125 lines (88 sloc) 7.05 KB

Ethereum 2.0 Phase 1 -- Shard Data Chains

tags: spec, eth2.0, casper, sharding

NOTICE: This document is a work-in-progress for researchers and implementers. It reflects recent spec changes and takes precedence over the Python proof-of-concept implementation.


This document represents the specification for Phase 1 of Ethereum 2.0 -- Shard Data Chains. Phase 1 depends on the implementation of Phase 0 -- The Beacon Chain.

Ethereum 2.0 consists of a central beacon chain along with SHARD_COUNT shard chains. Phase 1 is primarily concerned with the construction, validity, and consensus on the data of these shard chains. Phase 1 does not specify shard chain state execution or account balances. This is left for future phases.



Phase 1 depends upon all of the constants defined in Phase 0 in addition to the following:

Constant Value Unit Approximation
CHUNK_SIZE 2**8 (= 256) bytes
SHARD_BLOCK_SIZE 2**14 (= 16384) bytes

Flags, domains, etc.

Constant Value

Data Structures

Shard chain blocks

A ShardBlock object has the following fields:

    # Slot number
    'slot': 'uint64',
    # What shard is it on
    'shard_id': 'uint64',
    # Parent block hash
    'parent_hash': 'hash32',
    # Beacon chain block
    'beacon_chain_ref': 'hash32',
    # Depth of the Merkle tree
    'data_tree_depth': 'uint8',
    # Merkle root of data
    'data_root': 'hash32'
    # State root (placeholder for now)
    'state_root': 'hash32',
    # Block signature
    'signature': ['uint384'],
    # Attestation
    'attester_bitfield': 'bytes',
    'aggregate_sig': ['uint384'],

Shard block processing

For a block on a shard to be processed by a node, the following conditions must be met:

  • The ShardBlock pointed to by parent_hash has already been processed and accepted
  • The signature for the block from the proposer (see below for definition) of that block is included along with the block in the network message object

To validate a block header on shard shard_id, compute as follows:

  • Verify that beacon_chain_ref is the hash of a block in the beacon chain with slot less than or equal to slot. Verify that beacon_chain_ref is equal to or a descendant of the beacon_chain_ref specified in the ShardBlock pointed to by parent_hash.
  • Let state be the state of the beacon chain block referred to by beacon_chain_ref. Let validators be [validators[i] for i in state.current_persistent_committees[shard_id]].
  • Assert len(attester_bitfield) == ceil_div8(len(validators))
  • Let proposer_index = hash(state.randao_mix + bytes8(shard_id) + bytes8(slot)) % len(validators). Let msg be the block but with the block.signature set to [0, 0]. Verify that BLSVerify(pub=validators[proposer_index].pubkey, msg=hash(msg), sig=block.signature, domain=get_domain(state, slot, SHARD_PROPOSER_DOMAIN)) passes.
  • Generate the group_public_key by adding the public keys of all the validators for whom the corresponding position in the bitfield is set to 1. Verify that BLSVerify(pub=group_public_key, msg=parent_hash, sig=block.aggregate_sig, domain=get_domain(state, slot, SHARD_ATTESTER_DOMAIN)) passes.

Block Merklization helper

def merkle_root(block_body):
    assert len(block_body) == SHARD_BLOCK_SIZE
    o = [0] * chunks + [block_body[i * CHUNK_SIZE: (i+1) * CHUNK_SIZE] for i in range(chunks)]
    for i in range(chunks-1, 0, -1):
        o[i] = hash(o[i*2] + o[i*2+1])
    return o[1]

Verifying shard block data

At network layer, we expect a shard block header to be broadcast along with its block_body.

  • Verify that len(block_body) == SHARD_BLOCK_SIZE
  • Verify that merkle_root(block_body) equals the data_root in the header.

Verifying a crosslink

A node should sign a crosslink only if the following conditions hold. If a node has the capability to perform the required level of verification, it should NOT follow chains on which a crosslink for which these conditions do NOT hold has been included, or a sufficient number of signatures have been included that during the next state recalculation, a crosslink will be registered.

First, the conditions must recursively apply to the crosslink referenced in last_crosslink_hash for the same shard (unless last_crosslink_hash equals zero, in which case we are at the genesis).

Second, we verify the shard_block_combined_data_root. Let h be the slot immediately after the slot of the shard block included by the last crosslink, and h+n-1 be the slot number of the block directly referenced by the current shard_block_hash. Let B[i] be the block at slot h+i in the shard chain. Let bodies[0] .... bodies[n-1] be the bodies of these blocks and roots[0] ... roots[n-1] the data roots. If there is a missing slot in the shard chain at position h+i, then bodies[i] == b'\x00' * shard_block_maxbytes(state[i]) and roots[i] be the Merkle root of the empty data. Define compute_merkle_root be a simple Merkle root calculating function that takes as input a list of objects, where the list's length must be an exact power of two. We define the function for computing the combined data root as follows:

ZERO_ROOT = merkle_root(bytes([0] * SHARD_BLOCK_SIZE))

def mk_combined_data_root(roots):
    data = roots + [ZERO_ROOT for _ in range(len(roots), next_power_of_2(len(roots)))]
    return compute_merkle_root(data)

This outputs the root of a tree of the data roots, with the data roots all adjusted to have the same height if needed. The tree can also be viewed as a tree of all of the underlying data concatenated together, appropriately padded. Here is an equivalent definition that uses bodies instead of roots [TODO: check equivalence]:

def mk_combined_data_root(depths, bodies):
    data = b''.join(bodies)
    data += bytes([0] * (next_power_of_2(len(data)) - len(data))
    return compute_merkle_root([data[pos:pos+CHUNK_SIZE] for pos in range(0, len(data), CHUNK_SIZE)])

Verify that the shard_block_combined_data_root is the output of these functions.

Shard block fork choice rule

The fork choice rule for any shard is LMD GHOST using the validators currently assigned to that shard, but instead of being rooted in the genesis it is rooted in the block referenced in the most recent accepted crosslink (ie. state.crosslinks[shard].shard_block_hash). Only blocks whose beacon_chain_ref is the block in the main beacon chain at the specified slot should be considered (if the beacon chain skips a slot, then the block at that slot is considered to be the block in the beacon chain at the highest slot lower than a slot).