This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #11

Issue #11


Issue #11

Paper of the Week

Paper Title: AuroraLight: Improved prover efficiency and SRS size in a Sonic-like.

Interesting Takeaways: 

  1. This work acknowledges the importance of having structured reference strings (SRS) that can be both universal (a single setup to support all circuits of some bounded size) and updatable (an open set of participants can contribute secret randomness to it indefinitely).

  2. Using ideas from Aurora zk-STARK, a AuroraLight is presented, a zk-SNARK that achieves these features in a way similar to that in Sonic.

  3. To improve performance, AuroraLight uses an algebraic trick introduced in Aurora IOP to create a prover polynomial with constant coefficient = 0 to circumvent using negative powers, in comparison to Sonic which uses Laurent polynomials and may deal with both both negative and positive powers.

  4. That being said, AuroraLight reduces the prover polynomial degree to at most 2n, in comparison to that in Sonic which requires roughly a 7n size range from -4n to 3n, where n is the number of multiplication gates in a circuit.

  5. AuroraLight also evades the need to handle holes as introduced in Sonic, where a hole is need to be put in the polynomial degree range to disallow the constant coefficient, which doubles the SRS size.

  6. Overall, AuroraLight can achieve better prover run time and SRS size when compared to Sonic.

  7. On the other hand, Sonic retains smaller proofs, less auxiliary data and extra verifier work in helper mode, and a fully succinct verifier mode.

  8. In conclusion, the advantages of AuroraLight are more prominent in a setting that accepts parallel proof generation.

AuthorsAriel Gabizon*,

Affiliations: * Protocol Labs.


This Week in Security:

1. Paper Title: Hydras and IPFS: A Decentralised Playground for Malware.

Summary: This work investigates the use of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) for the coordination of a botnet, argues that the use of IPFS for the distribution of malicious content is relatively clear, and discusses other issues that emerge from this perspective.

AuthorsConstantinos Patsakis* and Fran Casino*,

Affiliations: * University of Piraeus.


This Week in Privacy:

1. Paper Title: Omniring: Scaling Up Private Payments Without Trusted Setup - Formal Foundations and Constructions of Ring Confidential Transactions with Log-size Proofs.

Summary: A fully-fledged RingCT scheme in the discrete logarithm setting that provides the highest concrete and asymptotic efficiency as of today.

AuthorsRussell W. F. Lai*, Viktoria Ronge*, Tim Ruffing†, Dominique Schröder*, Sri Aravinda Krishnan Thyagarajan*, and Jiafan Wang‡,

Affiliations: * FAU, † Blockstream, and ‡ The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


This Week in Scalability:

1. Paper Title: Atomic Multi-Channel Updates with Constant Collateral in Bitcoin-Compatible Payment-Channel Networks.

Summary: The first protocol for atomic multi-channel updates and reduced collateral that is compatible with Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies with reduced scripting capabilities).

AuthorsChristoph Egger*, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez†, and Matteo Maffei†,

Affiliations: * FAU and † TU Wien.

2. Paper Title: A^{2}L: Anonymous Atomic Locks for Scalability and Interoperability in Payment Channel Hubs.

Summary: The first secure, privacy-preserving, interoperable, and fungibility-preserving PCH that builds on a novel cryptographic primitive that realizes a three-party protocol for conditional transactions, where the intermediary pays the receiver only if the latter solves a cryptographic challenge with the help of the sender.

AuthorsErkan Tairi*, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez*, and Matteo Maffei*,

Affiliations: * TU Wien.

3. Paper Title: DLSAG: Non-Interactive Refund Transactions For Interoperable Payment Channels in Monero.

Summary: A new linkable ring signature scheme that enables for the first time payment channels and off-chain multi-hop payments in the Monero cryptocurrency.

AuthorsPedro Moreno-Sanchez*, Randomrun†, Duc V. Le‡, Sarang Noether§, Brandon Goodell§, and Aniket Kate‡,

Affiliations: * TU Wien, † Independent researcher, ‡ Purdue University, and § Monero Research Lab.

4. Paper Title: Utreexo: A dynamic hash-based accumulator optimized for the Bitcoin UTXO set.

Summary: A method for greatly reducing the storage needed to run a fully validating node which uses a hash-based cryptographic accumulator and introduces a new type of node that stores only an accumulator representation of the state.

AuthorsThaddeus Dryja*,

Affiliations: * MIT Digital Currency Initiative.


This Week in Proofs:

1. Paper Title: Libra: Succinct Zero-Knowledge Proofs with Optimal Prover Computation.

Summary: A zero-knowledge proof system where if C is the size of the circuit being proved (i) the prover time is O(C) irrespective of the circuit type; (ii) the proof size and verification time are both O(d log C) for d-depth log-space uniform circuits. It requires a one-time trusted setup that depends only on the size of the input to the circuit and not on the circuit logic.

AuthorsTiancheng Xie*, Jiaheng Zhang*, Yupeng Zhang*†, Charalampos Papamanthou‡, and Dawn Song*,

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

2. Paper Title: QAP-based Simulation-Extractable SNARK with a Single Verification.

Summary: A QAP-based SE-SNARK with a single verifying equation in an asymmetric group (Type III pairing). Given three groups with a bilinear map e : G1 × G2 → GT , the proofs consists of only 3 group elements from the source groups: two from G1 and one from G2. This work also presents a SAP-based SE-SNARK with 2 elements for a proof and a single verifying equation, in a symmetric group (Type I pairing).

AuthorsJihye Kim*, Jiwon Lee†, and Hyunok Oh†,

Affiliations: * Kookmin University and † Hanyang University.


This Week in Consensus Protocols:

1. Paper Title: Polygraph: Accountable Byzantine Agreement.

Summary: A new Byzantine agreement algorithm among nodes out of which t can be Byzantine with the following guarantees: (i) if n/3, then consensus is guaranteed, (ii) no matter the number of Byzantines nodes, if a disagreement occurs between two honest nodes, every honest node eventually produces an irrefutable proof as to the identity of some malicious users.

Authors: Pierre Civit*, Seth Gilbert†, and Vincent Gramoli*,

Affiliations* University of Sydney and † National University of Singapore.


This Week in Tokenomics:

1. Paper Title: Token Economics Framework.

Summary: Relying on economic theory, this work explains the 3 fundamentals pillars of designing token ecosystems, to achieve sound economics with robust mechanisms, and to identify the variables that could affect the long-term sustainability of these ecosystems.

AuthorsLisa Tan*,

Affiliations: * Economics Design Limited.


“Significant advancements and innovations in the blockchain space are constantly being achieved by academic researchers. We are committed to helping share and spread this research. In our newsletter, we aim to provide a list of publications that will help guide the community with the latest research in the blockchain space.

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. To tackle this issue, we’ve put together a categorized list of academic papers that can guide our subscribers and keep them up to date.”

Thanks for reading! If we missed anything, shoot us an email so that we can feature it in our next newsletter!


This newsletter is for informational purposes only. This content does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment solution or recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on zk Capital should be relied on in any manner as advice. None of the authors, contributors, or anyone else connected with zk Capital, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in this newsletter.