This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #10

Issue #10


Issue #10

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Spartan: Efficient and general-purpose zkSNARKs without trusted setup.

Interesting Takeaways:

  1. The first zkSNARK under standard cryptographic hardness assumptions without requiring a trusted setup.

  2. Focus is on arguments for the complexity class NP that prove the satisfiability of arithmetic circuits over a large finite field.

  3. Argument are an integration of four techniques: the sum-check protocol, a cryptographic commitment scheme for multilinear polynomials, an encoding of a circuit satisfiability instance as a low-degree polynomial composed of multilinear polynomials, and new computation commitments.

  4. Verifying a proof incurs sub-linear costs without requiring data parallelism (or other homogeneity) in the structure of an arithmetic circuit for which a proof is produced.

  5. Security holds under the hardness of computing discrete logarithms.

  6. Prover incurs O(|C|) cryptographic operations and O(|C| log |C|) non-cryptographic finite field operations, where C is the arithmetic circuit instance.

  7. Proof is of length O(|C|^{1/c}) and can be verified in O(|C|^{1−1/c}) time (for ≥ 2).

  8. Enhancements are presented to reduce Proof length to O(log |C|) at the cost of making the verifier’s costs O(|C|) and prover time to be O(|C|).

AuthorsSrinath Setty*,

Affiliations: * Microsoft Research.


This Week in Security:

1. Paper Title: BlockQuick: Super-Light Client Protocol for Blockchain Validation on Constrained Devices.

Summary: A super-light client protocol for Ethereum, and similar blockchains, that has sublinear bandwidth requirements for chain validation while being resistant to eclipse and MITM attacks.

AuthorsDominic Letz*,

Affiliations: * Exosite LLC.

2. Paper Title: Smart Contract Development in Practice: Trends, Issues, and Discussions on Stack Overflow.

Summary: Insights about the adoption and perception of smart contracts by the software developer community through analysis of Stack Overflow discussions.

Authors: Afiya Ayman*, Amna Aziz*, Amin Alipour*, Aron Laszka*,

Affiliations: * University of Houston.

3. Paper Title: Bandwidth-Efficient Transaction Relay for Bitcoin.

Summary: A new transaction dissemination protocol that not only reduces the bandwidth consumption by 40% assuming current connectivity, but also keeps the bandwidth use almost constant as the connectivity increases.

AuthorsGleb Naumenko*, Gregory Maxwell, Pieter Wuille†, Sasha Fedorova*, and Ivan Beschastnikh*,

Affiliations: * University of British Columbia and † Blockstream.


This Week in Privacy:

1. Paper Title: ShareLock: Mixing for Cryptocurrencies from Multiparty ECDSA.

Summary: A threshold ECDSA-based privacy-enhancing solution for cryptocurrencies where a mixer party is replaced by a smart contract or by other crpytographic means.

AuthorsOmer Shlomovits* and István András Seres†,

Affiliations: * KZen Research and † Eötvös Loránd University.


This Week in Scalability:

1. Paper Title: Multi-Party Virtual State Channels.

Summary: The first full specification and construction of a state channel network that supports multi- party channels.

AuthorsStefan Dziembowski*, Lisa Eckey†, Sebastian Faust†, Julia Hesse†, and Kristina Hostáková†,

Affiliations: * University of Warsaw and † Technische Universität Darmstadt.

2. Paper Title: LazyLedger: A Distributed Data Availability Ledger With Client-Side Smart Contracts.

Summary: A system of ‘virtual’ sidechains that live on the same chain, in the sense that transactions associated with each application only need to be processed by users of those applications, similar to the fact that only users of a specific sidechain need to process transactions of that sidechain.

AuthorsMustafa Al-Bassam*,

Affiliations: * University College London.

3. Paper Title: Towards Global Asset Management in Blockchain Systems.

Summary: A global asset management system that unifies permissioned and permissionless blockchains to manage complex asset and an extended transaction model that supports varied types of transactions operating on complex assets in multiple blockchains.

Authors: Victor Zakhary*, Mohammad Javad Amiri*, Sujaya Maiyya*, Divyakant Agrawal*, and Amr El Abbadi*,

Affiliations: * University of California Santa Barbara.

4. Paper Title: BRICK: Asynchronous State Channels.

Summary: A novel state channel construction that does not rely on any assumption for the delivery of messages to be secure. As a result it can guarantee the correctness of the channels even under censorship or execution fork attacks.

AuthorsGeorgia Avarikioti† , Eleftherios Kokoris Kogias*, and Roger Wattenhofer†,

Affiliations: * EPFL and † ETH Zürich.


This Week in Proofs:

Check out paper of the week!


This Week in Consensus Protocols:

1. Paper Title: StrongChain: Transparent and Collaborative Proof-of-Work Consensus.

Summary: A system such that the mining process is more transparent and collaborative, i.e., miners get better knowledge about the mining power of the system and they are incentivized to solve puzzles together rather than compete.

Authors: Pawel Szalachowski*, Daniël Reijsbergen*, Ivan Homoliak*, and Siwei Sun†,

Affiliations: * Singapore University of Technology and Design and † Institute of Information Engineering.

2. Paper Title: Making Speculative BFT Resilient with Trusted Monotonic Counters.

Summary: Single Active Counter Zyzzyva (SACZyzzyva) that requires only a single replica, the primary, to have an active monotonic counter, and eliminates the need for a non-speculative fallback (as in Zyzzyva5), thus allowing it to tolerate a subset of replicas being slow, while requiring only 3f + 1 replicas (as in Zyzzyva).

AuthorsLachlan J. Gunn*, Jian Liu†, Bruno Vavala‡, and N. Asokan*,

Affiliations: * Aalto University, † University of California, Berkeley, and ‡ Intel Labs.


This Week in Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: A Primer on Blockchain, Smart Contracts & Crypto-Assets.

Summary: The potential social benefits of these technologies and the regulatory challenges that need to be overcome in order for any blockchain revolution to be fully realized.

AuthorsMark Fenwick* and Erik P. M. Vermeulen†,

Affiliations: * Kyushu University and † Tilburg University.

2. Paper Title: Global Cryptoasset Regulatory Landscape Study.

Summary: The report aims to compare and contrast various regulatory approaches and practices with regards to cryptoassets in a number of jurisdictions and shed light on current regulatory challenges and opportunities. The study serves as a practical and analytical tool for regulators, market participants, and other stakeholders in the cryptoasset ecosystem.

AuthorsApolline Blandin*, Ann Sofie Cloots†, Hatim Hussain*, Michel Rauchs*, Rasheed Saleuddin*, Jason G Allen‡, Bryan Zheng Zhang*, and Katherine Cloud*.

Affiliations: * University of Cambridge, † KU Leuven, and ‡ UNSW.


“Significant advancements and innovations in the blockchain space are constantly being achieved by academic researchers. We are committed to helping share and spread this research. In our newsletter, we aim to provide a list of publications that will help guide the community with the latest research in the blockchain space.

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. To tackle this issue, we’ve put together a categorized list of academic papers that can guide our subscribers and keep them up to date.”

Thanks for reading! If we missed anything, shoot us an email so that we can feature it in our next newsletter!


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