This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #39

Issue #39

Issue #39

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Byzantine Fault Tolerance in Partially Connected Asynchronous Networks.


  1. In literature, there are mainly two kinds of partial synchronous networks for Byzantine Agreement protocols. In type I partial synchronous networks, all messages are guaranteed to be delivered, DoS attacks are not allowed, and reliable point-to-point communication channels for all pairs of participants are required. In type II, the network becomes synchronous after an unknown Global Synchronization Time (GST), DoS attacks are allowed only before GST.

  2. This paper shows attacks that these BFT protocols are insecure in all types of partial synchronous networks.

  3. If there does not exist a reliable broadcast channel before GST of type II networks, then one can launch attacks on several widely deployed BFT protocols (e.g. PBFT, Tendermind BFT, and GRANDPA BFT) so that participants would never reach an agreement on a proposal. Thus these BFT protocols are not secure in type II partial synchronous networks.

  4. Since in type I one does not know when the message could be delivered, the broadcast protocol may be unreliable until the end of a fixed unknown time period. That is, the same attack in type II could be used to show that these protocols will reach deadlock before the end of this unknown time period, participants discard messages if they have changed views already.

  5. A BFT finality gadget protocol is proposed that is based on DLS BFT consensus protocol in partial synchronous networks.

  6. The proposed work leverages the special properties of blockchain that the validity of a candidate next-block is self certified and one can define strict order on all candidate next-blocks.

  7. An analysis is provided that proves security of the proposed work in type II partial synchronous networks and achieves the best performance among existing BFT protocols for blockchains.

AuthorsYongge Wang*

Affiliations: * UNC Charlotte.


1. Paper Title: BDoS: Blockchain Denial of Service.

Summary: An incentive-based attack on blockchain availability with a significantly lower cost.

Authors: Michael Mirkin*†, Yan Ji†‡, Jonathan Pang†§, Ariah Klages-Mundt†§, Ittay Eyal*†, and Ari Jules†‡,

Affiliations: * Technion, † IC3, ‡ Cornell Tech, and § Cornell University.

2. Paper Title: Smart Contract Repair.

Summary: A parallel, biased search for a set of edits to that contract that fixes a given vulnerability without breaking any test that previously passed.

AuthorsXiao Liang Yu*, Omar Al-Bataineh*, David Lo, and Abhik Roychoudhury*,

Affiliations: * National University of Singapore and † Singapore Management University.

3. Paper Title: Implementing a Protocol Native Managed Cryptocurrency.

Summary: An implementation of previous work that does not just leverage many of the strengths of modern cryptocurrencies, but also leverage the capabilities of traditional fiat currencies.

Authors: Peter Mell*, Aurelien Delaitre†, Frederic de Vaulx†, and Philippe Dessauw†,

Affiliations: * NIST and † Prometheus Computing.

4. Paper Title: Proof of file access in a private P2P network using blockchain.

Summary: A solution that manages to avoid single points of failures, maintains the P2P nature of the file-exchange platform and still provides evidence for the access of a file by a peer.

AuthorsUwe Roth*,

Affiliations: * Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology.


1. Paper Title: Privacy-Preserving Claims Exchange Networks for Virtual Asset Service Providers.

Summary: A propose privacy-preserving claims issuance model that carries indicators of the provenance of the data and the algorithms used to derive the claim or assertion.

AuthorsThomas Hardjono* and Alex Pentland*,

Affiliations: * MIT.

2. Paper Title: SilentDelivery: Practical Timed-delivery of Private Information using Smart Contracts.

Summary: A secure, scalable and cost-efficient protocol for implementing timed-delivery of private information in a decentralized blockchain network.

AuthorsChao Li* and Balaji Palanisamy†,

Affiliations: * Beijing Jiaotong University and † University of Pittsburgh.


1. Paper Title: Blockchain Intelligence: When Blockchain Meets Artificial Intelligence.

Summary: AI bring benefits to blockchain in aspects ofintelligent operational maintenance of blockchain, intelligent quality assurance of smart contracts and automated malicious behaviour detection.

AuthorsZibin Zheng* and Hong-Ning Dai†,

Affiliations: * Sun Yat-sen University and † Macau University of Science and Technology.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: PIRATE: A Blockchain-based Secure Framework of Distributed Machine Learning in 5G Networks.

Summary: A sharding-based blockchain framework, for byzantine-resilient distributed-learning under the decentralized 5G computing environment.

Authors: Sicong Zhou*, Huawei Huang*, Wuhui Chen*, Zibin Zheng*, and Song Guo†,

Affiliations: * Sun Yat-sen University and † Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


1. Paper Title: Augmenting Fiat Currency with an Integrated Managed Cryptocurrency.

Summary: This work shows how the foundational elements of a cryptocurrency can be rethought to support central bank goals and to explicitly support the laws that apply to electronic fiat currencies.

AuthorsPeter Mell*,

Affiliations: * NIST.

2. Paper Title: Towards a Theory of Digital Network De/centralization: Platform-Infrastructure Lessons Drawn from Blockchain.

Summary: The paper proposes an analytical model for characterizing de/centralization in digital networks and maps this onto blockchain networks.

AuthorsEnrico Rossi* and Carsten Sørensen*,

Affiliations: * London School of Economics.

3. Paper Title: Distributed Ledger Technology Systems: A Conceptual Framework.

Summary: This study sets out to contribute to international discussions to create a shared, common language around DLT systems to clarify terminology and concepts.

AuthorsMichel Rauchs*, Andrew Glidden†, Brian Gordon‡, Gina C. Pieters§, Martino Recanatini*, François Rostand*, Kathryn Vagneur*, and Bryan Zheng Zhang*,

Affiliations: * University of Cambridge, † University of California, Berkeley, ‡ University of Utah, and § University of Chicago.

4. Paper Title: More (or Less) Economic Limits of the Blockchain.

Summary: The economic question is whether PoS type systems can perform more efficiently than PoW systems.

AuthorsJoshua S. Gans* and Neil Gandal†,

Affiliations: * University of Toronto and † Berglas School of Economics.

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