This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #40

Issue #40


Issue #40

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Scaling Verifiable Computation Using Efficient Set Accumulators.

TLDR:

  1. Verifiable outsourcing has been deployed in blockchain environments, because on-chain work is expensive—literally.

  2. Transactions are sent to an aggregator that (1) verifies that the transactions are valid (e.g., properly signed), (2) computes the updated global state resulting from these transactions, and (3) generates a succinct proof that the aggregator correctly executed steps (1) and (2).

  3. The updated state and the succinct proof are then sent to the blockchain, reducing the (expensive) on-chain work to only verifying the proof—which is fast.

  4. This work shows that a Merkle tree (acting as an accumulator) is not the best choice for large batches of state updates.

  5. A new operation for RSA accumulators, called MultiSwap, that provides a precise sequential semantics for batched verifiable state updates is then defined.

  6. Next, they synthesize existing and novel techniques for efficiently implementing MultiSwap in the context of SNARKs that include a hash function that outputs provable prime numbers, and a new division-intractable hash function.

  7. The techniques are then applied in two contexts: (1) Rollup, is a technique for batching cryptocurrency transactions off-chain in order to save on-chain work and (2) a general-purpose RAM abstraction with long-lived state (i.e., over many proofs).

  8. Finally, the proposed RSA accumulator implementation is compared to Merkle trees in two benchmarks: one that measures only set operations, and one that implements a Rollup-style distributed payment application.

AuthorsAlex Ozdemir*, Riad S. Wahby*, and Dan Boneh*,

Affiliations: * Stanford University.


Security:

1. Paper Title: Short Selling Attack: A Self-Destructive But Profitable 51% Attack On PoS Blockchains.

Summary: A sophisticated analysis on the profitability of the 51% attacker in PoS environment and a new attacker model, “short selling attack” or “shorting attack”, against PoS-based cryptocurrency using the traditional stock market’s short selling (or shorting) concept.

Authors: Suhyeon Lee and Seungjoo Kim,

Affiliations: Korea University.

2. Paper Title: Reparo: Publicly Verifiable Layer to Repair Blockchains.

Summary: A generic protocol that acts as a publicly verifiable layer on top of any blockchain to perform repairs, ranging from fixing buggy contracts to removing illicit contents from the chain.

Authors: Sri Aravinda Krishnan Thyagarajan*, Adithya Bhat†, Bernardo Magri‡, Daniel Tschudi§, and Aniket Kate†,

Affiliations* Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg, † Purdue University, ‡ Aarhus University, and § Concordium.

3. Paper Title: Fair Auction and Trade Framework for Cloud VM Allocation based on Blockchain.

Summary: The auction fairness guarantees that users cannot alter their submitted bids and cannot quit the auction without any financial penalty, and that the malicious provider cannot alter the auction results. The trade fairness guarantees that participants cannot reject the trade without any financial penalty after the auction, and malicious users cannot get cloud VM instances without paying fees and the malicious provider cannot get fees without providing requested VM instances.

Authors: Zhili Chen*, Wei Ding*, Yan Xu*, Miaomiao Tian*, and Hong Zhong*,

Affiliations* Anhui University.


Privacy:

1. Paper Title: BPCEX: Towards Blockchain-based Privacy-preserving Currency Exchange.

Summary: A blockchain-based privacy-preserving currency exchange between two types of Monero-based cryptocurrencies in the UTXO model.

AuthorsWulu Li*, Lei Chen*, Xin Lai*, Xiao Zhang*, and Jiajun Xin*,

Affiliations: * Onething Technologies Co., Ltd.


Scalability:

1. Paper Title: Snappy: Fast On-chain Payments with Practical Collaterals.

Summary: A system that enables safe and fast (zero-confirmation) on-chain payments that can be used today on top of low-throughput and high-latency blockchains such as Ethereum and in the future on top of (sharded) high-throughput and mid-latency blockchains.

Authors: Vasilios Mavroudis*, Karl Wüst†, Aritra Dhar†, Kari Kostiainen†, and Srdjan Capkun†,

Affiliations* University College London and † ETH.

2. Paper Title: Effective scaling of blockchain beyond consensus innovations and Moore’s law.

Summary: In-depth study that explores the next-generation scaling strategies by conducting large-scale and comprehensive benchmarking.

