Graphene Will Power the Future of Blockchain, Maybe

A protocol called “Graphene” is allegedly capable of making blockchains 10x more efficient than the current block propagation method called compact blocks.  The claim was made at the Scaling Bitcoin Conference this past week at Stanford University.

From Bitcoin News

This week at the Scaling Bitcoin Conference 2017, at Stanford University in California, bitcoin proponents heard about a new block propagation technology that claims to be 10X more efficient than compact blocks. The protocol called “Graphene” is a new method of reducing bandwidth to propagate blocks to full nodes by utilizing bloom filters and invertible-bloom-lookup-tables (IBLTs).

Graphene Technology Claims to be 10X More Efficient Than Compact Blocks and Xthin Blocks

The bitcoin community is excited about a new technology called Graphene, a new block propagation technology that utilizes set reconciliation. The protocol was introduced by one of Graphene’s creators, Brian Levine, from UMass Amherst at the Scaling Bitcoin 2017 event at Stanford. The project is a joint effort at UMass between Levine, Pinar Ozisik, George Bissias, Amir Houmansadr, and the well-known bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen. The creators of Graphene believe the protocol is more efficient than other methods of announcing and propagating new blocks like Compact Blocks, and Xtreme Thinblocks. Levine details at the Stanford scaling conference that the project is currently being trialed using a Python testnet.

“Graphene blocks are a fraction of the size of related methods, such as Compact Blocks and Xtreme Thinblocks — For example, we show that a 17.5 KB Xtreme Thinblock can be encoded in 10 KB with Compact Blocks, and encoded in 2.6 KB with Graphene,” explains the Graphene white paper.

In simulations, we find that Graphene encodes information in about 10% of the space of Compact Blocks. We use a novel interactive combination of Bloom filters and Invertible bloom lookup tables (IBLTs), providing an efficient solution to the problem of set reconciliation in Bitcoin’s p2p network.


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