This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #59

Issue #59

Issue #59

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Tight Consistency Bounds for Bitcoin.


  1. Despite over a decade of study, the fundamental guarantees of the Bitcoin protocol are not well understood. Roughly, the essential ledger properties—consistency and liveness—are determined by three interacting features: the hashing power of the adversary, the hashing power of the honest parties, and networking delays.

  2. Ideally, one would like to establish the precise relationship between these parameters, exactly characterizing the parametrizations that guarantee the Bitcoin ledger properties. This work establishes this relationship.

  3. Adversarial and honest proof-of-work successes are modeled as independent Poisson processes, with parameters “rh” and “ra”.

  4. Consistency accrues exponentially quickly in the sense that blocks appearing at depth k in a longest chain can only be later abandoned with probability exp(−Ω(k)).

  5. Liveness in this region follows from a simple chain growth argument that provides similar exponential guarantees.

  6. This result is tight: if “ra” exceeds this threshold, the simple private-chain attack prevents consensus.

AuthorsPeter Gazi*, Aggelos Kiayias*†, and Alexander Russell*‡,

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


1. Paper Title: About Blockchain Interoperability.

Summary: Blockchain interoperability is impossible according to the classical definition of a blockchain.

Authors: Pascal Lafourcade* and Marius Lombard-Platet†‡,

Affiliations* Universite Clermont-Auvergne, † Departement d’informatique de l’ENS, and ‡ Be-Studys.

2. Paper Title: Overview of Polkadot and its Design Considerations.

Summary: The design components of the heterogenous multi-chain protocol Polkadot and explain how these components help Polkadot address some of the existing short-comings of blockchain technologies.

Authors: Jeff Burdges*, Alfonso Cevallos*, Peter Czaban*, Rob Habermeier†, Syed Hosseini*, Fabio Lama*, Handan Kılınc Alper*, Ximin Luo*, Fatemeh Shirazi*, Alistair Stewart*, Gavin Wood*†,

Affiliations* Web3 Foundation and † Parity Technologies.

3. Paper Title: Attacking Zcash Protocol For Fun And Profit.

Summary: How the ITM Attack (a linkability attack against shielded transactions) works against Zcash Protocol and how Hush is the first cryptocoin with a defensive mitigation against it, called ”Sietch”.

Authors: Duke Leto* and The Hush Developers*

Affiliations* Hush.

4. Paper Title: Game theoretical framework for analyzing Blockchains Robustness.

Summary: A game theoretical framework in order to formally characterize the robustness of blockchains systems in terms of resilience to rational deviations and immunity to Byzantine behaviors.

Authors: P. Zappalà*, M. Belotti*, M. Potop-Butucaru†, and S. Secci*

Affiliations* Cedric and † Lip6.

5. Paper Title: Tracing Cryptocurrency Scams: Clustering Replicated Advance-Fee and Phishing Websites.

Summary: This paper analyses public online and blockchain-based data to provide a deeper understanding of these cryptocurrency scams.

Authors: Ross Phillips and Heidi Wilder,

Affiliations* Elliptic.

6. Paper Title: A Survey on Blockchain Interoperability: Past, Present, and Future Trends.

Summary: A literature review on blockchain interoperability, by collecting 262 papers, and 70 grey literature documents, constituting a corpus of 332 documents.

Authors: Rafael Belchior*, André Vasconcelos*, Sérgio Guerreiro*, and  Miguel Correia*,

Affiliations* Universidade de Lisboa.


1. Paper Title: The Ritva Blockchain: Enabling Confidential Transactions at Scale.

Summary: This work takes advantage of trusted execution environment to offer confidentiality protection for transactions, and scale the throughput of the network in proportion with the number of network participants by supporting parallel shadow chains.

Authors: Henri Aare*, and Peter Vitols*,

Affiliations* Crystal Technology Research.

2. Paper Title: Blockchain is Watching You: Profiling and Deanonymizing Ethereum Users.

Summary: The first to propose and implement Ethereum user profiling techniques based on user quasi-identifiers.

Authors: Ferenc Beres*†, Istvan A. Seres†, Andras A. Benczur*‡, and Mikerah Quintyne-Collins§,

Affiliations* SZTAKI, † Eotvos Lorand University, ‡ Szechenyi University, and § HashCloack Inc.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: NIZK from SNARG.

Summary: A construction of a non-interactive zero-knowledge (NIZK) argument for all NP languages based on a succinct non-interactive argument (SNARG) for all NP languages and a one-way function.

Authors: Fuyuki Kitagawa*, Takahiro Matsuda†, and Takashi Yamakawa*,

Affiliations* NTT Secure Platform Laboratories and † National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).


1. Paper Title: GHAST: Breaking Confirmation Delay Barrier in Nakamoto Consensus via Adaptive Weighted Blocks.

Summary: A new consensus protocol which organizes blocks in a Tree-Graph structure (i.e., a directed acyclic graph (DAG) with a tree embedded) that allows fast and concurrent block generation.

AuthorsChenxing Li*, Fan Long†, and Guang Yang‡,

Affiliations: * Tsinghua University, † University of Toronto, and ‡ Conflux Foundation.

2. Paper Title: ProPoS: A Probabilistic Proof-of-Stake Protocol.

Summary: A chain-based protocol that minimizes interactions between nodes through lightweight committee voting, resulting in a more simple, robust, and scalable proposal than competing systems.

Authors: Daniel Reijsbergen*, Pawel Szalachowski*, Junming Ke†, Zengpeng Li*, and Jianying Zhou*,

Affiliations* Singapore University of Technology and Design and † Shandong University.


1. Paper Title: The Public Blockchain Ecosystem: An Empirical Analysis.

Summary: This paper offers an organizing empirical framework to understand the largely unexplored public blockchain ecosystem.

AuthorsFelix IrresbergerKose John† Fahad Saleh‡,

Affiliations: * Leeds University, † New York University, and ‡ McGill University.

2. Paper Title: Blockchain in the World of Work: Hype or Hope?

Summary: This Foresight Brief describes blockchain technology and analyses its implications for the world of work and possible uses in certain sectors, including value chains. 

AuthorsAida Ponce*,

Affiliations: * European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

Conferences, Journals, & CFPs:

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