This Month in Blockchain Research Issue #1

Issue #1

Welcome to zk Capital’s Newsletter!

“Significant advancements and innovations in the blockchain space are constantly being achieved by academic researchers. We are committed to helping share and spread this research. In our newsletter, we aim to provide a list of publications that will help guide the community with the latest research in the blockchain space.

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. To tackle this issue, we’ve put together a categorized list of academic papers that can guide our subscribers and keep them up to date.”


Issue #1 (December+January)

This Month in Security:

  1. Paper Title: Uncle Traps: Harvesting Rewards in a Queue-based Ethereum Mining Pool.

Summary: This paper reconstructs a Sybil attack exploiting the uncle block distribution policy in queued-based mining pools then proposes mitigation for the attack.

Authors: Sam M. Werner∗, Paul J. Pritz∗, Alexei Zamyatin∗, William J. Knottenbelt∗,

Affiliations: ∗ Imperial College London.

  1. Paper Title: Minimizing Trust in Hardware Wallets with Two Factor Signatures.

Summary: This paper presents two-factor signatures (2FS), a generalization of a two-out-of-two threshold signature scheme in which one of the parties is a hardware token which can store a high-entropy secret, and the other party is a human who knows a low-entropy password.

Authors: Antonio Marcedone∗, Rafael Pass∗ and Abhi shelat†,

Affiliations: ∗ Cornell Tech, † Northeastern University.

  1. Paper Title: Sereum: Protecting Existing Smart Contracts Against Re-Entrancy Attacks.

Summary: This paper presents the design and implementation of a novel smart contract security technology which is able to protect existing, deployed contracts against re-entrancy attacks in a backward compatible way by performing run-time monitoring of smart contract execution with negligible overhead.

Authors: Michael Rodler∗, Wenting Li†, Ghassan O. Karame†, Lucas Davi∗,

Affiliations: ∗ University of Duisburg-Essen, † NEC Laboratories Europe.

  1. Paper Title: An Air-Gapped 2-Factor Authentication for Smart-Contract Wallets.

Summary: This paper presents a smart-contract cryptocurrency wallet framework that gives a flexible, usable, and secure way of managing crypto-tokens in a self-sovereign fashion.

Authors: Ivan Homoliak∗‡, Dominik Breitenbacher†, Alexander Binder†, Pawel Szalachowski†,

Affiliations: ∗ STE-SUTD Cyber Security Laboratory, † Singapore University of Technology and Design, ‡ Brno University of Technology.

  1. Paper Title: Uncontrolled Randomness in Blockchains: Covert Bulletin Board for Illicit Activities.

Summary: This paper discusses the severity of using blockchains as uncensored decentralized networks for arbitrary data distribution poses a serious regulatory issue by demonstrating a new technique that can be exploited to use the blockchain as a covert bulletin board to secretly store and distribute objectionable content.

Authors: Nasser Alsalami∗ and Bingsheng Zhang∗,

Affiliations: ∗ Lancaster University, UK.

  1. Paper Title: Interacting with the Internet of Things using Smart Contracts and Blockchain Technologies.

Summary: This paper presents a smart contract-based solution that allows end-users to securely interact with smart devices.

Authors: Nikos Fotiou∗, Vasilios A. Siris∗, and George C. Polyzos∗,

Affiliations: Athens University of Economics and Business.

  1. Paper Title: Smart Contracts for Multiagent Plan Execution in Untrusted Cyber-physical Systems.

Summary: This paper proposes a multi-agent plan execution framework based upon Smart contracts on blockchains.

Authors: Anshu Shukla∗, Swarup Kumar Mohalik∗, Ramamurthy Badrinath∗,

Affiliations: Ericsson Research, Bangalore, India


This Month in Privacy:

  1. Paper Title: An Empirical Analysis of Monero Cross-Chain Traceability.

Summary: This paper formalizes a new method for tracing Monero transactions, which is based on analyzing currency hard forks.

Authors: Abraham Hinteregger∗† and Bernhard Haslhofer∗,

Affiliations: Austrian Institute of Technology, † Vienna University of Technology.

  1. Paper Title: Senopra: Reconciling Data Privacy and Utility via Attested Smart Contract Execution.

Summary: This paper proposes a privacy-preserving data management framework that the data owners to specify a fine-grained access policy governing how the captured data are accessed.

