This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #42

Issue #42

Issue #42

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Evolution of Ethereum: A Temporal Graph Perspective.


  1. It remains mysterious what the transaction pattern of Ethereum is and how it evolves over time.

  2. This work develops a data analytics platform that parses archive node blocks to extract Ethereum external transactions, modifies client program to record internal transactions initiated by smart contracts, and crawls Etherscan as well as web forums. The transactions collected starts from July 30th (the birth date of Ethereum) to Feb 9th, 2019.

  3. Next, it constructs three graphs, namely user-to-user graph (UUG), contract-to- contract graph (CCG) and user-contract graph (UCG). UUG characterizes the trading relationship among externally owned accounts (EoA), CCG captures the complex function invoca- tions among smart contracts, and UCG is a bipartite graph capturing the transactions between EoAs and smart contracts.

  4. Results show that the size of UUG, the total number and the total value of transactions in UUG experience three stages that are consistent with the dynamics of Ether price. The average number and the average value of transactions in each node and each edge decreases over time, which shows little evidence that this trend is Ether price-related.

  5. The global clustering coefficient of UUG is very small and it decreases over time. The correlation between Ether price and the local graph structure such as the proportion of closed triplets and the average closure time is not observed.

  6. For most of nodes, their transactions are concentrated on a short duration of their active periods. The inter-transaction time intervals varies considerably, exhibiting a certain degree of burstiness.

  7. The distribution of degree, transaction and wealth of nodes are always unfair since the genesis of Ethereum.

  8. The development of smart contracts can be also divided into three stages. In most of time windows, the number of smart contracts created by EOAs is of the same magnitude as that created by other contracts, and the smart contracts are usually invoked by EoAs.

Authors: Qianlan Bai*, Chao Zhang*, Yuedong Xu*, Xiaowei Chen†, and Xin Wang*,

Affiliations: * Fudan University and † The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


1. Paper Title: The Attack of the Clones Against Proof-of-Authority.

Summary: An attack against both Ethereum’s Aura and Clique consensus protocols that allows to steal digital assets.

Authors: Parinya Ekparinya*, Vincent Gramoli*, Guillaume Jourjon†,

Affiliations: * University of Sydney and † Data61-CSIRO.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Incentive Analysis of Bitcoin-NG, Revisited.

Summary: A new incentive analysis of Bitcoin-NG considering the network capacity that evaluates the impact of key-block generation interval and microblock generation rate, which is missing in the previous analysis.

AuthorsJianyu Niu*, Ziyu Wang†, Fangyu Gai*, and Chen Feng*,

Affiliations: * University of British Columbia and † Beihang University.

2. Paper Title: An n/2 Byzantine node tolerate Blockchain Sharding approach.

Summary: A new Blockchain Sharding approach that can withstand up to n/2 of malicious nodes in the system that when compared to other methods, the probability that the malicious nodes will control a Shard is lower, and only a small number of nodes are required for every Shard to function securely.

AuthorsYibin Xu* and Yangyu Huang†,

Affiliations: * Cardiff University and † Guilin University.

3. Paper Title: Scaling Blockchains to Support Electronic Health Records for Hospital Systems.

Summary: A Patient-Healthchain architecture is proposed as an advancement towards solving the EHR inter- operability problem and the issues surrounding a bottleneck.

AuthorsAlyssa Donawa*, Inema Orukari†, and Corey E. Baker*,

Affiliations: * University of Kentucky and † Washington University in St. Louis.

4. Paper Title: CycLedger: A Scalable and Secure Parallel Protocol for Distributed Ledger via Sharding.

Summary: A scalable and secure parallel protocol for distributed ledger via sharding that selects a leader and a partial set for each committee, who are in charge of maintaining intra-shard consensus and communicating with other committees, to reduce the amortized complexity of communication, computation and storage on all nodes. 

AuthorsMengqian Zhang*, Jichen Li†, Zhaohua Chen†, Hongyin Chen†, and Xiaotie Deng†,

Affiliations: * Shanghai Jiao Tong University and † Peking University.

5. Paper Title: Contract-connection:An efficient communication protocol for Distributed Ledger Technology.

Summary: A new communication protocol for DLT, which achieves an equilibrium network structure through a connection adjustment method.

AuthorsYibin Xu* and Yangyu Huang†,

Affiliations: * Cardiff University and † Guilin University.

6. Paper Title: Segment blockchain: A size reduced storage mechanism for blockchain.

Summary: An approach to reduce the storage requirement of the blockchain system while keeping the decentralization without compromising the security of the blockchain.

AuthorsYibin Xu* and Yangyu Huang†,

Affiliations: * Cardiff University and † Guilin University.


1. Paper Title: Lift-and-Shift: Obtaining Simulation Extractable Subversion and Updatable SNARKs Generically.

Summary: An improved version (OC∅C∅), which outperforms the original construction in both number of constraints as well as proof size significantly.

AuthorsBehzad Abdolmaleki*, Sebastian Ramacher†, and Daniel Slamanig†,

Affiliations: * University of Tartu and † AIT.


1. Paper Title: Bypassing Non-Outsourceable Proof-of-Work Schemes Using Collateralized Smart Contracts.

Summary: Two approaches to bypass non-outsourceability of Type 1 and weak Type 2 schemes to create mining pools, thereby ‘breaking’ them.

Authors: Alexander Chepurnoy*† and Amitabh Saxena*,

Affiliations* Ergo Platform and † IOHK Research.

2. Paper Title: Consistency in Proof-of-Stake Blockchains with Concurrent Honest Slot Leaders.

Summary: An improvement to the fundamental security threshold of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain protocols, reflecting for the first time the positive effect of rounds with multiple honest leaders.

AuthorsAggelos Kiayias*‡, Saad Quader†, and Alexander Russell†‡,

Affiliations: * University of Edinburgh, † University of Connecticut, and ‡ IOHK Research.

3. Paper Title: PoAh: A Novel Consensus Algorithm for Fast Scalable Private Blockchain for Large-scale IoT Frameworks.

Summary: A novel consensus algorithm which introduces a cryptographic authentication mechanism to replace PoW for resource constrained devices, and to make the blockchain application-specific.

AuthorsDeepak Puthal*, Saraju P. Mohanty†, Venkata P. Yanambaka‡, and Elias Kougianos†,

Affiliations: * Newcastle University, † University of North Texas, and ‡ Central Michigan University.


1. Paper Title: Continuous-Time Analysis of the Bitcoin and Prism Backbone Protocols.

Summary: A continuous-time model with no lifespan limitations and allow the block propagation delays to be arbitrary but bounded and rigorously established a blockchain growth theorem, a blockchain quality theorem, and a common prefix theorem for the bitcoin backbone protocol.

AuthorsJing Li* and Dongning Guo*,

Affiliations: * Northwestern University.

2. Paper Title: Wallet Contracts on Ethereum.

Summary: A better understanding of Ethereum on-chain wallets, by analyzing source code, bytecode, and execution traces, and deriving usage scenarios and patterns.

AuthorsMonika di Angelo* and Gernot Salzer*,

Affiliations: * TU Wien.

3. Paper Title: Blockchain and the Inevitability of Disputes: The Role for Online Dispute Resolution.

Summary: The gap between the promise of an infallible, dispute-less environment and the inevitable reality of having to deal with disputes in the blockchain setting lies at the heart of this paper.

AuthorsOrna Rabinovich-Einy* and Ethan Katsh†,

Affiliations: * Haifa University and † University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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“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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