Equihash: Asymmetric Proof-of-Work Based on the Generalized Birthday Problem

Alex Biryukov, Dmitry Khovratovich

Abstract


Proof-of-work is a central concept in modern cryptocurrencies and denial-ofservice protection tools, but the requirement for fast verification so far has made it an easy prey for GPU-, ASIC-, and botnet-equipped users. The attempts to rely on memory-intensive computations in order to remedy the disparity between architectures have resulted in slow or broken schemes. In this paper we solve this open problem and show how to construct an asymmetric proof-of-work (PoW) based on a computationally-hard problem, which requires a great deal of memory to generate a proof (called a ”memory-hardness” feature) but is instant to verify. Our primary proposal, Equihash, is a PoW based on the generalized birthday problem and enhanced Wagner’s algorithm for it. We introduce the new technique of algorithm binding to prevent cost amortization and demonstrate that possible parallel implementations are constrained by memory bandwidth. Our scheme has tunable and steep time-space tradeoffs, which impose large computational penalties if less memory is used. Our solution is practical and ready to deploy: a reference implementation of a proof-of-work requiring 700 MB of RAM runs in 15 seconds on a 2.1 GHz CPU, increases the computations by a factor of 1000 if memory is halved, and presents a proof of just 120 bytes long.


Keywords


Equihash; memory-hard; asymmetric; proof-of-work; client puzzle

Full Text:

PDF OPEN REVIEW

References


Abadi, M., Burrows, M., Wobber, T. “Moderately Hard, Memory-Bound Functions.” (2003) http://www.isoc.org/isoc/conferences/ndss/03/proceedings/papers/2.pdf

Alwen, J., Blocki, J. “Efficiently Computing Data-Independent Memory-Hard Functions.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 9815 (2016) 241–271

Alwen, J., et al. “On the Memory-Hardness of Data-Independent Password-Hashing Functions.” Cryptology ePrint Archive, Report 2016/783 (2016) (Accessed 29 January 2017) http://eprint.iacr.org/2016/783

Andersen, D. “A Public Review of Cuckoo Cycle.” (2014) (Accessed 29 January 2017) http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dga/crypto/cuckoo/analysis.pdf

Avior, A., Calamoneri, T., Even, S., Litman, A., Rosenberg, A. L. “A Tight Layout of the Butterfly Network.” Theory Comput. Syst. 31.4 (1998) 475–488

Back, A. “Hashcash – A Denial of Service Counter-Measure.” (2002) (accessed 29 January 2017) http://www.hashcash.org/papers/hashcash.pdf

Beame, P., Borodin, A., Raghavan, P., Ruzzo, W. L., Tompa, M. “Time-Space Tradeoffs for Undirected Graph Traversal.” (1990) 429–438 doi:10.1109/FSCS.1990.89563

Becker, A., Coron, J., Joux, A. “Improved Generic Algorithms for Hard Knapsacks.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6632 (2011) 364–385

Becker, A., Joux, A., May, A., Meurer, A. “Decoding Random Binary Linear Codes in 2n/20: How 1+1 = 0 Improves Information Set Decoding.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 7237 (2012) 520–536 doi:10.1007/978-3-642-29011-4 31

Bellare, M., Micciancio, D. “A New Paradigm for Collision-Free Hashing: Incrementality at Reduced Cost.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1233 (1997) 163–192 doi:10.1007/3-540-69053-0 13

Bernstein, D. J. Circuits for integer factorization: a proposal. Technical report (2001) https://cr.yp.

to/papers/nfscircuit.pdf

Bernstein, D. J. “Better Price-Performance Ratios for Generalized Birthday Attacks.” 7 (2007) 160

Bernstein, D. J., Lange, T., Niederhagen, R., Peters, C., Schwabe, P. “FSBday.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5922 (2009) 18–38 doi:10.1007/978-3-642-10628-6 2

Biryukov, A., Khovratovich, D. “Tradeoff Cryptanalysis of Memory-Hard Functions.” (2015) http://

eprint.iacr.org/2015/227

Biryukov, A., Khovratovich, D. “Argon2: new generation of memory-hard functions for password hashing and other applications.” (2016) (Accessed 29 Janaury 2017) https://www.cryptolux.org/images/0/0d/Argon2.pdf

Bonneau, J., Miller, A., Clark, J., Narayanan, A., Kroll, J. A., Felten, E. W. “SoK: Research Perspectives and Challenges for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies.” (2015) 104–121

Cawrey, D. “Avalon ASIC’s 40nm Chip to Bring Hashing Boost for Less Power.” (2014) (Accessed 29 January 2017) http://www.coindesk.com/avalon-asics-40nm-chip-bring-hashing-boost-less-power/

Crosby, S. A., Wallach, D. S. “Denial of Service via Algorithmic Complexity Attacks.” 2 (2003)

Dean, D., Stubblefield, A. “Using Client Puzzles to Protect TLS.” 42 (2001)

Denneman, F. “Memory Deep Dive: Memory Subsystem Bandwidth.” (2015) (Accessed 29 January 2017)

http://frankdenneman.nl/2015/02/19/memory-deep-dive-memory-subsystem-bandwidth/

Dinur, I., Dunkelman, O., Keller, N., Shamir, A. “Efficient Dissection of Composite Problems, with Applications to Cryptanalysis, Knapsacks, and Combinatorial Search Problems.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 7417 (2012) 719–740 doi:10.1007/978-3-642-32009-5 42

Dwork, C., Goldberg, A., Naor, M. “On Memory-Bound Functions for Fighting Spam.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2729 (2003) 426–444