Authors: Dat Le Tien∗ and Frank Eliassen∗,

Affiliations: ∗ University of Oslo.

  1. Paper Title: BlAnC: Blockchain-based Anonymous and Decentralized Credit Networks.

Summary: This paper presents a fully decentralized blockchain-based credit network that aims to provide privacy, on-demand routing, and concurrent transactions.

Authors: Gaurav Panwar∗, Satyajayant Misra∗ and Roopa Vishwanathan∗,

Affiliations: ∗ New Mexico State University.

  1. Paper Title: Wibson: A Decentralized Data Marketplace.

Summary: This paper presents a blockchain-based, decentralized data marketplace for individuals to securely and anonymously sell information in a trusted environment.

Authors: Matias Travizano∗, Carlos Sarraute∗, Gustavo Ajzenman∗, Martin Minnoni∗,

Affiliations: wibson.

  1. Paper Title: ZeroCT: Improving ZeroCoin with Confidential Transactions and more.

Summary: This paper proposes a combination of the virtues of Zerocoin with those of the Confidential Transactions offering fully-featured anonymous transactions between individuals with private amounts.

Authors: Alex Vazquez∗,

Affiliations:NavCoin.

  1. Paper Title: A Secure and Efficient Direct Power Load Control Framework Based on Blockchain

Summary: This paper proposes a blockchain-based framework to increase the security and privacy of Direct Load Control (DLC). It also proposes a hash-based transaction generation method to reduce the associated overhead for data dissemination.

Authors: Ali Dorri∗†‡, Fengji Luo§, Salil S Kanhere∗, Raja Jurdak†‡, Zhao Yang Dong†,

Affiliations: UNSW, † DATA61, ‡ CSIRO, § University of Sydney.

  1. Paper Title: Peer-to-Peer Energy Trade: A Distributed Private Energy Trading Platform

Summary: This paper presents a proof-of-concept implementation of Secure Private Blockchain-based (SPB) on the Ethereum private network to demonstrates its applicability for energy trading.

Authors: Ali Dorri∗†‡, Ambrose Hill∗, Salil S Kanhere∗, Raja Jurdak†‡, Fengji Luo§, Zhao Yang Dong†,

Affiliations: UNSW, † DATA61, ‡ CSIRO, § University of Sydney.


This Month in Scalability:

  1. Paper Title: AME Blockchain: An Architecture Design for Closed-Loop Fluid Economy Token System.

Summary: The paper presents a blockchain that aims to increase the transaction throughput by adopting various optimizations in network transport and storage layers, and to enhance smart contracts with AI algorithm support.

Authors: Lanny Z.N. Yuan, Huaibing Jian, Peng Liu, Pengxin Zhu, ShanYang Fu,

Affiliations: undisclosed.

  1. Paper Title: Fission: A Provably Fast, Scalable, and Secure Permissionless Blockchain.

Summary: This paper presents a new permissionless blockchain that achieves scalability in both terms of system throughput and transaction confirmation time, while at the same time, retaining blockchain’s core values of equality and decentralization.

Authors: Ke Liang∗,

Affiliations: ∗ The Fission Project.

  1. Paper Title: Bitcoin Payment-channels for Resource Limited IoT Devices.

Summary: This paper proposes a bidirectional payment channel framework for IoT devices that are unable to maintain a full copy of the bitcoin blockchain in memory.

Authors: Christopher Hanno∗, Dong Jin∗,

Affiliations: ∗ Illinois Institute of Technology.

  1. Paper Title: CLoTH: a Simulator for HTLC Payment Networks.

Summary: This paper presents a simulator for Hashed Timelock Contract (HTLC) payment networks such as the Lighting Network (LN).

Authors: Marco Conoscenti∗, Antonio Vetrò∗, Juan Carlos De Martin∗, Federico Spini†, Fabio Castaldo†, Sebastiano Scròfina†,

Affiliations: ∗ Nexa Center for Internet & Society, † Fulgur Lab.

  1. Paper Title: RepChain: A Reputation based Secure, Fast and High Incentive Blockchain System via Sharding.

Summary: This paper proposes a reputation-based secure, high incentive and fast blockchain system via sharding.

Authors: Chenyu Huang∗†, Zeyu Wang∗†, Huangxun Chen∗, Qiwei Hu‡, Qian Zhang∗, Wei Wang‡, Xia Guan§,

Affiliations: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, ‡Huazhong University of Science and Technology, § Oasis Future (Shenzhen) Holdings, † Co-primary Authors.


