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.”

Thanks for reading! If we missed anything, shoot us an email so that we can feature it in our next newsletter!


This newsletter is for informational purposes only. This content does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment solution or recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on zk Capital should be relied on in any manner as advice. None of the authors, contributors, or anyone else connected with zk Capital, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in this newsletter.

This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #49

Issue #49


Issue #49

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Hydra: Fast Isomorphic State Channels.

TLDR:

  1. Permissionless distributed ledger protocols suffer from serious scalability limitations, including high transaction latency (the time required to settle a transaction), low throughput (the number of transactions that can be settled per unit of time), and excessive storage required to maintain the state of the system and its transaction history, which can be ever growing.

  2. Offchain solutions have the advantage that they do not require additional trust assumptions about the honesty of parties beyond those of the underlying blockchain, and that they can be very efficient in the optimistic case where all participants in the offchain protocol instance behave as expected.

  3. As a drawback, in a traditional payment-channel network a transaction between two parties that do not share a direct payment channel requires interaction among all parties on a payment- channel path between them (so-called intermediaries), even in the optimistic case. State channels extend the concept of payment channels to states in order to support smart contracts.

  4. Multi-party state channels were introduced together with a high-level description of a respective protocol. A multi-party state channel allows a set of parties to maintain a “common” state whereon they can compute without interacting with the blockchain (in the optimistic case).

  5. Multi-party state channels introduce significant conceptual and engineering overhead beyond layer-one solutions: the contract state must be verified in a non-native representation.

  6. This work solves this problem using isomorphic multi-party state channels. These are state channels that reuse the exact state representation of the underlying ledger and, hence, inherit the ledger’s scripting system as well.

  7. A set of parties coordinates to commit a set of UTxOs (owned by the parties) into an offchain protocol, called the head protocol. That UTxO set constitutes the initial head state, which the parties can then evolve by handling smart contracts and transactions among themselves without blockchain interaction—in the optimistic case.

  8. In case of disputes or in case some party wishes to terminate the offchain protocol, the parties decommit the current state of the head back to the blockchain. Ultimately, a decommit will result in an updated blockchain state that is consistent with the offchain protocol evolution on the initially committed UTxO set.

AuthorsManuel M. T. Chakravarty*, Sandro Coretti*, Matthias Fitzi*, Peter Gazi*, Philipp Kant*, Aggelos Kiayias*†, and Alexander Russell*‡,

Affiliations: * IOHK, † University of Edinburgh, and ‡ University of Connecticut.


Security:

1. Paper Title: SmartDHX: Diffie–Hellman Key Exchange with Smart Contracts.

Summary: A blockchain-based DHKE scheme with multi-party capabilities where all cryptographic operations are implemented in a smart contract, without any client-side modifications or any additional libraries.

AuthorsRobert Muth* and Florian Tschorsch*,

Affiliations: * Technische Universitat Berlin.

2. Paper Title: Leveraging Weight Functions for Optimistic Responsiveness in Blockchains.

Summary: Can we get better guarantees for NSBs if we assign different weights to the blocks?

AuthorsSimon Holmgaard Kamp*, Bernardo Magri*, Christian Matt†, Jesper Buus Nielsen*, Søren Eller Thomsen*, and Daniel Tschudi†,

Affiliations: * Aarhus University and † Concordium.


Privacy:

1. Paper Title: A Blockchain Traceable Scheme with Oversight Function.

Summary: A blockchain traceable scheme with oversight func- tion (BTSOF) to limit the tracing right of the regulator.

AuthorsTianjun Ma*†, Haixia Xu*†, and Peili Li*†,

Affiliations: * CAS and † University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

2. Paper Title: Triptych-2: efficient proofs for confidential transactions.

Summary: This work extends Triptych to build a proving system that proves knowledge of openings of multiple commitments to zero within a single set, correct construction of a verifiable random function evaluated at each opening, and value balance across a separate list of commitments within a single proof.

AuthorsSarang Noether*,

Affiliations: * Monero Research Lab.

