Proteus: A DLT-Agnostic Emulation and Analysis Framework


Russell Van Dam, Thien-Nam Dinh, Christopher Cordi, Gregory Jacobus, Nicholas Pattengale, and Steven Elliott, Sandia National Laboratories

Long Research Paper


This paper presents Proteus, a framework for conducting rapid, emulation-based analysis of distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) using FIREWHEEL, an orchestration tool that assists a user in building, controlling, observing, and analyzing realistic experiments of distributed systems. Proteus is designed to support any DLT that has some form of a "transaction" and which operates on a peer-to-peer network layer. Proteus provides a framework for an investigator to set up a network of nodes, execute rich agent-driven behaviors, and extract run-time observations. Proteus relies on common features of DLTs to define agent-driven scenarios in a DLT-agnostic way allowing for those scenarios to be executed against different DLTs. We demonstrate the utility of using Proteus by executing a 51% attack on an emulated Ethereum network containing 2000 nodes.

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@inproceedings {238262,
author = {Russell Van Dam and Thien-Nam Dinh and Christopher Cordi and Gregory Jacobus and Nicholas Pattengale and Steven Elliott},
title = {Proteus: A {DLT-Agnostic} Emulation and Analysis Framework},
booktitle = {12th USENIX Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test (CSET 19)},
year = {2019},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug