This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #57

Issue #57

Issue #57

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: HyperService: Interoperability and Programmability Across Heterogeneous Blockchains.


  1. In today’s blockchain ecosystem, we see many distinct blockchains, falling roughly into the categories of public, private, and consortium blockchains. In a world deluged with isolated blockchains, interoperability is power.

  2. Since smart contracts executing on blockchains have transformed blockchains from append-only distributed ledgers into programmable state machines, token exchange is not the complete scope of blockchain interoperability. Instead, blockchain interoperability is complete only with programmability, allowing developers to write decentralized applications executable across those disconnected state machines.

  3. This work recognizes at least two categories of challenges for simultaneously delivering programmability and interoperability. First, the programming model of cross-chain decentralized applications (or dApps) is unclear. Second, existing token-exchange oriented interoperability protocols, such as atomic cross-chain swaps (ACCS) , are not generic enough to realize cross-chain dApps.

  4. To meet these challenges, this work proposes the first platform for building and executing dApps across heterogeneous blockchains.

  5. The proposed work is powered by two innovative designs: a developer-facing programming framework for writing cross-chain dApps, and a blockchain-facing cryptography protocol to securely realize those dApps on blockchains.

  6. Within this programming framework, a blockchain-neutral and extensible model is proposed to describe cross-chain dApps, and a high-level programming language to write cross-chain dApps under the proposed programming model.

  7. Universal inter-blockchain (UIP) protocol is the cryptography protocol that handles the complexity of cross-chain execution.

  8. A prototype is implemented in approximately 35,000 lines of code and evaluated with three categories of cross-chain dApps. The experiments show that the end-to-end dApp execution latency imposed by the proposed work is in the order of seconds.

AuthorsZhuotao Liu*†, Yangxi Xiang‡, Jian Shi, Peng Gao✜, Haoyu Wang‡, Xusheng Xiao†§, Bihan Wen#, and Yih-Chun Hu*†,

Affiliations: * University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, † HyperService Consortium, ‡ Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, § Case Western Reserve University, ✜ University of California, Berkeley, and # Nanyang Technological University.


1. Paper Title: HACL×N: Verified Generic SIMD Crypto (for all your favorite platforms).

Summary: How to write and verify generic crypto code in the F* programming language that exploits single-instruction multiple data (SIMD) parallelism.

Authors: Marina Polubelova*, Karthikeyan Bhargavan*, Jonathan Protzenko†, Benjamin Beurdouche*‡, Aymeric Fromherz§, Natalia Kulatova*, and Santiago Zanella-Béguelin†,

Affiliations* Inria, † Microsoft Research, ‡ Mozilla, and § Carnegie Mellon University.

2. Paper Title: Towards Interpreting Smart Contract against Contract Fraud: A Practical and Automatic Realization.

Summary: An approach to enable people without computer background to understand and operate Ethereum smart contracts.

Authors: Ming Li*, Anjia Yang*, and Xinkai Chen*,

Affiliations* Jinan University.


1. Paper Title: Kachina Foundations of Private Smart Contracts.

Summary: Contracts with privacy guarantees, which can be implemented without additional trust assumptions beyond what is assumed for Nakamoto consensus and the existence of a securely generated common reference string.

Authors: Thomas Kerber, Aggelos Kiayias, and Markulf Kohlweiss,

Affiliations* The University of Edinburgh and † IOHK.

2. Paper Title: Blockchain Stealth Address Schemes.

Summary: This paper introduces an improved stealth address scheme which has an underlying address data of (Ai,Bi,i), where 𝑖 is a child number and i ∈ [0,2^{31}−1].

Authors: Gary Yu*,

Affiliations* Grin & Gotts.

3. Paper Title: ZeroJoin: Combining ZeroCoin and CoinJoin.

Summary: A practical privacy-enhancing protocol for blockchain transactions.

Authors: Alexander Chepurnoy*†, and Amitabh Saxena*,

Affiliations* Ergo Platform and † IOHK.


1. Paper Title: Bitcoin-Compatible Virtual Channels.

Summary: The first virtual channel protocols that are built on the UTXO-model and require a script language supporting only a digital signature scheme and a timelock functionality, being thus backwards compatible with virtually every cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin.

Authors: Lukas Aumayr*, Oguzhan Ersoy†, Andreas Erwig‡, Sebastian Faust‡, Kristina Hostáková‡, Matteo Maffei*, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez*, and Siavash Riahi‡,

Affiliations* TU Wien, † TU Delft, and ‡ TU Darmstadt.

2. Paper Title: Splitting Payments Locally While Routing Interdimensionally.

Summary: This paper presents a protocol for locally splitting payments in a PCN that guarantees termination, atomicity, balance neurality, bounded loss for the sender, correctness, and optionally unlinkability.

Authors: Lisa Eckey*, Sebastian Faust*, Kristina Hostáková*, and Stefanie Roos†.

Affiliations* TU Darmstadt and † TU Delft.

3. Paper Title: TxChain: Efficient Cryptocurrency Light Clients via Contingent Transaction Aggregation.

Summary: A novel mechanism to maintain efficiency of light clients even under high transaction volumes.

Authors: Alexei Zamyatin*‡, Zeta Avarikioti†, Daniel Perez*‡, and William J. Knottenbelt*,

Affiliations* Imperial College London, † ETH Zurich, and ‡

4. Paper Title: CryptoMaze: Atomic Off-Chain Payments in Payment Channel Network.

Summary: A novel privacy-preserving, off-chain payment protocol for Payment Channel Network, guaranteeing atomicity.

Authors: Subhra Mazumdar* and Sushmita Ruj

Affiliations* Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata and † Data61.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Tree-Chain: A Fast Lightweight Consensus Algorithm for IoT Applications.

Summary: A consensus algorithm that does not demand the validators to solve any puzzle or provide proof of x before storing a new block.

Authors: Ali Dorri* and Raja Jurdak*,

Affiliations* Queensland University of Technology.


1. Paper Title: Smart Contracts on the Blockchain – A Bibliometric Analysis and Review.

Summary: This paper analyzes 468 peer-reviewed articles on the topic of smart contracts and their 20,188 references, providing a summary and analysis of the current state of research on smart contracts. 

AuthorsLennart Ante*

Affiliations: * University of Hamburg.

2. Paper Title: Do Cryptocurrencies Have Fundamental Values?

Summary: This paper studies the role of technological fundamentals in Initial Coin Offering (ICO) successes and valuations.

AuthorsYukun Liu*, Jinfei Sheng†, and Wanyi Wang†,

Affiliations: * University of Rochester and † University of California, Irvine.

3. Paper Title: A Model of the Optimal Selection of Crypto Assets.

Summary: A modelling framework for the optimal selection of crypto assets. 

AuthorsSilvia Bartolucci* and Andrei A. Kirilenko,

Affiliations: * Imperial College Business School and † University of Cambridge.

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