TitleA TorPath to TorCoin: Proof-of-Bandwidth Altcoins for Compensating Relays
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGhosh, M., M. Richardson, B. Ford, and R. Jansen
Conference Name7th Workshop on Hot Topics in Privacy Enhancing Technologies (HotPETs)

The Tor network relies on volunteer relay operators for relay bandwidth, which may limit its growth and scaling potential. We propose an incentive scheme for Tor relying on two novel concepts. We introduce TorCoin, an "altcoin" that uses the Bitcoin protocol to reward relays for contributing bandwidth. Relays "mine" TorCoins, then sell them for cash on any existing altcoin exchange. To verify that a given TorCoin represents actual bandwidth transferred, we introduce TorPath, a decentralized protocol for forming Tor circuits such that each circuit is privately-addressable but publicly veriable. Each circuit's participants may then collectively mine a limited number of TorCoins, in proportion to the end-to-end transmission goodput they measure on that circuit.

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