This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #38

Issue #38

Issue #38

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: DClaims: A Censorship Resistant Web Annotations System using IPFS and Ethereum


  1. To access information and validate its credibility, people tend to resort to social networks and similar platforms to read posts from reliable sources, exchange commentaries with trustworthy parties, access first-hand content, or cross-check information that appears in news outlets.

  2. Users’ exposure to new messages is largely controlled by platform providers like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Even though the users have the freedom to select who to follow in the network, the platform provider decides on the contents that each user sees based on heuristics and proprietary algorithms.

  3. Anecdotal evidence suggests that platform providers are prone to pressure by political or economical agents, and sometimes are driven by ideological motivations to hide messages or block certain users.

  4. Even though the original data may remain accessible to end-users via direct URLs, the constant sharing of new information and the increasing dependency on social networks for content dissemination tends to narrow down users’ world view which is molded according to the information displayed to them by the platform and will ultimately impair users’ ability to freely and openly access important information.

  5. This work argues that by leveraging a blockchain for building a reliable and open index of messages between producers and consumers of information, then centralized platform providers will not be able to exert their influence in eclipsing undesirable messages from end-users.

  6. Therefore, this work designs, implements, and evaluates a system that provides a censorship-resistant distributed service for the exchange of information over the Internet using web annotations, which allow users to exchange messages in a user-friendly manner in a fully distributed fashion.

  7. To provide open and censorship-free access to web annotations, DClaims features a fully decentralized architecture based on components such as IPFS and Ethereum.

  8. Costs of a full-scale deployment of DClaims are analyzed using the activity level of Facebook’s news pages as an estimate for expected demand which suggests that our system is economically viable.

AuthorsJoão Santos*†, Nuno Santos*†, David Dias‡,

Affiliations: * INESC-ID / Instituto Superior Técnico, † Universidade de Lisboa, and ‡ Protocol Labs.


1. Paper Title: Selfish Behavior in the Tezos Proof-of-Stake Protocol.

Summary: This work provides a framework that can be used to check other PoS systems for potential vulnerabilities to selfish behavior by parameterizing a model of time and reward with respect to a specific protocol.

AuthorsMichael Neuder*†,  Daniel J. Moroz†, Rithvik Rao‡, and David C. Parkes†,

Affiliations: * University of Colorado, † Harvard University, and ‡ Harvard College.


1. Paper Title: Confidential Assets on MimbleWimble.

Summary: An implementation of Confidential Assets based on MimbleWimble that can hide transaction addresses, amounts, and asset types, achieving the highest privacy.

AuthorsZheng Yi*, Howard Ye*, Patrick Dai*, Sun Tongcheng†, and Vladislav Gelfer‡,

Affiliations: * Qtum Chain Foundation, † Peking University, and ‡ Beam Foundation.

2. Paper Title: Designing for Privacy and Confidentiality on Distributed Ledgers for Enterprise (Industry Track).

Summary: This paper described how three representative DLTs for enterprise implement privacy and confidentiality.

Authors: Allison Irvin* and Isabell Kiral*,

Affiliations: * IBM Research Australia.


No papers.


No papers.

Consensus Protocols:

1. Paper Title: Winkle: Foiling Long-Range Attacks in Proof-of-Stake Systems.

Summary: A novel mechanism that leverages votes from clients creating a decentralized secondary layer of client-based validation to confirm checkpoints (snapshots of the blockchain) and to prevent long-range attacks on proof-of-stake protocols.

Authors: Sarah Azouvi*†, George Danezis*†, and Valeria Nikolaenko*,

Affiliations* Facebook Calibra and † University College London.


1. Paper Title: Cryptodemocratic Governance of Special Economic Zones.

Summary: This paper introduces the collective choice problems underpinning special jurisdictions, outlines the potential for cryptodemocractic systems to facilitate jurisdictional competition as new infrastructure for special jurisdictions, and proposes a new interdisciplinary research program at the boundaries of institutional economics, political science, and innovation economics.

AuthorsDarcy W.E. Allen* and Aaron M. Lane*,

Affiliations: * RMIT University.

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