Secure Incentivization for Decentralized Content Delivery


Prateesh Goyal, MIT CSAIL; Ravi Netravali, UCLA; Mohammad Alizadeh and Hari Balakrishnan, MIT CSAIL


Prior research has proposed using peer-to-peer (P2P) content delivery to serve Internet video at lower costs. Yet, such methods have not witnessed widespread adoption. An important challenge is incentivization: what tangible benefits does P2P content delivery offer users who bring resources to the table? In this paper, we ask whether monetary incentives can help attract peers in P2P content delivery systems. We first propose Gringotts, a system to enable secure monetary incentives for P2P content delivery systems. Gringotts provides a novel Proof of Delivery mechanism that allows content providers to verify correct delivery of their files, and shows how to use cryptocurrency to pay peers while guarding against liars and Sybil attacks. We then present results from an 876-person professional survey we commissioned to understand users’ willingness to participate in Gringotts, and what challenges remain. Our survey revealed that 51% would participate for suitable financial incentives, and motivated the need for alternate payment forms, device security, and peer anonymity.

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@inproceedings {234777,
author = {Prateesh Goyal and Ravi Netravali and Mohammad Alizadeh and Hari Balakrishnan},
title = {Secure Incentivization for Decentralized Content Delivery},
booktitle = {2nd USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Edge Computing (HotEdge 19)},
year = {2019},
address = {Renton, WA},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul