Rational Behaviors in Committee-Based Blockchains

Authors Yackolley Amoussou-Guenou, Bruno Biais, Maria Potop-Butucaru, Sara Tucci-Piergiovanni

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Yackolley Amoussou-Guenou
  • Université Paris-Saclay, CEA, List, F-91120, Palaiseau, France
  • Sorbonne Université, CNRS, LIP6, F-75005 Paris, France
Bruno Biais
  • HEC Paris, 1 Rue de la Libération, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France
Maria Potop-Butucaru
  • Sorbonne Université, CNRS, LIP6, F-75005 Paris, France
Sara Tucci-Piergiovanni
  • Université Paris-Saclay, CEA, List, F-91120, Palaiseau, France

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Yackolley Amoussou-Guenou, Bruno Biais, Maria Potop-Butucaru, and Sara Tucci-Piergiovanni. Rational Behaviors in Committee-Based Blockchains. In 24th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 184, pp. 12:1-12:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


We study the rational behaviors of participants in committee-based blockchains. Committee-based blockchains rely on specific blockchain consensus that must be guaranteed in presence of rational participants. We consider a simplified blockchain consensus algorithm based on existing or proposed committee-based blockchains that encapsulate the main actions of the participants: voting for a block, and checking its validity. Knowing that those actions have costs, and achieving the consensus gives rewards to committee members, we study using game theory how strategic participants behave while trying to maximize their gains. We consider different reward schemes, and found that in each setting, there exist equilibria where blockchain consensus is guaranteed; in some settings however, there can be coordination failures hindering consensus. Moreover, we study equilibria with trembling participants, which is a novelty in the context of committee-based blockchains. Trembling participants are rational that can do unintended actions with a low probability. We found that in presence of trembling participants, there exist equilibria where blockchain consensus is guaranteed; however, when only voters are rewarded, there also exist equilibria where validity can be violated.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computer systems organization → Dependable and fault-tolerant systems and networks
  • Theory of computation → Solution concepts in game theory
  • BFT Consensus
  • Blockchains
  • Game Theory


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