From: Christian Cachin
Sent: Tuesday, June 27 2017, 6:09 pm
To: Martin Arrivets
Cc: Martin Arrivets via hyperledger-tsc; David Huseby; Christopher Ferris; Giacomo Puri Purini
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger Project TSC] Project Proposal: Consensus Platform
I've understood that there exists a white paper, yes.
But perhaps you should be aware that mathematically, in a "fully asynchronous
system" as you describe below, with < 1/3 faulty nodes (that crash or
act maliciously), or even with just one node that may crash, the "consensus
problem" cannot be solved with a deterministic protocol.
This is a famous result in distributed systems:
"Impossibility of Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process" usually
just called "FLP impossibility".
or a textbook I co-authored - www.distributedprogramming.net - although the
FLP result is not explained in there.
What you describe seems equivalent to this well-understood consensus problem.
In contrast to hashgraph, PBFT has been peer-reviewed and widely understood
to achieve consensus in the appropriate model (eventual synchrony, not
On 27 Jun 2017 12:03:06 +0000, Martin Arrivets <martin@...> wrote:
> Hi Christian,
> The system achieves consensus in the sense that a participant will
> eventually know the exact location of a transaction in history and have
> a mathematical guarantee of finality (that this is the consensus order).
> The knowledge is not probabilistic but a mathematical guarantee.
> The proofs in the whitepaper
> <http://www.swirlds.com/downloads/SWIRLDS-TR-2016-01.pdf>; make the
> standard assumptions:
> More than 2/3 of the computers are "honest", which means they follow the
> algorithm correctly and are available. Although an honest computer may
> go down for a while (and stop communicating) as long as they eventually
> come back up.
> Nodes can collude and are allowed to mostly control the internet . Their
> only limit on control on the internet is that if Alice repeatedly sends
> Bob messages they must eventually allow Bob to receive one.
> The proofs are for a fully asynchronous system. There is no assumption
> that an honest node will always respond within a certain interval. If
> all the nodes go to sleep, then progress continues as soon as they come
> back up. In normal conditions with a small number of nodes, consensus
> can happen in less than a second.
> I am not aware of any third-party reviews of the whitepaper.
> The concepts are very similar to other voting-based BFT algorithms
> except the voting is "virtual". If the security of those systems (like
> PBFT or Tendermint...) has been vetted by the schemes you mention then
> perhaps they could be applied to Hashgraph as well.
> Hope this answers you questions.
> -----Original message-----
> From: Christian Cachin
> Sent: Tuesday, June 27 2017, 11:43 am
> To: Martin Arrivets via hyperledger-tsc
> Cc: Martin Arrivets; David Huseby; Christopher Ferris; Giacomo Puri
> Purini Subject: Re: [Hyperledger Project TSC] Project Proposal:
> Consensus Platform
> Can you point to any independent analysis of the properties achieved by
> Swirlds consensus? In which sense does it reach "consensus"? Are there
> any peer-reviewed publications or other third-party endorsements
> In analogy with cryptography, where such issues have been discussed at
> large, and over many decades, the security of a system should be based
> on well-established and widely agreed-on schemes.
> (FYI - I'm a cryptographer and also working on consensus protocols...)
> Christian Cachin email: cca@...
> <mailto:cca@...> IBM Research -
> Zurich tel: +41-44-724-8989 Säumerstrasse 4
> CH-8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland http://www.zurich.ibm.com/˜cca