An Infinite Server Model for Promoting Bitcoin’s Blockchain Synchronization


Bitcoin’s network is designed so that all transactions are stored on a database, which is known as the blockchain. Practically speaking, each user on bitcoin’s network keeps an updated version of the blockchain on his/her machine, in order to keep track of the history of bitcoin’s transactions. This promotes transparency, which is one of the most prominent features of bitcoin. All transactions are published onto the network, and miners arrange them into blocks that can be added to the blockchain. The blocks are also published onto the network, and users will update their versions of the blockchain records as soon as new blocks are added to the blockchain.

It is pivotal for the network to be synchronized in real time, due to the fact that the reliability of bitcoin’s system is dependable on the degree of network’s synchronization. This justifies the need for special models that can capture the degree of desynchronization secondary to communication delays. As a results of these delays, a percentage of bitcoin users are not up-to-date when compared to others, which means that their blockchain versions lack some blocks when compared to users whose versions are up-to-date. This desynchronization effect inspired a novel model that has been presented in a recently published paper.

Throughout this new model, bitcoin like communication is assumed to take place between two users, where user A creates bits of information and then sends them off to user B, and user B receives these bits of information with delay, i.e. user B is not up-to-date when compared to user A. This form of communication could be described via an infinite server model, where newly created bits of information correspond to arrivals, while their transmission corresponds to a given receiving service via parallel servers. A nontraditional feature of this new model is that users do interact here. Usually, within the traditional infinite server models, users don’t interfere and therefore, act in an independent manner, which promotes explicit analysis.

This interaction approach is inspired by the mechanism, that we will discuss, in the dynamics of the blockchain.  Along the blockchain, every block includes a reference that links it to the proceeding one. Supposedly, user B receives a block from user A who knows more than user B, and the new block is not directly linked to user B‘s last block. Thereafter, user B will request the predecessors of the new block via the references to the proceeding blocks. On a somehow stylized level, this update will translate to the following service discipline; whenever a service completion takes place, all proceeding arrivals, which are still within the system, will also complete the service and then depart. Accordingly, departures take place in batches that the authors of the paper referred to as FIFO-batches. This departure mechanism yields major differences when compared to the traditional infinite server model, where users depart individually right after completion of their own services takes place.

This proposed model can improve the synchronization of bitcoin’s blockchain; thus, heightening the reliability and security of bitcoin’s payment system.



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