This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #93

Issue #93

Issue #93

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: SoK: Decentralized Finance (DeFi).


  1. Decentralized Finance (DeFi), a blockchain powered peer-to-peer financial system, is mushrooming.

  2. One year ago the total value locked in DeFi systems was approximately 600m USD, now, as of January 2021, it stands at around 25bn USD.

  3. The frenetic evolution of the ecosystem makes it challenging for newcomers to gain an understanding of its basic features.

  4. This Systematization of Knowledge (SoK) delineates the DeFi ecosystem along its principal axes.

  5. First, it provides an overview of the DeFi primitives.

  6. Second, it classifies DeFi protocols according to the type of operation they provide.

  7. It then goes on to consider in detail the technical and economic security of DeFi protocols, drawing particular attention to the issues that emerge specifically in the DeFi setting.

  8. Finally, it outlines the open research challenges in the ecosystem.

Authors: Sam M. Werner*, Daniel Perez*, Lewis Gudgeon*, Ariah Klages-Mundt†, Dominik Harz*‡, William J. Knottenbelt*,

Affiliations: * Imperial College London, † Cornell University, and ‡ Interlay.


1. Paper Title: Post-Quantum Security of the Bitcoin Backbone and Quantum Multi-Solution Bernoulli Search.

Summary: The security of the bitcoin holds as long as the quantum computational hashing power of the adversary in the Quantum Random Oracle model is appropriately bounded.

Authors: Alexandru Cojocaru*, Juan Garay†, Aggelos Kiayias*‡, Fang Song§ , Petros Wallden*,

Affiliations* University of Edinburg, † Texas A&M University, ‡ IOHK, and § Portland State University.

2. Paper Title: SPURT: Scalable Distributed Randomness Beacon with Transparent Setup.

Summary: An efficient distributed randomness beacon protocol that does not require any trusted or expensive setup and is secure against a malicious adversary that controls up to one-third of the nodes in a partially synchronous network.

Authors: Sourav Das*, Vinith Krishnan*, Irene Miriam Isaac*, and Ling Ren,

Affiliations* University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


1. Paper Title: A blockchain-based pattern for confidential and pseudo-anonymous contract enforcement.

Summary: A pattern that allows the execution of automatable legal contract clauses, where its execution states are stored in an on-chain smart-contract and the logic needed to enforce it wraps it off-chain.

Authors: Nicolas Six*, Claudia Negri Ribalta*, Nicolas Herbaut*, and Camille Salinesi*,

Affiliations* Universite ́ Paris 1 Panthe ́on-Sorbonne.

2. Paper Title: Ants-Review: a Protocol for Incentivized Open Peer-Reviews on Ethereum.

Summary: A privacy-oriented protocol of smart contracts that allows authors to issue a bounty for open anonymous peer-reviews on Ethereum.

Authors: Bianca Trovò* and Nazzareno Massari†,

Affiliations* Sorbonne University and † MakerDAO.


1. Paper Title: Introducing the Unitychain Structure.

Summary: A novel blockchain-like structure that enables greater parallel processing, security, and performance for networks that leverage distributed key generation and classical consensus protocols.

Authors: Joshua D. Tobkin*

Affiliations* Unitychain.

2. Paper Title: xLumi: Payment Channel Protocol and Off-chain Payment in Blockchain Contract Systems

Summary: A simple unidirectional payment channel that can be extended to a bidirectional payment channel or a complete network.

Authors: Ningchen Ying* andTsz-Wai Wu*,

Affiliations* V Systems.


1. Paper Title: QuickSilver: Efficient and Affordable Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Circuits and Polynomials over Any Field.

Summary: Several new ZK protocols which improve the concrete efficiency and, at the same time, enable sublinear amortized communication for circuits with some notion of relaxed uniformity.

Authors: Kang Yang*, Pratik Sarkar†, Chenkai Weng‡, and Xiao Wang‡,

Affiliations* State Key Laboratory of Cryptology, † Boston University, ‡ Northwestern University.


1. Paper Title: Ethereum ECCPoW.

Summary: An implementation, simulation, and validation of ECCPoW Ethereum.

Authors: Hyoungsung Kim*, Jehyuk Jang*, Sangjun Park†, and Heung-no Lee*,

Affiliations* Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology and † Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute.

2. Paper Title: On Elapsed Time Consensus Protocols.

Summary: This work defines and proves the security of the proposed elapsed time consensus protocol both with and without trusted execution environments.

Authors: Mic Bowman*, Debajyoti Das†, Avradip Mandal‡, and Hart Montgomery‡,

Affiliations* Intel Labs, † Purdue University, ‡ Fujitsu Laboratories of America.


1. Paper Title: Markets for Crypto Tokens, and Security under Proof of Stake.

Summary: To evaluate the robustness of PoS cryptocurrencies to such attacks, this work models the market for tokens and determines how the cost of attacking the system depends on the level and shape of token supply and demand.

Authors: Christian Catalini*, Ravi Jagadeesan†, and Scott Duke Kominers‡,

Affiliations* MIT, † Stanford University, and ‡ Harvard University.

2. Paper Title: Uniswap and the Rise of the Decentralized Exchange.

Summary: This work applies ARDL and VAR methodologies to a dataset of 999 hours of Uniswap trading, and concludes that its simplicity enables liquidity providers and arbitrageurs to ensure the ratio of reserves match the trading pair price.

Authors: Yuen C Lo* and Francesca Medda*,

Affiliations* University College London.

3. Paper Title: Understand Volatility of Algorithmic Stablecoin: Modeling, Verification and Empirical Analysis.

Summary: Are algorithmic stablecoins volatile by design? Are they volatile in practice?

AuthorsWenqi Zhao*, Hui Li*, and Yuming Yuan*,

Affiliations: * Huobi Research.

Conferences’ Videos:



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