Information Security and Cryptography Research Group

Bitcoin as a Transaction Ledger: A Composable Treatment

Christian Badertscher, Ueli Maurer, Daniel Tschudi, and Vassilis Zikas

Advances in Cryptology – CRYPTO 2017, LNCS, Springer, vol. 10401 (Proceedings Part I), pp. 324–356, Aug 2017.

Bitcoin is perhaps the most prominent example of a distributed cryptographic protocol that is extensively used in reality. Nonetheless, existing security proofs are property-based, and as such they do not support composition.

In this work we put forth a universally composable treatment of the Bitcoin protocol. We specify the goal that Bitcoin aims to achieve as a ledger functionality in the (G)UC model of Canetti et al. (TCC'07). Our ledger functionality is weaker than the one recently proposed by Kiayias, Zhou, and Zikas (EUROCRYPT'16), but unlike the latter suggestion, which is arguably not implementable given the Bitcoin assumptions, we prove that the one proposed here is securely UC realized under standard assumptions by an appropriate abstraction of Bitcoin as a UC protocol. We further show how known property-based approaches can be cast as special instances of our treatment and how their underlying assumptions can be cast in (G)UC without restricting the environment or the adversary.

BibTeX Citation

    author       = {Christian Badertscher, Ueli Maurer, Daniel Tschudi, and Vassilis Zikas},
    title        = {Bitcoin as a Transaction Ledger: A Composable Treatment},
    booktitle    = {Advances in Cryptology -- CRYPTO 2017},
    pages        = {324--356},
    series       = {LNCS},
    volume       = {10401 (Proceedings Part I)},
    year         = {2017},
    month        = {8},
    publisher    = {Springer},

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