3. Paper Title: Soteria: A Provably Compliant User Right Manager Using a Novel Two-Layer Blockchain Technology.

Summary: A user right management system designed to safeguard user-data privacy in a transparent and provable manner in compli- ance to regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

AuthorsWei-Kang Fu‡, Yi-Shan Lin†, Giovanni Campagna*, De-Yi Tsai‡, Chun-Ting Liu†, Chung-Huan Mei†, Edward Y. Chang*† Monica S. Lam*, Shih-Wei Liao‡, 

Affiliations: * Stanford University, † HTC DeepQ, and ‡ National Taiwan University.


Scalability:

1. Paper Title: A Quantitative Analysis of Security, Anonymity and Scalability for the Lightning Network.

Summary: What is the quantitative impact of scalability, security, and privacy limitations in the current Lightning Network?

AuthorsSergei Tikhomirov*, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez†, and Matteo Maffei†,

Affiliations: * University of Luxembourg and † TU Wien.

2. Paper Title: A Flexible n/2 Adversary Node Resistant and Halting Recoverable Blockchain Sharding Protocol.

Summary: A flexible n/2 adversary node resistant blockchain protocol that can adjust the class number, shard number, and shard size based on the workload.

AuthorsYibin Xu*, Yangyu Huang†, Jianhua Shao*, George Theodorakopoulos*,

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

3. Paper Title: An n/2 Byzantine node tolerate Blockchain Sharding approach.

Summary: A new Blockchain Sharding approach that can withstand up to n/2 of malicious nodes in the system.

AuthorsYibin Xu* and Yangyu Huang†,

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

4. Paper Title: Improving Transaction Success Rate via Smart Gateway Selection in Cryptocurrency Payment Channel Networks.

Summary: A new routing approach which calculates the ratio of total inbound capacity to outbound capacity of each connected gateway and chooses the minimum among these.

AuthorsSuat Mercan*, Enes Erdin*, and Kemal Akkaya*,

Affiliations: * Florida International University.


Proofs:

No papers.


Consensus:

1. Paper Title: Optimal and Error-Free Multi-Valued Byzantine Consensus Through Parallel Execution.

Summary: The first error-free and communication-optimal Byzantine Consensus extension protocol in which each process only broadcasts a single bit with a binary Byzantine Broadcast protocol.

Authors: Andrew Loveless*, Ronald Dreslinski*, and Baris Kasikci*,

Affiliations* University of Michigan.


Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: Crypto Wash Trading.

Summary: This work examines and compares digit patterns, trade patterns and behavioral patterns between regulated exchanges (with Bitlicense and under the preview of New York State Department of Financial Services) and unregulated exchanges (that are further divided into unregulated Tier-1 and Tier-2 exchanges, with Tier-1 exchanges more reputable and better known).

AuthorsLin William Cong*, Xi Li†, Ke Tang‡, and Yang Yang‡,

Affiliations: * Cornell University, † University of Newcastle, and ‡ Tsinghua University.

2. Paper Title: Decentralized Finance (DeFi).

Summary: This paper introduces DeFi, puts DeFi in the context of the traditional financial economy, connects DeFi to Open Banking and ends with some policy considerations.

AuthorsDirk A. Zetzsche*, Douglas W. Arner†, and Ross P. Buckley‡,

Affiliations: * Universite du Luxembourg, † The University of Hong Kong, and ‡ UNSW.


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.”

Thanks for reading! If we missed anything, shoot us an email so that we can feature it in our next newsletter!


This newsletter is for informational purposes only. This content does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment solution or recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on zk Capital should be relied on in any manner as advice. None of the authors, contributors, or anyone else connected with zk Capital, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in this newsletter.

This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #48

Issue #48


Issue #48

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Toward Active and Passive Confidentiality Attacks On Cryptocurrency Off-Chain Networks.

TLDR:

  1. Current blockchain technology faces a scalab- ility challenge, supporting merely tens of transactions per second, compared to custodian payment systems which easily support thousands of transactions per second.

  2. Off-chain networks, a.k.a. payment channel networks (PCNs) or second-layer blockchain networks, have emerged as a promising solution to mitigate the blockchain scalability problem: by allowing participants to make payments directly through a network of peer-to-peer payment channels, the overhead of global consensus protocols and committing transactions on-chain can be avoided.

