Abstract on the presentation: Order-Fairness for Blockchains

The underlying consensus problem that drives blockchains has been well studied in cryptography and distributed systems literature for the past four decades. Consensus protocols need to satisfy consistency and liveness, but unfortunately, neither property enforces any guarantees on the actual ordering of transactions. This is discomforting for many modern blockchain applications, considering that the ordering is often easy to manipulate.

Manipulation of transaction ordering is especially problematic for decentralized finance applications — its impact reminiscent to that of the popularized high frequency trading arms race on Wall Street. In this talk, I will motivate a third consensus property, transaction order-fairness, to rectify the ordering problem. I will introduce a new class of consensus protocols that can achieve it in addition to the usual consistency and liveness properties. Finally, I will comment on how order-fairness has the potential to make decentralized finance more intrinsically fair, especially to ordinary users.

Mahimna Kelkar is a PhD student in Computer Science at Cornell University advised by Ari Juels. He is broadly interested in theoretical and applied cryptography with some emphasis on blockchains.
CV: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~mahimna/

IC3: The Initiative for Cryptocurrencies & Contracts (IC3) is an initiative of faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Cornell Tech, EPFL, ETH Zurich, UC Berkeley, University College London, UIUC and the Technion. Learn more about IC3 blockchain research at initc3.org.

IC3 Twitter: https://twitter.com/initc3org
IC3 Website: https://www.initc3.org/

Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that enables smart contracts to securely access off-chain data feeds, web APIs, and traditional bank payments.

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