This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #24

Issue #24

Issue #24

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Outpost: A Responsive Lightweight Watchtower.


  1. With a cap of 1MB on the size of each block, Bitcoin inherently limits the number of transactions that can fit into a block.

  2. Duplex Micropayment Channels and the Lightning Network propose one type of solution to the scaling problem, allowing for higher throughput without changing Bitcoin’s consensus rules. However, payments can be received safely only if the receiving node stays online.

  3. To keep channels open and be able to go offline, nodes need the services of so-called watchtowers to watch the Bitcoin blockchain and prevent fraudulent channel closures.

  4. The watchtower’s ability to perform its service depends on being able to watch the Bitcoin blockchain for a large number of transactions, which can be very expensive since they need to have access to (and possibly store) this vast set of transaction IDs (txids) and accompanying data per txid that contain information on what to do when a specific txid shows up on the blockchain.

  5. This work proposes a novel lightning channel structure that changes the commitment transactions reducing the storage overhead to 16 bytes of additional storage.

  6. Reduction in storage costs will directly translate to the reduction in the operational cost of maintaining watchtowers.

  7. Potentially, this will prompt more developers to run watchtowers, and thereby help the Lightning Network succeed.

AuthorsMajid Khabbazian*, Tejaswi Nadahalli†, and Roger Wattenhofer†,

Affiliations: * University of Alberta and † ETH Zürich.


1. Paper Title: VERISMART: A Highly Precise Safety Verifier for Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Summary: A fully automated safety analyzer for verifying Ethereum smart contracts with a particular focus on arithmetic safety.

Authors: Sunbeom So*, Myungho Lee*, Jisu Park*, Heejo Lee*, and Hakjoo Oh*,

Affiliations: * Korea University.

2. Paper Title: Immutable Log Storage as a Service.

Summary: The proposed solution uses Ethereum blockchain and prevents log tampering, ensuring transparent logging process and establishing trust between all Cloud participants.

AuthorsWilliam Pourmajidi*, Lei Zhang*, John Steinbacher†, Tony Erwin‡, and Andriy Miranskyy*,

Affiliations: * Ryerson University, † IBM Canada Lab, and ‡ IBM Watson and Cloud Platform.

3. Paper Title: On the Ethereum Blockchain Structure: a Complex Networks Theory Perspective.

Summary: An analysis of the complex network representing the Ethereum blockchain transactions to derive interesting mathematical characteristics that improve the understanding of the actual interactions happening in the blockchain.

AuthorsStefano Ferretti* and Gabriele D’Angelo*,

Affiliations: * University of Bologna.

4. Paper Title: Agent-based Simulation of Blockchains.

Summary: A novel blockchain simulator that is able to exploit Parallel And Distributed Simulation (PADS) functionalities.

AuthorsEdoardo Rosa*, Gabriele D’Angelo†, and Stefano Ferretti†,

Affiliations: * Intuity and † University of Bologna.


1. Paper Title: A Privacy-Preserving, Accountable and Spam-Resilient Geo-Marketplace.

Summary: A blockchain-based privacy-preserving, accountable and spam-resilient marketplace for geospatial data which allows owners and buyers to be matched using only encrypted location information.

AuthorsKien Nguyen*, Gabriel Ghinita*†, Muhammad Naveed*, and Cyrus Shahabi*,

Affiliations: * University of Southern California and † University of Massachusetts Boston.


1. Paper Title: A Generic Sharding Scheme for Blockchain Protocols.

Summary: This work presents a formal generic framework for sharding blockchain protocols.

Authors: Zuphit Fidelman*,

Affiliations: * Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.


No papers.

Consensus Protocols:

1. Paper Title: StairDag: Cross-DAG Validation For Scalable BFT Consensus.

Summary: A new consensus protocol for PoS DAG-based distributed systems that aims for pBFT consensus in a trustless system using asynchronous event transmission to replicate leaderless, scalable, asynchronous DAG to all participant nodes.

Authors: Quan Nguyen*, Andre Cronje*, Michael Kong*, Alex Kampa*, and George Samman*,

Affiliations* FANTOM.


1. Paper Title: Proof-of-Work Blockchain Network and Its Viability as a Payment System.

Summary: This work presents a general equilibrium model of PoW protocol based blockchain network and analyzes the sustainability and stability of the economic environment created by it.

AuthorsPing He*, Dunzhe Tang*, and Jingwen Wang*,

Affiliations: * Tsinghua University.

2. Paper Title: Blockchain-Based Corporate Governance.

Summary: On-chain DAO governance enables dynamic regulatory features that facilitate unprecedented decentralized regulatory solutions.

AuthorsWulf A. Kaal*,

Affiliations: * University of Saint Thomas.



“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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