This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #97

Issue #97


Issue #97

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Verification Dilemmas, Law, and the Promise of Zero-Knowledge Proofs.

TLDR:

  1. Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs)—a class of cryptographic protocols that allow one party to verify a fact or characteristic of secret information without revealing the actual secret—can help solve these verification dilemmas.

  2. ZKPs have recently demonstrated their mettle, for example, by providing the privacy backbone for the blockchain. Yet they have received scant notice in the legal literature.

  3. This Article fills that gap by providing the first deep dive into ZKPs’ broad relevance for law.

  4. It explains ZKPs’ conceptual power and technical operation to a legal audience. It then demonstrates how, and that, ZKPs can be applied as a governance tool to transform verification dilemmas in multiple legal contexts.

  5. Finally, the Article surfaces, and provides a framework to address, the policy issues implicated by the potential substitution of ZKP governance tools in place of existing law and practice.

AuthorsKenneth A. Bamberger*, Ran Canetti†, Shafi Goldwasser*, Rebecca Wexler* and Evan Zimmerman*

Affiliations: * University of California, Berkeley and † Boston University.


Security:

1. Paper Title: SigVM: Toward Fully Autonomous Smart Contracts.

Summary: A novel blockchain virtual machine that supports an event-driven execution model, enabling developers to build fully autonomous smart contracts.

Authors: Ryan Song*, Zihan Zhao*, Yuxi Cai*, Andreas Veneris*, and Fan Long*,

Affiliations* University of Toronto.

2. Paper Title: An Overview of Forks and Coordination in Blockchain Development.

Summary: This manuscript is aimed at elaborating the concept of blockchain technology alongside its coordination and implementation with other emerging technologies.

Authors: Neo C.K. Yiu*,

Affiliations* University of Oxford*.


Privacy:

No papers.


Scalability:

1. Paper Title: Blitz: Secure Multi-Hop Payments Without Two-Phase Commits.

Summary: A novel payment protocol built on top of the existing payment channel constructions, which combines the advantages of both the optimistic 1-round and the 2-phase-commit paradigms.

Authors: Lukas Aumayr*, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez†, Aniket Kate‡, and Matteo Maffei*,

Affiliations* TU Wien, † IMDEA Software Institute, and ‡ Purdue University.


Proofs:

No papers.


Consensus:

1. Paper Title: Efficient State Management in Distributed Ledgers.

Summary: This work presents a novel transaction optimization techniques to be followed by wallets, so as to create transactions that reduce the shared state cost and a novel fee scheme that incentivizes the creation of “state-friendly” transactions.

Authors: Dimitris Karakostas*†, Nikos Karayannidis†, and Aggelos Kiayias*†,

Affiliations* University of Edinburgh and † IOHK.

Paper Title: Communication-Efficient BFT Protocols Using Small Trusted Hardware to Tolerate Minority Corruption.

Summary: This work presents results that use small trusted hardware without worsening communication complexity assuming the adversary controls a fraction of the network that is less than one-half.

AuthorsSravya Yandamuri*, Ittai Abraham†, Kartik Nayak*, and Michael K. Reiter*,

Affiliations: * Duke University and † VMware Research.


Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: Managing Risk in DeFi.

Summary: This work identifies four key risks with relevance for managers, practitioners and scholars contemplating a proactive engagement with decentralized financial applications.

AuthorsJohannes Rude Jensen* and Omri Ross*,

Affiliations: * University of Copenhagen.


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