > Mining in Logarithmic Space

Mining in Logarithmic Space

November/2021, ACM CCS '21


Blockchains maintain two types of data: Application data and consensus data. Towards long-term blockchain scalability, both of these must be pruned. While a large body of literature has explored the pruning of application data (UTXOs, account balances, and contract state), little has been said about the permanent pruning of consensus data (block headers). We present a protocol which allows pruning the blockchain by garbage collecting old blocks as they become unnecessary. These blocks can simply be discarded and are no longer stored by any miner. We show that all miners can be light miners with no harm to security. Our protocol is based on the notion of superblocks, blocks that have achieved an unusually high difficulty. We leverage them to represent underlying proof-of-work without ever illustrating it, storing it, or transmitting it. After our pruning is applied, the storage and communication requirements for consensus data is reduced exponentially.

We develop new probabilistic mathematical methods to analyze our protocol in the random oracle model. We prove our protocol is both secure and succinct under an uninterrupted honest majority assumption for 1/3 adversaries. Our protocol is the first to achieve always secure, always succinct, and online Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof-of-Work, all necessary components for a logarithmic space mining scheme. Our work has applications beyond mining and also constitutes an improvement in state-of-the-art superlight clients and cross-chain bridges.