This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #98

Issue #98

Issue #98

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Snarky Ceremonies.


  1. Succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (SNARKs) have found numerous applications in the blockchain setting and elsewhere.

  2. The most efficient SNARKs require a distributed ceremony protocol to generate public parameters, also known as a structured reference string (SRS).

  3. This work gives a security framework for non-interactive zero-knowledge arguments with a ceremony protocol.

  4. It revisits the ceremony protocol of Groth’s SNARK, showing that the original construction can be simplified and optimized, and then proves its security in the proposed framework.

  5. Importantly, the construction avoids the random beacon model used in the original work.

AuthorsMarkulf Kohlweiss*†, Mary Maller‡, Janno Siim§, Mikhail Volkhov†,

Affiliations: * IOHK, † University of Edinburgh, ‡ Ethereum Foundation, § University of Tartu.


1. Paper Title: Redactable Blockchain Protocol with Instant Redaction.

Summary: A generic approach of designing redactable blockchain protocol in the permissionless setting with instant redaction.

Authors: Jing Xu*, Xinyu Li*, Lingyuan Yin*, Yuan Lu*, Qiang Tang†, and Zhenfeng Zhang*,

Affiliations* Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences and † The University of Sydney.


1. Paper Title: The Nym Network The Next Generation of Privacy Infrastructure.

Summary: The core component of Nym is a mixnet that protects network traffic metadata for applications, providing communication privacy superior to both VPNs and Tor against global adversaries that can watch the entire internet.

AuthorsClaudia Diaz*†, Harry Halpin†, and Aggelos Kiayias‡§,

Affiliations: * KU Leuven, † Nym Technologies SA, and ‡ University of Edinburgh, and § IOHK.

2. Paper Title: SoK: Auditability and Accountability in Distributed Payment Systems.

Summary: This paper reviews a number of existing proposals for distributed payment systems that offer some form of auditability for reg- ulators.

Authors: Panagiotis Chatzigiannis*, Foteini Baldimtsi*, and Konstantinos Chalkias

Affiliations* George Mason University and † Novi Financial / Facebook Research.

3. Paper Title: WabiSabi: Centrally Coordinated CoinJoins with Variable Amounts.

Summary: A new protocol for centrally coordinated CoinJoin implementations utilizing keyed verification anonymous credentials and homomorphic value commitments.

AuthorsÁdám Ficsór*, Yuval Kogman*, Lucas Ontivero*, and István András Seres†,

Affiliations: * zkSNACKs and † Eötvös Loránd University.


1. Paper Title: GearBox: An Efficient UC Sharded Ledger Leveraging the Safety-Liveness Dichotomy.

Summary: A novel sharding approach that leverages the safety-liveness dichotomy to get the smallest possible shards, and therefore optimal efficiency, without sacrificing security.

Authors: Bernardo David*, Bernardo Magri†, Christian Matt‡, Jesper Buus Nielsen†, and Daniel Tschudi‡,

Affiliations* ITU Copenhagen, † Concordium Blockchain Research Center, Aarhus University, and ‡ Concordium, Zürich.

2. Paper Title: Scaling Distributed Ledgers and Privacy-Preserving Applications.

Summary: Techniques aiming to make blockchain technologies and smart contract platforms practical by improving their scalability, latency, and privacy.

AuthorsAlberto Sonnino*,

Affiliations: * University College London.


1. Paper Title: On Publicly-Accountable Zero-Knowledge and Small Shuffle Arguments.

Summary: This work constructs interactive, public-coin, zero-knowledge arguments with noticeable soundness error for proving that a target vector of commitments is a pseudorandom permutation of a source vector.

Authors: Nils Fleischhacker* and Mark Simkin

Affiliations* Ruhr University Bochum and † Aarhus University.

2. Paper Title: Compact Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Threshold ECDSA with Trustless Setup.

Summary: Compact zero-knowledge proofs for threshold ECDSA to lower the communication bandwidth, as well as the computation cost. 

AuthorsTsz Hon Yuen*, Handong Cui*, and Xiang Xie†,

Affiliations: * The University of Hong Kong and † MatrixElements Technologies.


1. Paper Title: YOSO: You Only Speak Once Secure MPC with Stateless Ephemeral Roles.

Summary: A formal model for defining and studying protocols which in particular codifies the separation between role-assignment and protocol execution and codifies the notion of only speaking once.

Authors: Craig Gentry*, Shai Halevi*, Hugo Krawczyk*, Bernardo Magri†, Jesper Buus Nielsen†, Tal Rabin*, and Sophia Yakoubov‡,

Affiliations* Algorand Foundation, † Concordium Blockchain Research Center, and ‡ Aarhus University.


1. Paper Title: Formal Analysis of Composable DeFi Protocols.

Summary: A formal process-algebraic technique that models DeFi protocols in a compositional manner to allow for efficient property verification.

AuthorsPalina Tolmach*†, Yi Li†, Shang-Wei Lin†, and Yang Liu†,

Affiliations: * Institute of High Performance Computing, Agency for Science, Technology and Research and † Nanyang Technological University.

2. Paper Title: Reducing the Volatility of Cryptocurrencies -- A Survey of Stablecoins.

Summary: How stablecoins help reduce the volatility of cryptocurrencies by surveying different types of stablecoins and their stability mechanisms.

AuthorsAyten Kahya*, Bhaskar Krishnamachari*, and Seokgu Yun†

Affiliations: * University of Southern California and † SovereignWallet Network Pte. Ltd.

3. Paper Title: Economic Implications of Scaling Blockchains: Why the Consensus Protocol Matters.

Summary: An economic model whereby agents can store wealth through the blockchain’s cryptocurrency but may face a costly delay when liquidating due to the blockchain’s finite transaction rate.

AuthorsKose John*, Thomas Rivera†, and􏰀 Fahad Saleh􏰁‡,

Affiliations: * NYU, † McGill University, and ‡ Wake Forest University.

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