Arbitrum: Scalable, private smart contracts

Harry Kalodner, Steven Goldfeder, Xiaoqi Chen, S. Matthew Weinberg, Edward W. Felten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present Arbitrum, a cryptocurrency system that supports smart contracts without the limitations of scalability and privacy of systems previous systems such as Ethereum. Arbitrum, like Ethereum, allows parties to create smart contracts by using code to specify the behavior of a virtual machine (VM) that implements the contract's functionality. Arbitrum uses mechanism design to incentivize parties to agree off-chain on what a VM would do, so that the Arbitrum miners need only verify digital signatures to confirm that parties have agreed on a VM's behavior. In the event that the parties cannot reach unanimous agreement off-chain, Arbitrum still allows honest parties to advance the VM state on-chain. If a party tries to lie about a VM's behavior, the verifier (or miners) will identify and penalize the dishonest party by using a highly-efficient challenge-based protocol that exploits features of the Arbitrum virtual machine architecture. Moving the verification of VMs' behavior off-chain in this way provides dramatic improvements in scalability and privacy. We describe Arbitrum's protocol and virtual machine architecture, and we present a working prototype implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th USENIX Security Symposium
PublisherUSENIX Association
Pages1353-1370
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781939133045
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event27th USENIX Security Symposium - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Aug 15 2018Aug 17 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 27th USENIX Security Symposium

Conference

Conference27th USENIX Security Symposium
CountryUnited States
CityBaltimore
Period8/15/188/17/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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  • Cite this

    Kalodner, H., Goldfeder, S., Chen, X., Weinberg, S. M., & Felten, E. W. (2018). Arbitrum: Scalable, private smart contracts. In Proceedings of the 27th USENIX Security Symposium (pp. 1353-1370). (Proceedings of the 27th USENIX Security Symposium). USENIX Association.