  3. This paper explores the question whether the inherent need for nodes to discover routes in general, and the gossip and probing mechanisms in particular, can be exploited to infer sensitive information about the off-chain network and its transactions.

  4. The paper identifies two novel threats for the confidentiality of off-chain net- works. In particular, it considers the Lightning Network as a case study and presents two attacks, an active one and a passive one.

  5. The active one is a probing attack in which the adversary wants to determine the maximum amount which can be transferred over a target channel it is directly or indirectly connected to, by active probing.

  6. The passive one is a timing attack in which the adversary discovers how close the destination of a routed payment actually is, by acting as a man-in-the middle and listening for / analyzing certain well-defined messages. 

  7. This work analyzes these attacks, identifies limitations and also proposes remediations for scenarios in which they are able to produce accurate results.

AuthorsUtz Nisslmueller*, Klaus-Tycho Foerster*, Stefan Schmid*, Christian Decker†,

Affiliations: * University of Vienna and † Blockstream.


Security:

1. Paper Title: CryptoWills: How to Bequeath Cryptoassets.

Summary: This work introduces and formally defines the problem of cryptographic wills.

Authors: Istvan Andra ́s Seres*†, Omer Shlomovits†, and Pratyush Ranjan Tiwari‡,

Affiliations: * Eotvos Lorand University, † KZen Research, and ‡ Ashoka University.

2. Paper Title: Renegotiation and recursion in Bitcoin contracts.

Summary: This work investigates linguistic primitives to renegotiate BitML contracts, and their implementation on standard Bitcoin.

AuthorsMassimo Bartoletti*, Maurizio Murgia†, and Roberto Zunino†,

Affiliations: * University of Cagliari and † University of Trento.


Privacy:

No papers.


Scalability:

1. Paper Title: Testimonium: A Cost-Efficient Blockchain Relay.

Summary: A relay scheme that is fully decentralized while being cost-efficient even for blockchains with expensive validation protocols.

AuthorsPhilipp Frauenthaler*, Marten Sigwart*, Christof Spanring†, Stefan Schulte*,

Affiliations: * TU Wien and † Pantos GmbH.

2. Paper Title: Atomic Crosschain Transactions.

Summary: Atomic Crosschain Transactions allow application devel- opers to create complex cross-blockchain applications in a straightforward manner.

AuthorsPeter Robinson*†, Raghavendra Ramesh*, John Brainard*, Sandra Johnson*‡

Affiliations: * PegaSys, † University of Queensland, and ‡ Queensland University of Technology.


Proofs:

1. Paper Title: Many-out-of-Many" Proofs with Applications to Anonymous Zether.

Summary: A construction of Anonymous Zether which improves upon the efficiency attained by existing efforts.

AuthorsBenjamin E. Diamond*,

Affiliations: * J.P. Morgan.


Consensus:

1. Paper Title: Full Analysis of Nakamoto Consensus in Bounded-Delay Networks.

Summary: The proof that Nakamoto’s protocol achieves, under suitable conditions, consistency and liveness in bounded-delay networks with adaptive (as opposed to predetermined) dynamic participation assuming, as before, that the majority of the computational power favors the honest parties.

Authors: Juan Garay* and Aggelos Kiayias†‡.

Affiliations* Texas A&M University, † University of Edinburgh, and ‡ IOHK.

2. Paper Title: Distributed Momentum for Byzantine-resilient Learning.

Summary: Is there a way to guarantee “quality gradient” at the non Byzantine workers? Addressing this question is crucial to put Byzantine-resilient gradient descent to work.

AuthorsEl-Mahdi El-Mhamdi*, Rachid Guerraoui*, and Sebastien Rouault*,

Affiliations: * EPFL.


Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: Digital Transformation in the Hedge Fund and Private Equity Industry.

Summary: This work argues that private equity and hedge funds rely on similar features of the partnership form but diverge in some important respects due to the demands made by investors. 

