Secure Proof of Stake Protocol

38 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2018 Last revised: 6 Aug 2019

See all articles by Craig Calcaterra

Craig Calcaterra

Department of Mathematics, Metropolitan State University

Wulf A. Kaal

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota - School of Law

Date Written: January 18, 2018


The Secure Proof of Stake protocol (SPoS) uses a reputation-verification platform to solve the centralization, efficiency, and security problems that afflict existing blockchain consensus protocols. At heart, a secure proof of stake protocol follows naturally from a secure decentralized autonomous system for validating the reputation of anonymous users. SPoS has several advantageous features over previous PoS protocols. SPoS enables on-chain governance to decide issues such as standards for block creation, policing, and scaling. All protocol upgrades are handled swiftly, decisively, openly, and stably, through the weighted democracy of reputation-staked decision making. Because nodes no longer hash mine but rather check the validity of blocks and vote, SPoS is more efficient than proof-of-work consensus. This paper explains the SPoS protocol and how it maintains decentralization, efficiency, liveness, swift finality, and anonymity, while addressing the security issues of Byzantine faults, the various 51% attacks, stake grinding, the tragedy of the commons, DoS attacks, censorship, liveness faults, Sybil attacks, tyranny of the majority, and soft protocol upgrades.

Keywords: Reputation Verification, Proof of Stake Protocol, Decentralization, Efficiency, Liveness, Swift Finality, Anonymity, Security, Byzantine Faults, 51% Attacks, Stake Grinding, Tragedy of the Commons, DoS Attacks, Censorship, Liveness Faults, Sybil Attacks

JEL Classification: K20, K23, K32, L43, L5, O31, O32

Suggested Citation

Calcaterra, Craig and Kaal, Wulf A., Secure Proof of Stake Protocol (January 18, 2018). U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-10. Available at SSRN: or

Craig Calcaterra

Department of Mathematics, Metropolitan State University ( email )

700 East Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN 55106
United States

Wulf A. Kaal (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota - School of Law ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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