Proving the correct execution of concurrent services in zero-knowledge


Srinath Setty, Microsoft Research; Sebastian Angel, University of Pennsylvania; Trinabh Gupta, Microsoft Research and UCSB; Jonathan Lee, Microsoft Research


This paper introduces Spice, a system for building verifiable state machines (VSMs). A VSM is a request-processing service that produces proofs establishing that requests were executed correctly according to a specification. Such proofs are succinct (a verifier can check them efficiently without reexecution) and zero-knowledge (a verifier learns nothing about the content of the requests, responses, or the internal state of the service). Recent systems for proving the correct execution of stateful computations---Pantry, Geppetto, CTV, vSQL, etc.---implicitly implement VSMs, but they incur prohibitive costs. Spice reduces these costs significantly with a new storage primitive. More notably, Spice’s storage primitive supports multiple writers, making Spice the first system that can succinctly prove the correct execution of concurrent services. We find that Spice running on a cluster of 16 servers achieves 488--1167 transactions/second for a variety of applications including inter-bank transactions, cloud-hosted ledgers, and dark pools. This represents an 18,000--685,000× higher throughput than prior work.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@inproceedings {222621,
author = {Srinath Setty and Sebastian Angel and Trinabh Gupta and Jonathan Lee},
title = {Proving the correct execution of concurrent services in zero-knowledge},
booktitle = {13th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 18)},
year = {2018},
isbn = {978-1-939133-08-3},
address = {Carlsbad, CA},
pages = {339--356},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Audio