BlockSTM: Scaling Blockchain Execution with Rati Gelashvili | a16z crypto research talks | Summary and Q&A

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April 28, 2023
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BlockSTM: Scaling Blockchain Execution with Rati Gelashvili | a16z crypto research talks

TL;DR

Black STM is a high-performance parallel execution algorithm that aims to improve the scalability of blockchain technology by utilizing transparent execution and estimates. It outperforms other algorithms, including a deterministic SDM, and scales with a large number of threads.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the motivation behind the development of the Black STM algorithm?

The main motivation is to scale up blockchains and make them more performant by optimizing the execution of transactions within a block. The algorithm aims to address the bottleneck caused by the slowest component in a layered architecture.

Q: How does Black STM differ from other algorithms in terms of transparency and estimates?

Black STM aims to be transparent to users, meaning they don't need to know about the parallel execution happening behind the scenes. It avoids requiring users to provide hints or dependencies for transaction execution. Instead, it generates estimates based on the execution history and utilizes them to optimize the execution process.

Q: What challenges does Black STM address in terms of adversarial behavior in the blockchain setting?

Black STM assumes an adversarial setting and protects against potential adversarial behavior by ensuring that the algorithm is not significantly slower than sequential execution. It aims to design an algorithm that is robust enough to handle adversarial attempts to break the system or cause it to run for an extended period of time.

Q: How does Black STM improve performance compared to other algorithms, such as the deterministic SDM?

Black STM outperforms other algorithms in terms of performance and scalability. It achieves this by utilizing a fixed preset order for execution, allowing for more efficient task scheduling. Additionally, it leverages estimates generated during execution to avoid unnecessary re-execution and improves throughput.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Black STM is an algorithm designed to improve the performance and scalability of blockchain execution, specifically focusing on the execution of transactions within a block.

  • It aims to tackle the challenges of scalability in blockchain by utilizing parallel execution, transparent to users, and efficient estimates.

  • The algorithm utilizes a fixed preset order to avoid the need for consensus and allows for optimized execution and validation tasks.

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