Kronos: A Secure and Generic Sharding Blockchain Consensus with Optimized Overhead

Yizhong Liu, Andi Liu,Yuan Lu, Zhuocheng Pan, Yinuo Li,Jianwei Liu,Song Bian,Mauro Conti


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Sharding enhances blockchain scalability by dividing the network into shards, each managing specific unspent transaction outputs or accounts. As an introduced new transaction type, cross-shard transactions pose a critical challenge to the security and efficiency of sharding blockchains. Currently, there is a lack of a generic sharding consensus pattern that achieves both security and low overhead. In this paper, we present Kronos, a secure sharding blockchain consensus achieving optimized overhead. In particular, we propose a new secure sharding consensus pattern, based on a buffer managed jointly by shard members. Valid transactions are transferred to the payee via the buffer, while invalid ones are rejected through happy or unhappy paths. Kronos is proved to achieve security with atomicity under malicious clients with optimal intra-shard overhead kB (k for involved shard number and B for a Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) cost). Besides, we propose secure cross-shard certification methods based on batch certification and reliable cross-shard transfer. The former combines hybrid trees or vector commitments, while the latter integrates erasure coding. Handling b transactions, Kronos is proved to achieve reliability with low cross-shard overhead O(n b λ) (n for shard size and λ for the security parameter). Notably, Kronos imposes no restrictions on BFT and does not rely on time assumptions, offering optional constructions in various modules. We implement Kronos using two prominent BFT protocols: asynchronous Speeding Dumbo and partial synchronous Hotstuff. Extensive experiments demonstrate Kronos scales the consensus nodes to thousands, achieving a substantial throughput of 320 ktx/sec with 2.0 sec latency. Compared with the past solutions, Kronos outperforms, achieving up to a 12* improvement in throughput and a 50
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