This Month in Proofs:

  1. Paper Title: Batching Techniques for Accumulators with Applications to IOPs and Stateless Blockchains.

Summary: This paper provides several batching and aggregation techniques for accumulators and vector commitments. These techniques have applications to a new blockchain design where users provide correctness proofs for their transactions and verifiers are not required to store any state.

Authors: Dan Boneh∗, Benedikt Bünz∗ and Ben Fisch∗,

Affiliations: Stanford University.

  1. Paper Title: Publicly Verifiable Proofs from Blockchains.

Summary: This paper presents publicly verifiable witness-indistinguishable proof systems from any Σ-protocol, based only on the existence of a very generic blockchain.

Authors: Alessandra Scafuro∗, Luisa Siniscalchi† and Ivan Visconti†,

Affiliations: NCSU, † University of Salerno.


This Month in Consensus Protocols:

  1. Paper Title: Blockchain-based P2P File Sharing Incentive.

Summary: This paper proposes a blockchain-based file sharing incentive mechanism leveraged by cryptocurrency and smart contracts.

Authors: Qingzhao Zhang∗, Yijun Leng∗ , and Lei Fan∗,

Affiliations: Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

  1. Paper Title: Proof-of-Stake Protocols for Privacy-Aware Blockchains.

Summary: This paper studies the feasibility of private PoS protocols while proposing their own version.

Authors: Chaya Ganesh∗, Claudio Orlandi∗ and Daniel Tschudi∗†,

Affiliations: Aarhus University, † Concordium.

  1. Paper Title: Proof-of-Stake Sidechains.

Summary: This paper presents the first formal definition of what a sidechain system is and how assets can be moved between side chains securely. It also provides provide a sidechain construction that is suitable for proof-of-stake (PoS) sidechain systems.

Authors: Peter Gaži∗, Aggelos Kiayias∗† and Dionysis Zindros∗‡

Affiliations: IOHK, † University of Edinburgh, ‡ National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.


This Month in Interoperability:

  1. Paper Title: Atomic Appends: Selling Cars and Coordinating Armies with Multiple Distributed Ledgers.

Summary: This paper proposes an implementation of an intermediary over a specialized blockchain and presents how this can be used to solve the atomic appends problem even in an asynchronous, client competitive environment, where all the clients may crash.

Authors: Antonio Fernandez Anta∗, Chryssis Georgiou †, Nicolas Nicolaou‡,

Affiliations: ∗ IMDEA Networks Institute, † Department of CS at University of Cyprus, ‡ KIOS Research and Innovation CoE.


This Month in Verification:

  1. Paper Title: Formal Specification and Verification of Smart Contracts for Azure Blockchain

Summary: This paper describes the formal verification of Smart Contracts offered as part of the Azure Blockchain Content and Samples on github. It also describes a new program verifier VeriSol for Solidity based on a translation to Boogie and leveraging the Boogie verification toolchain.

Authors: Shuvendu K. Lahiri∗, Shuo Chen∗, Yuepeng Wang†, Isil Dillig†,

Affiliations: Microsoft Research, † University of Texas, Austin.

  1. Paper Title: ARPA Whitepaper.

Summary: This paper proposes a blockchain-based secure computation network of Multi-party Computation (MPC).

Authors: Derek Zhang∗, Alex Su∗, Felix Xu∗, Jiang Chen∗,

Affiliations: Arpachain.

  1. Paper Title: Secure and Efficiently Searchable IoT Communication Data Management Model: Using Blockchain as a new tool.

Summary: This paper proposes a new key information storage framework based on a small distributed database generated by blockchain technology and cloud storage.

Authors: Ziqing Guo∗, Hua Zhang∗, Zhengping Jin∗, and Qiaoyan Wen∗,

Affiliations: Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.


This Month in Tokenomics:

  1. Paper Title: AStERISK: Auction-based Shared Economy ResolutIon System for blocKchain.

Summary: This paper presents a system that can perform sealed-bid auctions on blockchains, automatically determine the most optimal price for services, and assign clients to the most suitable workers.

Authors: Alberto Sonnino∗, Michał Krol∗, Argyrios G. Tasiopoulos∗, Ioannis Psaras∗,

Affiliations: University College London.


This Month in Hardware:

No papers


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