This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #19

Issue #19

Issue #19

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Map-Z: Exposing the Zcash Network in Times of Transition.


  1. To date, most research on Zcash concentrates on anonymity and security aspects of the ledger by employing zero-knowledge proofs, however, the Zcash peer-to-peer network has not yet been considered in prior investigations.

  2. Revealing the network topology may render even the best privacy-preserving cryptographic primitives ineffective, if it is possible to link transactions and blocks to specific peers.

  3. This paper provides the first longitudinal measurement study of the Zcash peer-to-peer network and presents a model for topology inference.

  4. The study exposes information about Zcash nodes and their connectivity through observing the its peer-to-peer network from a vantage point over a period of four month (July to October 2018), covering multiple major client and protocol updates.

  5. The empirical data was used to conduct a global analysis of the Zcash network, capture key metrics such as network size, block propagation behavior and timing, mining power distribution, and node churn.

  6. This work also develops a passive topology inference method which exploits the block relay mechanism.

  7. Moreover, this method is tested in a series of real-world experiments with two Zcash network nodes showing a precision of 50% and a recall of 82%, proving its applicability in a real-world setting.

AuthorsErik Daniel*, Elias Rohrer*, Florian Tschorsch*,

Affiliations: * Technical University of Berlin.


1. Paper Title: Greedy but Cautious: Conditions for Miner Convergence to Resource Allocation Equilibrium.

Summary: This work shows that there exists a resource allocation equilibrium between any two blockchains, which is essentially driven by the fiat value of reward that each chain offers in return for providing security.

AuthorsGeorge Bissias*, Brian N. Levine*, and David Thibodeau†,

Affiliations: * UMass Amherst and † Florida Department of Corrections.


1. Paper Title: ZKlaims: Privacy-preserving Attribute-based Credentials using Non-interactive Zero-knowledge Techniques.

Summary: A design and implementation for non-interactive, privacy-preserving credentials through the use of zero-knowledge proofs.

AuthorsMartin Schanzenbach*, Thomas Kilian*, Julian Schütte*, and Christian Banse*,

Affiliations: * Fraunhofer AISEC.


1. Paper Title: The Operational Cost of Ethereum Airdrops.

Summary: This work compares the efficiency of bulk transfer approaches on the Ethereum platform, a general problem that became particularly relevant with the uptake of token airdrops.

AuthorsMichael Fröwis* and Rainer Böhme*,

Affiliations: * Universität Innsbruck.


No Papers.

Consensus Protocols:

1. Paper Title: Another Look at Byzantine Fault Tolerance.

Summary: If there does not exist a reliable broadcast channel, it may be possible to launch an attack on PBFT and an attack on HotStuff so that participants would never reach an agreement on a proposal.

Authors: Yongge Wang*,

Affiliations* UNC Charlotte.

2. Paper Title: On the Round Complexity of Randomized Byzantine Agreement.

Summary: This work presents three lower bounds on the halting probability of randomized BA protocols.

AuthorsRan Cohen*†, Iftach Haitner‡, Nikolaos Makriyannis§, Matan Orland‡, Alex Samorodnitsky✜,

Affiliations: * Boston University, † Northeastern University, ‡ Tel Aviv University, § Technion, and ✜ The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

3. Paper Title: Protocol for Asynchronous, Reliable, Secure and Efficient Consensus (PARSEC) Version 2.0.

Summary: This work proposes an asynchronous BFT protocol which is resilient to 1/3 byzantine nodes.

Authors: Pierre Chevalier*, Bartłomiej Kamiński*, Fraser Hutchison*, Qi Maa, Spandan Sharma*, Andreas Fackler*†, William J Buchanan‡,

Affiliations: * MaidSafe Ltd., † POA Networks Ltd., and Edinburgh Napier University ‡.


1. Paper Title: Towards an Ontology-Driven Blockchain Design for Supply Chain Provenance.

Summary: This paper addresses the question of why ontologies can contribute to blockchain design.

AuthorsHenry Kim* and Marek Laskowski*,

Affiliations: * York University.

2. Paper Title: How Indigenous Entrepreneurs Can Use Trustless Technology to Rebuild Trust: A Case for Business Process Transformation in Natural Resources Development Using Blockchain.

Summary: This paper posits that those business processes that require participation by Indigenous communities, Natural Resources companies, and different levels of governments who lack trust in each other can be performed more effectively using blockchain technologies.

AuthorsUshnish Sengupta* and Henry Kim†,

Affiliations: * University of Toronto and † York University.

3. Paper Title: Financial Contracting with the Crowd.

Summary: This Article concludes that Congress, the SEC, and the states can couple the traditional VC model with the innovations ICOs offer to think creatively about contractual mechanisms that can create a viable future for equity crowdfunding.

AuthorsUsha Rodrigues*,

Affiliations: * University of Georgia.

4. Paper Title: Is Blockchain the Next Step in the Evolution Chain of [Market] Intermediaries?

Summary: This work delves into this broker-less claim and analyze whether the blockchain needs an intermediary to allow for widespread access to its functionality and whether the blockchain itself is an intermediary.

AuthorsMarcela Gomez*, Pedro Bustamante*, Martin B. H. Weiss*, Ilia Murtazashvili*, Michael J. Madison*, Wilson Law†, Tymofiy Mylovanov*, Herminio Bodon*, and Prashabnt Krishnamurthy*.

Affiliations: * University of Pittsburgh and † Baylor University.



“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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