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Title: Blockumulus: A Scalable Framework for Smart Contracts on the Cloud
Public blockchains have spurred the growing popularity of decentralized transactions and smart contracts, especially on the financial market. However, public blockchains exhibit their limitations on the transaction throughput, storage availability, and compute capacity. To avoid transaction gridlock, public blockchains impose large fees and per-block resource limits, making it difficult to accommodate the ever-growing high transaction demand. Previous research endeavors to improve the scalability and performance of blockchain through various technologies, such as side-chaining, sharding, secured off-chain computation, communication network optimizations, and efficient consensus protocols. However, these approaches have not attained a widespread adoption due to their inability in delivering a cloud-like performance, in terms of the scalability in transaction throughput, storage, and compute capacity. In this work, we determine that the major obstacle to public blockchain scalability is their underlying unstructured P2P networks. We further show that a centralized network can support the deployment of decentralized smart contracts. We propose a novel approach for achieving scalable decentralization: instead of trying to make blockchain scalable, we deliver decentralization to already scalable cloud by using an Ethereum smart contract. We introduce Blockumulus, a framework that can deploy decentralized cloud smart contract environments using a novel technique called overlay consensus. Through experiments, we demonstrate that Blockumulus is scalable in all three dimensions: computation, data storage, and transaction throughput. Besides eliminating the current code execution and storage restrictions, Blockumulus delivers a transaction latency between 2 and 5 seconds under normal load. Moreover, the stress test of our prototype reveals the ability to execute 20,000 simultaneous transactions under 26 seconds, which is on par with the average throughput of worldwide credit card transactions.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2000681
NSF-PAR ID:
10318559
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
2021 IEEE 41st International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS)
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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