Reward Mechanism for Blockchains Using Evolutionary Game Theory

Shashank Motepalli and Hans-Arno Jacobsen.

In BRAINS, September 2021.

Abstract

Blockchains have witnessed widespread adoption in the past decade in various fields. The growing demand makes their scalability and sustainability challenges more evident than ever. As a result, more and more blockchains have begun to adopt proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocols to address those challenges. One of the fundamental characteristics of any blockchain technology is its crypto-economics and incentives. Lately, each PoS blockchain has designed a unique reward mechanism, yet, many of them are prone to free-rider and nothing-at-stake problems. To better understand the ad-hoc design of reward mechanisms, in this paper, we develop a reward mechanism framework that could apply to many PoS blockchains. We formulate the block validation game wherein the rewards are distributed for validating the blocks correctly. Using evolutionary game theory, we analyze how the participantsí behaviour could potentially evolve with the reward mechanism. Also, penalties are found to play a central role in maintaining the integrity of blockchains.

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Tags: game theory, dlt, distributed ledger, blockchains


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