This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #88

Issue #88

Issue #88

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: DeFi and the Future of Finance.


  1. Our legacy financial infrastructure has both limited growth opportunities and contributed to the inequality of opportunities.

  2. Around the world, 1.7 billion are unbanked. Small businesses, even those with a banking relationship, often must rely on high-cost financing, such as credit cards, because traditional banking excludes them.

  3. High costs also impact retailers who lose 3% on every credit card sales transaction.

  4. These total costs for small businesses are enormous by any metric. The result is less investment and decreased economic growth.

  5. Decentralized finance, or DeFi, poses a challenge to the current system and offers a number of potential solutions to the problems inherent in the traditional financial infrastructure.

  6. While there are many fintech initiatives, this work argues that the ones that embrace the current banking infrastructure are likely to be fleeting.

  7. It also argues those initiatives that use decentralized methods - in particular blockchain technology - have the best chance to define the future of finance.

AuthorsCampbell R. Harvey*, Ashwin Ramachandran†, and Joey Santoro‡,

Affiliations: * Duke University, † Independent, and ‡ Fei Protocol.


1. Paper Title: RandPiper – Reconfiguration-Friendly Random Beacons with Quadratic Communication.

Summary: A novel communication efficient combination of state machine replication and (publicly) verifiable secret sharing (PVSS/VSS) protocols.

Authors: Adithya Bhat*, Nibesh Shrestha†, Aniket Kate*, and Kartik Nayak‡,

Affiliations* Purdue University, † Rochester Institute of Technology, and ‡ Duke University.


1. Paper Title: Privacy Analysis and Evaluation Policy of Blockchain-based Anonymous Cryptocurrencies.

Summary: A specific architecture model with three software layers to anonymous cryptocurrencies.

Authors: Takeshi Miyamae* and Kanta Matsuura†,

Affiliations* Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and † The University of Tokyo.

2. Paper Title: Achieving privacy and accountability in traceable digital currency.

Summary: This work investigates to what extent users’ privacy can be preserved while providing accountability in traceable digital currency systems.

Authors: Amira Barki* and Aline Gouget*,

Affiliations* Thales DIS.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Experimental relativistic zero-knowledge proofs.

Summary: This work reports the experimental realisation of a zero-knowledge protocol involving two separated verifier-prover pairs.

Authors: Pouriya Alikhani*, Nicolas Brunner†, Claude Crépeau*, Sébastien Designolle†, Raphaël Houlmann†, Weixu Shi†‡, and Hugo Zbinden†,

Affiliations* McGill University, † University of Geneva, and ‡ National University of Defense Technology.

2. Paper Title: Halo 0.9: An Halo Protocol with Fully-Succinctness.

Summary: An enhanced version of Halo aiming at the issue that the Verifier still must compute an O(n) operation ultimately.

Authors: Lira Wang*,

Affiliations* SECBIT Labs.


1. Paper Title: Optimal Communication Complexity of Byzantine Agreement, Revisited.

Summary: This paper provides two results: (1) a BA protocol with quadratic communication with optimal resilience f < n/2 with a trusted setup, and (2) a BA protocol with quadratic communication with near optimal resilience f ≤ ( 1 − ε)n without trusted setup.

Authors: Atsuki Momose* and Ling Ren

Affiliations* Nagoya University and † University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2. Paper Title: Commitment Voting: A Mechanism for Intensity of Preference Revelation and Long-Term Commitment in Blockchain Governance.

Summary: A mechanism for variable time-weighted governance voting on blockchains that have staking or can implement other token lockup mechanisms.

AuthorsChris Berg*, Sinclair Davidson*, and Jason Potts*,

Affiliations: * RMIT University.

3. Paper Title: Analysing Mining Machine Shutdown Price.

Summary: Shutdown price can be influenced by several factors, including the halving event and electricity price. Attacks requiring a particular percentage of mining power, such as 51% attacks, can take this into account and explicitly incorporate the diminished mining power as a part of their strategy, which will reduce the difficulty of launching such attacks.

Authors: Shange Fu*, Jiangshan Yu*, Rafael Dowsley*, and Joseph Liu*,

Affiliations* Monash University.


1. Paper Title: Evolution of the Digital Economy: A Research Program for Evolutionary Economics.

Summary: Innovation in a digital economy occurs in institutional technologies as well as industrial technologies. This process lowers transaction costs in economic infrastructure, including private order economic institutions, which in turn facilitates the rise of the commons and other non-hierarchical organizational forms.

AuthorsJason Potts*,

Affiliations: * RMIT University.

2. Paper Title: Freedom to (Smart) Contract: The Myth of Code and Blockchain Governance Law.

Summary: Smart contracts, if carefully drafted to consider potential pitfalls and the future needs of contracting parties to amend or enforce, can hold the potential to provide efficiencies and greater legal certainty to contracting parties.

AuthorsTiffany Sillanpaa*,

Affiliations: * New York University.

Conferences, Journals, & CFPs:

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