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Witness Chain: Proof of Bandwidth for Trust-Free Wireless Networking

Pramod Viswanath (Princeton University)

The advent of blockchains, trust-free platforms driven by tokenized incentive mechanisms (web 3.0), is reawakening the old dream of open networking. A “network meritocracy”, where anyone can participate in network operation and get rewarded based on their performance, depends crucially on trust-free telemetry, a new scientific discipline at the intersection of applied cryptography, distributed protocols and networking.

In this talk we showcase two trust-free telemetry tools: the first, Proof of Backhaul, is a trust-free speed test where the challengers neither need to be trusted or even have a low latency and high throughput connection to the challenged link. The protocol is a reincarnation of classical Internet telemetry tools of ping and iperf with Byzantine fault tolerant properties. The second, Proof of Service, enables trust-free measurement of network service quality (data, throughput) between a pair of links. Both protocols are naturally implemented via smart contracts and scalable state channels, two essential web 3.0 primitives.

Bio: Pramod Viswanath is the Forrest G. Hamrick Professor in Engineering at Princeton University. His research interests are in blockchains.