Authors: Yinqiu Liu*, Kai Qian*, Jinlong Yan†, Kun Wang, and Lei He,

Affiliations* Rednova Innovations Inc, † Fudan University, and UCLA.

3. Paper Title: User Acceptance of Usable Blockchain-Based Research Data Sharing System: An Extended TAM- Based Study.

Summary: An extended TAM-based model to measure the relationship between perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, quality of system, perceived enjoyment and intention to use constructs for a prototype research data sharing system based in blockchain technology.

AuthorsAjay Kumar Shrestha* and Julita Vassileva*,

Affiliations: * University of Saskatchewan.


Proofs:

1. Paper Title: Transparent Polynomial Delegation and Its Applications to Zero Knowledge Proof.

Summary: A transparent ZKP protocol based on GKR with succinct proof size and verification time, when the arithmetic circuit representing the statement is structured. The prover time is at least an order of magnitude faster than existing ZKP systems, and the verification time is merely tens of milliseconds.

AuthorsJiaheng Zhang*, Tiancheng Xie*, Yupeng Zhang†, and Dawn Song*,

Affiliations: * University of California, Berkeley and † Texas A&M University.

2. Paper Title: New Constructions of Traceable Range Proofs: Towards Multiple Regulation and Joint Regulation.

Summary: A simplified traceable Borromean range proof directly from Borromean ring signature without additional validity proofs for tracing keys. This work can be applied for multiple regulation between different regulators, and can be further modified to be secure against malicious regulators.

AuthorsWulu Li*, Lei Chen*, Xin Lai*, Xiao Zhang*, and Jiajun Xin*,

Affiliations: * Onething Technologies Co., Ltd.


Consensus:

No papers.


Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: Is Blockchain the Next Step in the Evolution Chain of [Market] Intermediaries?

Summary: This work analyzes whether the blockchain needs an intermediary to allow for widespread access to its functionality and whether the blockchain itself is an intermediary.

AuthorsMarcela M. Gomez*, Pedro J. Bustamante*, Martin M. Weiss*, Ilia Murtazashvili*, Michael Madison*, Wilson Law†, Tymofiy Mylovanov*, Herminio Bodon*, Prashant Krishnamurthy*,

Affiliations: * University of Pittsburgh and † Baylor University.

2. Paper Title: Towards A Theory of Digital Network De/Centralization Platform-Infrastructure Lessons Drawn from Blockchain.

Summary: An in-depth analytical and literature study of blockchain networks as a particularly revealing type of digital platform/infrastructure duality. The paper also proposes an analytical model for characterizing de/centralization in digital networks and maps this onto blockchain networks.

AuthorsEnrico Rossi* and Carsten Sørensen*,

Affiliations: * London School of Economics.

3. Paper Title: Smart Contracts: A Requiem.

Summary: This paper demonstrates that contrary to popular claims, “smart contracts” do not create new legal problems and that questions regarding their enforceability or validity are inherently misplaced. It demonstrates how the mis-labelling of a technological phenomenon has spawned a pseudo-legal framework that captured the imagination of lawyers and regulators.

AuthorsEliza Mik*,

Affiliations: * Melbourne Law School.

4. Paper Title: A Percolation Model for the Emergence of the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

Summary: This paper investigates under which conditions in terms of blockchain and Lightning fees, average wealth and volume of transactions per users, a Lightning Network that spans a sizeable fraction of Bitcoin users – thus solving the scalability problem – emerges.

AuthorsSilvia Bartolucci*, Fabio Caccioli†, and Pierpaolo Vivo‡,

Affiliations: * Imperial College London, † University College London, and ‡ King’s College London.

5. Paper Title: The EU Response to Criminal Misuse of Cryptocurrencies: The Young, Already Outdated 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Summary: This work investigates shortfalls and challenges that lay ahead in the light of the new FATF Recommendations. It ultimately argues that the preventive anti-money laundering measures cannot dispense with the establishment of a cross-border integrated supervisory and enforcement system.

AuthorsValentina Covolo*,

Affiliations: * University of Luxembourg.


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“Significant research in the blockchain space is constantly being achieved by academic researchers. 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. We’ve put together a categorized list of academic papers that can guide our subscribers and keep them up to date.”

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