This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #56

Issue #56

Issue #56

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Promise: Leveraging Future Gains for Collateral Reduction.


  1. The trustless nature of the blockchain systems means not only that parties may transact without trusting each other, but also that they should not trust each other. This creates a design challenge for interactions which would typically involve such trust.

  2. This paper focuses on blockchain protocols which, at least in part, encode trust by monetary collateral. Here, collateral is value escrowed by a service provider, Alice, to guarantee the user, Bob, that regardless of the behavior of Alice, Bob cannot lose funds.

  3. Payment, cross-chain, and generic computation protocols can be designed such that Bob is guaranteed to receive from Alice at least the amount of funds that are at risk in case she misbehaves.

  4. Protocols involving collateral include cross-chain communication [21], scalable off-chain payments, state channels, watchtowers, and outsourcing of computation and verification games. However, relying on collateral as trust is itself associated with a set of challenges.

  5. This work is a simple but effective mechanism to lower entry barriers for intermediaries in protocols relying on collateral for secure operation.

  6. Further, it is a subscription mechanism: Instead of locking up a significant amount of funds as collateral, it allows intermediaries to stake future payments (e.g., service fees) with the promise the payments will be disbursed upon the correctly provision of the service.

  7. This work can be applied to XCLAIM and NOCUST. Both protocols are suitable candidates for it, as in both protocols “service providers” are a necessary part.

AuthorsDominik Harz*, Lewis Gudgeon*, Rami Khalil*, and Alexei Zamyatin*,

Affiliations: * Imperial College London.


1. Paper Title: Contra-*: Mechanisms for Countering Spam Attacks on Blockchain’s Memory Pools.

Summary: A new form of attack that can be carried out on the memory pools (mempools), and mainly targets blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.

Authors: Muhammad Saad*, Joongheon Kim†, DaeHun Nyang†, David Mohaisen*

Affiliations* University of Central Florida and † Ewha Womans University.

2. Paper Title: Towards a Decentralized Digital Engineering Assets Marketplace: Empowered by Model-based Systems Engineering and Distributed Ledger Technology.

Summary: This paper proposes a decentralized open marketplace to facilitate DEAs exchange during system developments among inter-organization stakeholders.

Authors: Jinzhi Lu*, Xiaochen Zheng*, Zhenchao Hu†, Huisheng Zhang†, and Dimitris Kiritsis*

Affiliations* EPFL and † Jiaotong University.


1. Paper Title: Anonymous Lottery In the Proof-of-Stake setting.

Summary: This work focuses on anonymizing the selection function in the Proof-of-Stake setting to provide a formal definition of anonymous selection, and show an instantiation.

Authors: Foteini Baldimtsi*, Varun Madathil†, Alessandra Scafuro†, and Linfeng Zhou†,

Affiliations* George Mason University and † North Carolina State University.

2. Paper Title: Towards Privacy-assured and Lightweight On-chain Auditing of Decentralized Storage.

Summary: An auditing solution that addresses on-chain privacy and efficiency, from a synergy of homomorphic linear authenticators with polynomial commitments for succinct proofs, and the sigma protocol for provable privacy.

Authors: Yuefeng Du*‡, Huayi Duan*‡, Anxin Zhou*‡, Cong Wang*‡, Man Ho Au†, and Qian Wang§,

Affiliations* City University of Hong Kong, † The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, ‡ CityU University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Research Institute, and § Wuhan University.

3. Paper Title: Collaborative Deanonymization.

Summary: Protocols to resolve the tension between anonymity and accountability in a peer-to-peer manner.

Authors: Patrik Keller*, Martin Florian†, and Rainer Bohme*,

Affiliations* University of Innsbruck and † Weizenbaum Institute / HU Berlin.


1. Paper Title: A First Look into DeFi Oracles.

Summary: The first study of DeFi oracles.

Authors: Bowen Liu* and Pawel Szalachowski*,

Affiliations* Singapore University of Technology and Design.

2. Paper Title: Enabling Cross-chain Transactions: A Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange Protocol.

Summary: A distributed cryptocurrency trading scheme to solve the problem of centralized exchanges, which can achieve trading between different types of cryptocurrencies.

Authors: Hangyu Tian*, Kaiping Xue*, Shaohua Li†, Jie Xu*, Jianqing Liu‡, and Jun Zhao§,

Affiliations* University of Science and Technology of China, † ETH Zurich, ‡ University of Alabama in Huntsville, and § Nanyang Technological University.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: A Difficulty in Controlling Blockchain Mining Costs via Cryptopuzzle Difficulty.

Summary: This paper models blockchain mining as an all-pay auction to design cryptopuzzles that discourage miners to adopt higher computational costs at logit equilibrium (QRE with logit responses) with all miners actively participating.

Authors: Venkata Sriram Siddhardh Nadendla* and Lav R. Varshney†,

Affiliations* Missouri University of Science and Technology and † University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

2. Paper Title: Deterministic Blockchain BFT Protocol XP for Complete Asynchronous Networks.

Summary: This paper provides the first probabilistic CBC Casper protocol that achieves liveness property against t = ⌊ n−1 ⌋ Byzantine participants in complete asynchronous networks.

Authors: Yongge Wang*,

Affiliations* UNC Charlotte.

3. Paper Title: QuickSync: A Quickly Synchronizing PoS-Based Blockchain Protocol.

Summary: A novel PoS-based blockchain protocol to achieve security against fully adaptive corruptions without compromising on performance.

Authors: Shoeb Siddiqui* and Sujit Gujar*,

Affiliations* IIIT Hyderabad.


1. Paper Title: Do Cryptocurrencies Have Fundamental Values?

Summary: This paper studies the role of technological fundamentals in Initial Coin Offering (ICO) successes and valuations.

AuthorsYukun Liu*, Jinfei Sheng†, and Wanyi Wang†,

Affiliations: * University of Rochester and † University of California Irvine.

2. Paper Title: Smart Contracts on the Blockchain – A Bibliometric Analysis and Review.

Summary: This paper analyzes 468 peer-reviewed articles on the topic of smart contracts and their 20,188 references, providing a summary and analysis of the current state of research on smart contracts. 

AuthorsLennart Ante*,

Affiliations: * University of Hamburg.

3. Paper Title: Autonomous Business Reality.

Summary: This Article offers the first attempt to document the full range of technology-enabled automation at play among today’s business entities.

AuthorsCarla Reyes*

Affiliations: * Michigan State University.

4. Paper Title: Information Transmission across Cryptocurrency Markets and the Role of the Blockchain.

Summary: High latency in cryptocurrency markets implies correlations well below one across exchanges at high frequencies.

AuthorsThomas Dimpfl*† and Dirk G. Baur†,

Affiliations: * University of Western Australia and † University of Tubingen.

Conferences & CFPs:

Past Conferences’ Videos:



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.