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RE: Response to Cosmos white paper's claims on DPOS security

in #steem4 years ago

Good writeup, as always.

How difficult would it be to catch a single block producer who includes transactions in the wrong order? It seems like it would be pretty easy for a block producer to front-run market and voting transactions to skim a little more cash for himself. There's not a lot of money in voting transactions, but perhaps quite a bit in market transactions.

Obviously if you went looking for such activities with the proper statistical tools, it wouldn't be hard to find evidence of them if they're happening. But in the current implementation, are there any automatic safeguards for this? Would block validators know if this were occurring?

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it would be fairly obvious to detect consistent manipulation of transaction order.

Well yeah, but is anybody looking for it? It would be particularly easy to detect it in realtime (rather than looking for correlations in the blockchain), but is anybody doing this? If it's not built into the code, it seems like someone could get away with it for a long time before they were found out.

We haven't looked for any code to check for it. To do it right would require instrumenting multiple nodes in different geographic areas and connected to many different peers. Then with this information calculate a weighted order of receipt.

Once you have those stats you could score each block producer based upon how close their order was to the weighted order. Over time you would discover if there was any significant bias among block producers.

Bias alone only indicates that a producer was not well connected to the network. Once bias is discovered, then it is a matter of looking for which accounts were most frequently biased earlier. This would identify potential sock puppets.