A Regulatory System for Optimal Legal Transaction Throughput in Cryptocurrency Blockchains

Aditya Ahuja, Vinay J. Ribeiro, Ranjan Pal

Permissionless blockchain consensus protocols have been designed primarily for defining decentralized economies for the commercial trade of assets, both virtual and physical, using cryptocurrencies. In most instances, the assets being traded are regulated, which mandates that the legal right to their trade and their trade value are determined by the governmental regulator of the jurisdiction in which the trade occurs. Unfortunately, existing blockchains do not formally recognise proposal of legal cryptocurrency transactions, as part of the execution of their respective consensus protocols, resulting in rampant illegal activities in the associated crypto-economies. In this contribution, we motivate the need for regulated blockchain consensus protocols with a case study of the illegal, cryptocurrency based, Silk Road darknet market. We present a novel regulatory framework for blockchain protocols, for ensuring legal transaction confirmation as part of the blockchain distributed consensus. As per our regulatory framework, we derive conditions under which legal transaction throughput supersedes throughput of traditional transactions, which are, in the worst case, an indifferentiable mix of legal and illegal transactions. Finally, we show that with a small change to the standard blockchain consensus execution policy (appropriately introduced through regulation), the legal transaction throughput in the blockchain network can be maximized.

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