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DIP: 0022
Title: Making InstantSend Deterministic using Quorum Cycles
Author: Samuel Westrich, UdjinM6
Special-Thanks: Pasta, Thephez, Virgile Bartolo
Comments: No comments yet.
Status: Draft
Layer: Consensus (hard fork)
Created: 2020-08-02
License: MIT License


This DIP aims to improve InstantSend messages to make them deterministically verifiable.


LLMQ based InstantSend was introduced in DIP10. In that implementation InstantSend locks are only verifiable by recent quorums because the InstantSend lock does not include any block or time based information. In Dash Platform InstantSend Locks are used to add credit to Identities as they provide input finality. When blocks are replayed on the Platform Chain, all State Transitions need to be re-validated and it is possible that InstantSend signatures will need to be rechecked. However, to recheck them one needs to know the quorum that signed them. In this DIP we will provide a mechanism to that end.

Previous work

Versioning of ISLock messages

Since islock messages were never versioned, a new ISDLOCK message will be created and the islock message will be deprecated. ISD stands for InstantSend Deterministic. The version of the ISDLOCK used in this document will be 1. We will still refer to islock messages, even though the message name has been changed.

QuorumHash vs CycleHash

The naive approach to fixing this problem would be to include the quorumHash in the islock message. An islock would then be easily verifiable since the quorum that signed it would always be known. The drawback of this approach is that any quorum could sign any islock even if it were not responsible to do so for that quorum cycle.

A quorum cycle begins at a quorumBlock (as per DIP-0006) and lasts for a number of blocks that is equal to the quorumDkgInterval. During this time the set of valid quorums are not modified for a given quorumType. If the quorumDkgInterval is set to 24 blocks then from block 100 to block 123 quorums of that type stay the same. During this period the quorum that is in charge of signing a specific islock will also always be the same. CycleHash is the blockHash of the first block in a cycle.

By adding the cycleHash to the islock message, any node can follow the steps required to determine the appropriate quorumHash and verify the signature.

Verification of the signature

To calculate which LLMQ was responsible for the islock, the verifier should perform the following:

  1. Take the LLMQ set that corresponds to the quorum cycle defined by the cycle hash in the islock message
  2. Calculate the RequestID from data in the islock message by calculating SHA256("islock", inputCount, prevTxHash1, prevTxOut1, prevTxHash2, prevTxOut2, ...)
  3. For each LLMQ of this quorum cycle’s set, calculate SHA256(quorumType, quorumHash, requestId)
  4. Sort the list of LLMQs based on the result of step 3 in ascending order
  5. Use the first entry of the sorted list as the responsible LLMQ
  6. Create the SignID by calculating SHA256(quorumHash, requestId, txHash)
  7. Use the public key of the responsible LLMQ and verify the signature against the SignID

Nodes receiving islock messages should verify them by using the above steps. Only ISDLOCK messages with valid signatures should be propagated further using the inventory system.

The new ISDLock message

When a masternode receives a recovered signature for a signing request in the quorum where it is active, it should use the signature to create a new p2p message, which is the ISDLOCK message. To figure out the cycle hash, take the quorum hash corresponding to the LLMQ that created the recovered signature. Then find the last known block where this quorum was responsible for signing the islock message. Often this is the current block, but in rare situations it might be a prior one if quorums have just cycled. From this last known block, find the first block of that cycle. This is the last block before quorums changed for the quorum type used for islock messages.

It is possible that a quorum is active before and after quorum cycling. It is also possible that the quorum responsible for a signing request before and after cycling is the same. This could lead to the creation of two islock messages, distinct only by the fact that their cycle hash is different.

The new message has the following structure (fields in bold are not present in the previously used islock message):

Field Type Size Description
version uint8 1 The version of the islock message
inputCount compactSize uint 1 - 9 Number of inputs in the transaction
inputs COutpoint[] inputCount * 36 Inputs of the transaction. COutpoint is a uint256 (hash of previous transaction) and a uint32 (output index)
txid uint256 32 Transaction id (hash of the transaction)
cycleHash uint256 32 Block hash of first block of the cycle in which the quorum signing this islock is active
sig BLSSig 96 Recovered signature from the signing request/session

Choosing the active LLMQ to perform signing

This updated implementation uses the LLMQ_60_75 quorum created via the quorum rotation process defined in DIP-0024 as opposed to the LLMQ_50_60 quorum used by the previous iteration of InstantSend. Other than this change in quorum type, choosing the active LLMQ to perform signing is also changed as defined in DIP-0024 - Choosing the active Quorum to perform signing signing.