Dwork, C., Naor, M. “Pricing via Processing or Combatting Junk Mail.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 740 (1992) 139–147

Dwork, C., Naor, M., Wee, H. “Pebbling and Proofs of Work.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3621 (2005) 37–54

Dziembowski, S., Faust, S., Kolmogorov, V., Pietrzak, K. “Proofs of Space.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 9216 (2015) 585–605 doi:10.1007/978-3-662-48000-7 29

Fortnow, L. “Time-Space Tradeoffs for Satisfiability.” J. Comput. Syst. Sci. 60.2 (2000) 337–353 doi:10.1006/jcss.1999.1671

Geiselmann, W., Steinwandt, R. “A Dedicated Sieving Hardware.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2567 (2003) 254–266

Giridhar, B., et al. “Exploring DRAM Organizations for Energy-efficient and Resilient Exascale Memories.” (2013) 23–35

Helman, D. R., Bader, D. A., JaJ´ a, J. “A Randomized Parallel Sorting Algorithm with an Experimental Study.” J. Parallel Distrib. Comput. 52.1 (1998) 1–23 doi:10.1006/jpdc.1998.1462

Hopcroft, J. E., Paul, W. J., Valiant, L. G. “On Time Versus Space.” J. ACM 24.2 (1977) 332–337

Howgrave-Graham, N., Joux, A. “New Generic Algorithms for Hard Knapsacks.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6110 (2010) 235–256

Huang, D. Y., et al. “Botcoin: Monetizing Stolen Cycles.” (2014)

Jakobsson, M., Juels, A. “Proofs of Work and Bread Pudding Protocols.” IFIP Conference Proceedings 152 (1999) 258–272

Kirchner, P. “Improved Generalized Birthday Attack.” IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive 2011 (2011) 377

Lakshmanan, K. B., Ravikumar, B., Ganesan, K. “Coping with Erroneous Information while Sorting.” IEEE Trans. Computers 40.9 (1991) 1081–1084

Lang, H., Schimmler, M., Schmeck, H., Schroder, H. “Systolic Sorting on a Mesh-Connected Network.” IEEE Trans. Computers 34.7 (1985) 652–658

Lenstra, A. K., Shamir, A., Tomlinson, J., Tromer, E. “Analysis of Bernstein’s Factorization Circuit.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2501 (2002) 1–26

“Litecoin: Mining hardware comparison.” (2015) (Accessed 29 January 2017) https://litecoin.info/

Mining_hardware_comparison

Lorimer, D. “Momentum – A Memory-Hard Proof-of-Work via Finding Birthday Collisions.” (2014) (Accessed 29 January 2017) http://www.hashcash.org/papers/momentum.pdf

Merrill, D., Grimshaw, A. “High Performance and Scalable Radix Sorting: A case study of implementing dynamic parallelism for GPU computing.” Parallel Processing Letters 21.02 (2011) 245–272 doi:10.1142/S0129626411000187

Minder, L., Sinclair, A. “The extended k-tree algorithm.” (2009) 586–595

Nikolic, I., Sasaki, Y. “Refinements of the k-tree Algorithm for the Generalized Birthday Problem.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 9453 (2015) 683–703

Nivasch, G. “Cycle Detection Using a Stack.” Inf. Process. Lett. 90.3 (2004) 135–140 doi:10.1016/j.ipl.2004.01.016

Park, S., Pietrzak, K., Alwen, J., Fuchsbauer, G., Gazi, P. “Spacecoin: A Cryptocurrency Based on Proofs of Space.” IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive 2015 (2015) 528 http://eprint.iacr.org/2015/528

Percival, C. “Stronger Key Derivation Via Sequential Memory-Hard Functions.” (2009) (Accessed 29 January 2017) http://www.tarsnap.com/scrypt/scrypt.pdf

Pippenger, N. “Superconcentrators.” SIAM J. Comput. 6.2 (1977) 298–304 doi:10.1137/0206022

Rajasekaran, S., Reif, J. H. “Optimal and Sublogarithmic Time Randomized Parallel Sorting Algorithms.” SIAM J. Comput. 18.3 (1989) 594–607

Satish, N., et al. “Fast Sort on CPUs and GPUs: A Case for Bandwidth Oblivious SIMD Sort.” SIGMOD’10 (2010) 351–362

Schroeppel, R., Shamir, A. “A T = O(2n/2),S = O(2n/4) Algorithm for Certain NP-Complete Problems.” SIAM J. Comput. 10.3 (1981) 456–464 doi:10.1137/0210033

Shamir, A. “On the Cryptocomplexity of Knapsack Systems.” (1979) 118–129 doi:10.1145/800135.804405

Tromp, J. “Cuckoo Cycle: a memory bound graph-theoretic proof-of-work.” (2014) Cryptology ePrint Archive, Report 2014/059 (Accessed 29 January 2017) http://eprint.iacr.org/2014/059, project webpage https://github.com/tromp/cuckoo

van Oorschot, P. C., Wiener, M. J. “Parallel Collision Search with Cryptanalytic Applications.” J. Cryptology 12.1 (1999) 1–28 doi:10.1007/PL00003816

Wagner, D. “A Generalized Birthday Problem.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2442 (2002) 288–303 doi:10.1007/3-540-45708-9 19

Ye, X., Fan, D., Lin, W., Yuan, N., Ienne, P. “High Performance Comparison-Based Sorting Algorithm on Many-Core GPUs.” (2010) 1–10 doi:10.1109/IPDPS.2010.5470445




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ledger.2017.48

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2017 Alex Biryukov, Dmitry Khovratovich

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.