This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #32

Issue #32

Issue #32

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Tokenomics and Platform Finance.


  1. Despite practitioners’ enthusiasm, the economic trade-offs in managing platform tokens remain unclear. How token prices are determined by user activities (trading and usage) and platforms’ token supply? When platforms should finance their development by issuing tokens and by how much? How platform owners profit from token management? How to translate theory into day-to-day token management and platform development policies?

  2. To take a first step in answering these questions, we propose a tractable dynamic framework for designing tokens and managing platform development. While the model insights apply to both centralized and decentralized platforms, it also highlights the commitment benefit that blockchains bring to platforms.

  3. Specifically, this work builds a continuous-time model of platform economy that captures the monetary, asset-pricing, and corporate-finance aspects of tokens.

  4. To capture users’ network effects, a distinguishing feature of platform businesses, this work allows tokens’ convenience yield to depend on the aggregate number of users (“user base”).

  5. The key inefficiency in the model is a standard corporate-finance friction. When raising consumption goods (to buy back tokens), the platform owners incur a proportional cost.

  6. After characterizing the platform owners’ optimal token-management strategy (i.e., in- vestment, payout, and buyback), this work formally analyzes the value added of blockchain technology in the presented setting.

  7. The model also provides insights on various questions surrounding platform tokens and links the token-based platform to the broader economic conditions.

  8. Finally, this work considers the effects of platform competition on the dynamic token allocation.

AuthorsLin William Cong*, Ye Li†, and Neng Wang

Affiliations: * Cornell University, † Ohio State University, and ‡ Columbia Business School.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: A blockchain-orchestrated Federated Learning architecture for healthcare consortia.

Summary: This work introduces an architecture for federated learning in healthcare consortia built on the Ethereum blockchain.

AuthorsJonathan Passerat-Palmbach*†, Tyler Farnan*‡, Robert Miller*, Marielle S. Gross§, Heather Leigh Flannery*, and Bill Gleim*,

Affiliations: * ConsenSys Health, † Imperial College London, ‡ UC San Diego, and § Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

2. Paper Title: Protecting Personal Data using Smart Contracts.

Summary: A blockchain-based access control for DOSNs where the role-based access control policies are stored on the blockchain, are publicly auditable, and permit the verification of the user rights even when the owner of the data is not logged in the social network.

AuthorsMohsin Ur Rahman*, Fabrizio Baiardi*, Barbara Guidi*, and Laura Ricci*,

Affiliations: * University of Pisa.


1. Paper Title: User Data Sharing Frameworks: A Blockchain- Based Incentive Solution.

Summary: A new framework which is based on user-controlled privacy and data-sharing policies encoded in smart contracts that supports building up a verifiable record of the provenance, accountability of access and incentives for users to share their research data, in terms of rewards (micro- payments or credits) through blockchain.

AuthorsAjay Kumar Shrestha* and Julita Vassileva*.

Affiliations: * University of Saskatchewan.


1. Paper Title: Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Set Membership: Efficient, Succinct, Modular.

Summary: Proving in zero knowledge that an element of a public set satisfies a given property without disclosing the element.

Authors: Daniel Benarroch*, Matteo Campanelli†, Dario Fiore†, and Dimitris Kolonelos†‡,

Affiliations: QEDIT, † IMDEA Software Institute, and ‡ Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Consensus Protocols:

No papers.


1. Paper Title: The Economics of Smart Contracts.

Summary: This work is an empirical investigation to find out the extent to which transaction fees match the costs spent by miners to execute transactions.

AuthorsKirk Baird*, Seongho Jeong†, Yeonsoo Kim†, Bernd Burgstaller†, and Bernhard Scholz*,

Affiliations: * The University of Sydney and † Yonsei University.

2. Paper Title: An investigation of MMM Ponzi scheme on Bitcoin.

Summary: An analytical method and a set of metrics which are useful in investigating Ponzi schemes that operate with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

AuthorsYazan Boshmaf*, Charitha Elvitigala†, Husam Al Jawaheri‡, Primal Wijesekera§, and Mashael Al Sabah*,

Affiliations: * HBKU, † University of Colombo, ‡ University of Luxembourg, and § UC, Berkeley.

3. Paper Title: The Other Side of the Coin: Risks of the Libra Blockchain.

Summary: The purpose of this paper is to provide a holistic analysis of the project to encompass several aspects of its implementation and the issues it raises.

Authors: Louis Abraham* and Dominique Guégan†,

Affiliations* Ecole Polytechnique and † Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

4. Paper Title: A Democratic Digital Dollar: A Peer-to-Peer Savings & Payments Platform for Fully Inclusive State, Local, and National Money & Banking Systems.

Summary: This document sketches a smart-device-accessible peer-to-peer (‘P2P’) platform which can easily be put into place and administered by any unit of government with a view to supplying this critical commercial and financial infrastructure to all of its constituents.

Authors: Robert C. Hockett*,

Affiliations* Cornell University - Law School.

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