This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #50

Issue #50


Issue #50

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Coda: Decentralized Cryptocurrency at Scale.

TLDR:

  1. Asymptotically verifying a blockchain containing 𝑡 transactions requires 𝛺(𝑡) time (usually more than linear in 𝑡 as bookkeeping is required to resolve transaction references during verification).

  2. This requirement deters most users from running a full node that stores and verifies the blockchain. Instead most users run a light node, verifying only block headers but not transactions, or an ultralight node verifying nothing and relying on trusted advice from a trusted server.

  3. This work designs a decentralized payment system that offers efficient verification of system history from genesis without relying on any external advice. It aims to provide verification time constant (𝑂(1)) in the number of transactions.

  4. This is achieved by including succinct proofs of state validity in each block. Generically, it is possible to compute a succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge (a SNARK) of any NP statement, including for example that the system stated committed to by the current block in a blockchain can be reached from a the genesis state by a series of valid transactions in the system.

  5. It also employs techniques from incrementally computable SNARKs to ensure that the cost of computing a proof for each block is proportional only to the number of transactions added since the previous block.

  6. The proposed work uses an account-based model as in Ethereum (instead of the UTXO model as in Bitcoin, wherein the current state of the blockchain is a list of all account balances rather than a list of unspent coins (UTXOs).

  7. Each block contains a commitment to this state (in a Merkle tree) and not the entire state. Therefore a full node need not store the entire state, but can verify account balances efficiently given only the state commitment in the latest block header.

  8. However, a prover in this system (roughly equivalent to a miner in Bitcoin) does needs to store the full state since it is part of the witness when proving the validity of new blocks.

  9. This work also presents the first provably-secure proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol for succinct blockchains called Ouroboros Samasika.

AuthorsJoseph Bonneau*, Izaak Meckler†, Vanishree Rao†, and Evan Shapiro†,

Affiliations: * New York University and † O(1) Labs.


Security:

1. Paper Title: BSC: A Bitcoin Smart Contract Implementation.

Summary: This work integrates the functionality of smart contracts to the Bit- coin system, giving developers the ability to build decentralized applications on Bitcoin.

AuthorsHiro Midas*,

Affiliations: * BSC.


Privacy:

1. Paper Title: An Empirical Analysis of Privacy in the Lightning Network.

Summary: This work systematically explores the three main privacy properties of the Lightning Network and shows that, at least in its existing state, each property is susceptible to attacks by nodes who are either active or passive.

Authors: George Kappos*, Haaroon Yousaf*, Ania M. Piotrowska*†, Sanket Kanjalkar3, Sergi Delgado-Segura§, Andrew Miller‡✜, and Sarah Meiklejohn*,

Affiliations: * University College London, † Nym Technologies, ‡ University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, § PISA Research, ✜ IC3.

2. Paper Title: Cryptocurrency Address Clustering and Labeling.

Summary: This work discusses methodology behind assigning attribution labels to cryptocurrency addresses.

AuthorsMengjiao Wang*, Hikaru Ichijo*, Bob Xiao*,

Affiliations: * Binance.


Scalability:

No papers.


Proofs:

No papers.


Consensus:

1. Paper Title: Permissionless Consensus in the Resource Model.

Summary: An abstraction for Proof of X called resources, inspired by how many variants are used in practice.

Authors: Benjamin Terner*

Affiliations* UC Santa Barbara.

2. Paper Title: Another Look at CBC Casper Consensus Protocol.

Summary: The analysis in this paper shows that efficiently constructive liveness concepts for CBC Casper could be obtained even in a complete asynchronous network.

AuthorsYongge Wang*,

Affiliations: * UNC Charlotte.


Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: Anchoring the Value of Cryptocurrency.

Summary: A financial model for blockchain sharding that will build an active link between the value of cryptocurrency and computation resources as well as the market and labour behaviors.

AuthorsYibin Xu*, Yangyu Huang†, and Jianhua Shao*,

Affiliations: * Cardiff University and † Guilin University of Electronic Technology.

2. Paper Title: State of Stablecoins (2019)

Summary: The report presents new insights and data on stablecoins, an innovative and rapidly evolving sector of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

AuthorsGarrick Hileman*

Affiliations: * London School of Economics.

3. Paper Title: Decentralized Governance of Blockchain Platforms.

Summary: This work draws on mechanism design theory to examine the benefits and limits of centralized and decentralized governance structures.

AuthorsYan Chen*, Igor Pereira†, and Pankaj C. Patel‡,

Affiliations: * Stevens Institute of Technology, † Florida State University, and ‡ Villanova University.

4. Paper Title: Knowing Your Customer: Empirical Implications for Raising Capital through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Summary: The paper concludes that introducing a KYC requirement crowds out anonymous (presumably delinquent) investors at the cost of the raised capital.

AuthorsGalia Kondova* and Purushoththaman Shanmuganathan*,

Affiliations: * School of Business FHNW.


Conferences & CFPs:


Past Conferences’ Videos:


Jobs:


RFPs:


“Significant research in the blockchain space is constantly being achieved by academic researchers. Unfortunately, a lot of this research is overlooked due to the massive numbers of papers being generated and the way they are being promoted and published. We’ve put together a categorized list of academic papers that can guide our subscribers and keep them up to date.”

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