AuthorsOmololu Bajulaiye*, Mark Fenwick†, Ivona Skultetyova*, and Erik P.M. Vermeulen*,

Affiliations: * Tilburg University and † Kyushu University.

2. Paper Title: Technology v. Technocracy: Fintech as a Regulatory Challenge.

Summary: This article examines fintech as a systemic force disrupting the currently dominant technocratic paradigm of financial regulation.

AuthorsSaule T. Omarova*

Affiliations: * Cornell University.


Upcoming Conferences:


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.”

Thanks for reading! If we missed anything, shoot us an email so that we can feature it in our next newsletter!


This newsletter is for informational purposes only. This content does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment solution or recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on zk Capital should be relied on in any manner as advice. None of the authors, contributors, or anyone else connected with zk Capital, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in this newsletter.

This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #47

Issue #47


Issue #47

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Remote Side-Channel Attacks on Anonymous Transactions.

TLDR:

  1. For those who want transaction privacy on a public blockchain, systems like Zcash, Monero, and several others offer differing degrees of unlinkability against a party who records all the transactions in the network.

  2. Despite using advanced cryptographic primitives such as succinct zero-knowledge arguments (zkSNARKs) and ring signatures, some protocol-level attacks on transaction privacy have been found and corrected.

  3. This work looks at side-channel information that is leaked by the implementation of different components in the system to analyze privacy guarantees.

  4. It looks at timing side-channels and traffic patterns, as measured by a remote network attacker to show that, while the abstract zero-knowledge protocols used in these systems can hide information from an observer, these protocols are vulnerable to side-channel leakage. Any information leakage can invalidate the zero-knowledge property, and weaken or break the privacy guarantees of anonymous transactions.

  5. To do so, the authors take a systematic approach, looking at the life cycle of an anonymous transaction as it traverses the system. At every step, they look for side-channels and asses their impact on user privacy.

  6. In Zcash’s implementation, the time to generate a zero-knowledge proof depends on secret transaction data, and in particular on the amount of transacted funds. Hence, an adversary capable of measuring proof generation time could break transaction confidentiality, despite the proof system’s zero-knowledge property.

AuthorsFlorian Tramèr*, Dan Boneh*, and Kenneth G. Paterson†,

Affiliations: * Stanford University and † ETH Zurich.


Security:

1. Paper Title: Modeling the Impact of Network Connectivity on Consensus Security of Proof-of-Work Blockchain.

Summary: An analytical model to assess the impact of network connectivity on the consensus security of PoW blockchain under different adversary models.

Authors: Yang Xiao*, Ning Zhang†, Wenjing Lou*, and Y. Thomas Hou*,

Affiliations: * Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and † Washington University in St. Louis.

2. Paper Title: Double-Spend Counterattacks: Threat of Retaliation in Proof-of-Work Systems.

Summary: A formalized defense to double-spend attacks showing that when the victim can counterattack in the same way as the attacker, this leads to a variation on the classic game-theoretic War of Attrition model. 

AuthorsDaniel J. Moroz*, Daniel J. Aronoff†, Neha Narula†, and David C. Parkes†,

Affiliations: * Harvard University and † MIT.


Privacy:

No papers.


Scalability:

No papers.


Proofs:

No papers.


Consensus:

1. Paper Title: Pricing ASICs for Cryptocurrency Mining.

Summary: This work presents a method of ASIC valuation and shows that mining hardware can be imitated using bonds and the underlying cryptocurrencies.

Authors: Aviv Yaish* and Aviv Zohar*,

Affiliations* The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: The New ICO Intermediaries.

Summary: This article assesses the possibility of an ICO auditor, providing a framework for understanding potential audit functions.

AuthorsVanessa Villanueva Collao* and Verity Winship*

Affiliations: * University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

2. Paper Title: Blockchain Technology and Decentralized Governance: The Pitfalls of a Trustless Dream.

Summary: Despite its potential for disintermediation and decentralized cooperation, the social and political implications of blockchain technology are difficult to predict.

AuthorsPrimavera De Filippi*,

Affiliations: * Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas.

