Verifiable observation of permissioned ledgers

Ermyas Abebe, Yining Hu, Allison Irvin, Dileban Karunamoorthy, Vinayaka Pandit, Venkatraman Ramakrishna, Jiangshan Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Permissioned ledger technologies have gained significant traction over the last few years. For practical reasons, their applications have focused on transforming narrowly scoped use-cases in isolation. This has led to a proliferation of niche, isolated networks that are quickly becoming data and value silos. To increase value across the broader ecosystem, these networks must seamlessly integrate with existing systems and interoperate with one another. A fundamental requirement for enabling cross-chain communication is the ability to prove the validity of the internal state of a ledger to an external party. However, due to the closed nature of permissioned ledgers, their internal state is opaque to an external observer. This makes consuming and verifying states from these networks a non-trivial problem.This paper addresses this fundamental requirement for state sharing across permissioned ledgers. In particular, we address two key problems for external clients: (i) assurances on the validity of state in a permissioned ledger and (ii) the ability to reason about the currency of state, i.e., whether the state is currently valid. We assume an adversarial model where the members of the committee managing the permissioned ledger can be malicious in the absence of detectability and accountability. We present a formalization of the problem for state sharing and examine its security properties under different adversarial conditions. We propose the design of a protocol that uses a secure public ledger for providing guarantees on safety and the ability to reason about time, with at least one honest member in the committee. We then provide a formal security analysis of our design and a proof of concept implementation based on Hyperledger Fabric demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2021
EditorsRaja Jurdak, William Knottenbelt, Bhaskar Krishnamachari
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781665435789
ISBN (Print)9781665411882
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventIEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2021 - Online, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 3 May 20216 May 2021
Conference number: 3rd (Proceedings)


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2021
Abbreviated titleICBC 2021
Internet address


  • Applied Cryptography
  • Blockchain
  • Distributed Ledgers
  • Distributed Systems
  • Interoperability
  • Permissioned Networks

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