Ling Ren: Proof of Space from Stacked Expanders

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
MIT, Hewlett G882, 32 Vassar St, Gates Tower
Ling Ren, MIT

Abstract:  Recently, proof of space (PoS) has been suggested as a more egalitarian alternative to the traditional hash-based proof of work. In PoS, a prover proves to a verifier that it has dedicated some specified amount of space. A closely related notion is memory-hard functions (MHF), functions that require a lot of memory/space to compute. While making promising progress, existing PoS and MHF have several problems. First, there are large gaps between the desired space-hardness and what can be proven. Second, it has been pointed out that PoS and MHF should require a lot of space not just at some point, but throughout the entire computation/protocol; few proposals considered this issue. Third, the two existing PoS constructions are both based on a class of graphs called superconcentrators, which are either hard to construct or add a logarithmic factor overhead to efficiency. In this paper, we construct PoS from stacked expander graphs. Our constructions are simpler, more efficient and have tighter provable space-hardness than prior works. Our results also apply to a recent MHF called Balloon hash. We show Balloon hash has tighter space-hardness than previously believed and consistent space-hardness throughout its computation.