3. Paper Title: The Political Economy of Blockchain Governance.

Summary: This work investigates the ways in which the decentralized governance structure and preferences of users influence which policies are implemented, considering network effects as well as user preferences for different policies.

AuthorsBarton E. Lee*, Daniel J. Moroz, and David C. Parkes,

Affiliations: * UNSW and † Harvard University.

4. Paper Title: Blockchain and Investment: An Austrian Approach.

Summary: Using a broad Austrian economic approach, this work examines how blockchain technology will affect the cost of trust, patterns of investment, and economic institutions.

AuthorsDarcy W.E. Allen*, Chris Berg*, Sinclair Davidson*, and Jason Potts*,

Affiliations: * RMIT University.

5. Paper Title: Blockchain, Fractional Ownership, and the Future of Creative Work.

Summary: This paper, for the first time, uses archivally sourced primary market records to model returns on art and introduces a novel fractional equity structure for artists. 

AuthorsAmy Whitaker* and Roman Kräussl,

Affiliations: * New York University and † Luxembourg School of Finance.

6. Paper Title: Assessing the Viability of Blockchain to Impact the Antiquities Trade.

Summary: This essay examines whether blockchain might offer a chance for the antiquities market to remedy its persistent problems.

AuthorsDerek Fincham*

Affiliations: * South Texas College of Law Houston.


Upcoming Conferences:


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.”

Thanks for reading! If we missed anything, shoot us an email so that we can feature it in our next newsletter!


This newsletter is for informational purposes only. This content does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment solution or recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on zk Capital should be relied on in any manner as advice. None of the authors, contributors, or anyone else connected with zk Capital, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in this newsletter.

This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #46

Issue #46


Issue #46

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Bitcoin Crypto–Bounties for Quantum Capable Adversaries.

TLDR:

  1. In Bitcoin, the mechanism for ensuring ownership of funds relies on ECDSA. Bitcoin’s cryptography must be updated; in fact there are plenty post-quantum cryptographic schemes to choose from if one is willing to sacrifice speed and storage.

  2. Such a scheme will be implemented in Bitcoin at some point and the majority of users will be able to safely lock their funds with quantum resistant signatures.

  3. However, in the extreme scenario of a Quantum Computer appearing without notice, not all users would be able to benefit from this upgrade. Interestingly, the recommended practices in Bitcoin would offer some level of quantum resistance that allows re- covering funds safely, but unfortunately, many users do not follow these.

  4. This paper analyses Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for the amount of funds secured by exposed public keys; or, from the perspective of a quantum research group, the “crypto–bounty” for engineering a powerful quantum computer.

  5. It first describes the setting in which a quantum enabled adversary would operate if it were to start attacking the Bitcoin network considering developers and users take immediate measures to protect their funds and recover the network.

  6. Next, it presents two models of attackers: one that can run Shor’s algorithm virtually instantly and a slower one that might be more realistic for the first generations of attackers.

  7. The paper also describes attack vectors for maximising the crypto–bounty, i.e. the amount of funds that are impossible to recover by legitimate users in the presence of the attacker.

  8. Lastly, a study of the evolution of the crypto–bounty in Bitcoin and its most significant fork, Bitcoin Cash, is presented.

AuthorsDragos I. Ilie*, Kostis Karantias†, and William J. Knottenbelt*,

Affiliations: * Imperial College London and † IOHK.


Security:

1. Paper Title: Securing Proof-of-Work Ledgers via Checkpointing.

Summary: The first rigorous study of checkpointing as a mechanism to protect PoW ledgers from 51% attacks.

AuthorsDimitris Karakostas*† and Aggelos Kiayias*†,

Affiliations: * University of Edinburgh and † IOHK.

2. Paper Title: Fair and Decentralized Exchange of Digital Goods.

Summary: A solution to the problem of trading real-world private information using only cryptographic protocols and a public blockchain to guarantee the fairness of transactions.

AuthorsAriel Futoransky*, Carlos Sarraute†‡, Daniel Fernandez†, Matias Travizano†, and Ariel Waissbein*,

Affiliations: * Disarmista, †Wibson, and Grandata‡.

3. Paper Title: Proof of Necessary Work: Succinct State Verification with Fairness Guarantees.

Summary: A new distributed payment system which uses Incrementally Verifi- able Computation (IVC) to enable constant-time verification.

Authors: Assimakis A. Kattis* and Joseph Bonneau*,

Affiliations* NYU.

4. Paper Title: SodsBC: Stream of Distributed Secrets for Quantum-safe Blockchain.

Summary: SodsBC uses only quantum-safe cryptographic tools and copes with at most f malicious (aka Byzantine) participants, where the number of all participants n = 3f + 1.

AuthorsShlomi Dolev* and Ziyu Wang*†,

Affiliations: * Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and † Beihang University.

5. Paper Title: Characterizing EOSIO Blockchain.

Summary: A large-scale measurement study of the EOSIO blockchain and its associated DApps.

AuthorsYuheng Huang*, Haoyu Wang*, Lei Wu†, Gareth Tyson‡, Xiapu Luo§, Run Zhang*, Xuanzhe Liu✜, Gang Huang✜, and Xuxian Jiang$,

Affiliations: * Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, † Zhejiang University, ‡ Queen Mary University of London, § The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, ✜ Peking University, and $PeckShield, Inc.

6. Paper Title: On the Feasibility of Sybil Attacks in Shard-Based Permissionless Blockchains.

Summary: An analytical model to calculate the probability of successful Sybil attack to shard-based permissionless blockchains.

AuthorsTayebeh Rajab*, Mohammad Hossein Manshaei*‡, Mohammad Dakhilalian*, Murtuza Jadliwala†, and Mohammad Ashiqur Rahman‡,

Affiliations: * Isfahan University of Technology, † University of Texas at San Antonio, and ‡ Florida International University.

7. Paper Title: Congestion Attacks in Payment Channel Networks.

Summary: This paper evaluates an attack that locks funds in channels between honest participants that are potentially far away from the attacker, giving the attacker the ability to disrupt the transfer of payments throughout the network

AuthorsAyelet Mizrahi* and Aviv Zohar*,

Affiliations: * The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Privacy:

1. Paper Title: Phantom: An Efficient Privacy Protocol Using zk-SNARKs Based on Smart Contracts.

Summary: This paper presents an efficient privacy protocol using zk-SNARKs based on smart contracts.

AuthorsXing Li*, Yi Zheng†, Kunxian Xia*, Tongcheng Sun‡, and John Beyler†,

Affiliations: * Unita Technology, † Qtum Chain Foundation, and ‡ Peking University.


Scalability:

1. Paper Title: Ethna: Channel Network with Dynamic Internal Payment Splitting.

Summary: A new technique that allows the intermediaries in the network to split the payments into several sub-payments.

Authors: Stefan Dziembowski* and Paweł Kędzior*,

Affiliations: * University of Warsaw.


Proofs:

No papers.


Consensus:

1. Paper Title: Blockchain using Proof-of-Interaction.

Summary: A better alternative to PoW which requires negligible computational power.

AuthorsJean-Philippe Abegg*†, Quentin Bramas*, and Thomas Noel*

Affiliations: * University of Strasbourg and † Transchain.


Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: Reports of a Blockchain Revolution in Trade Finance Are Greatly Exaggerated.

Summary: Belief in the potential of blockchain (or “distributed ledger”) technologies to revolutionize financial markets appears in some quarters to border on religious fanaticism.

AuthorsJane K. Winn*

Affiliations: * University of Washington.

2. Paper Title: A Regulatory Framework for Cryptocurrency.

Summary: The paper examines cryptocurrency in the crypto-finance ecosystem and identifies areas in which regulatory intervention is required.

AuthorsJoseph Lee* and Florian Lheureux*,

Affiliations: * University of Exeter.


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“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.”

Thanks for reading! If we missed anything, shoot us an email so that we can feature it in our next newsletter!


This newsletter is for informational purposes only. This content does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment solution or recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on zk Capital should be relied on in any manner as advice. None of the authors, contributors, or anyone else connected with zk Capital, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in this newsletter.

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