This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #63

Issue #63

Issue #63

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Virtual ASICs: Generalized Proof-of-Stake Mining in Cryptocurrencies.


  1. Proof-of- stake consensus protocols (PoS) provides guarantees similar to PoW assuming that a majority of the wealth in the system is controlled by honest participants.

  2. This paper argues that the design space of PoS-like protocols can be expanded and that further improvements are possible.

  3. Some advantages and disadvantages of PoW and PoS can be combined with a system based on virtual ASICs.

  4. Virtual ASICs are tokenized representations of mining power that mimic many of the properties of their physical counterparts but do not waste any physical resources.

  5. Their properties can be fine-tuned to further adjust the incentives of miners in ways that improve the stability, well-being, and decentralization of the system.

  6. A consensus protocol is constructed that is based on a leader election lottery, where the probability that a party is elected as a leader in a given slot is proportional to the party’s mining rate of the virtual ASICs in the system.

  7. Next, this work shows how to bootstrap our ASIC blockchain system by constructing a mechanism for acquiring ASICs on the blockchain.

  8. An all-or-nothing broadcast channel is used to construct an ASIC auction, and also to allow miners to commit in advance to powering their ASICs.

AuthorsChaya Ganesh*, Claudio Orlandi†, Daniel Tschudi‡, and Aviv Zohar§,

Affiliations: * Indian Institute of Science, † Aarhus University, ‡ Concordium, Zurich, and § The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


1. Paper Title: Lattice-based Fault Attacks against Deterministic Signatures ECDSA and EdDSA.

Summary: Eight efficient lattice-based fault attacks (and one differential fault attack) against deterministic ECDSA and two ones against EdDSA are proposed.

Authors: Weiqiong Cao*, Hongsong Shi*, Hua Chen†, Wei Xi‡, Haoyuan Li†, Limin Fan†, and Wenling Wu†,

Affiliations* China Information Technology Security Evaluation Center, † Chinese Academy of Sciences, and ‡ China Southern Power Grid.

2. Paper Title: Generically Speeding-Up Repeated Squaring is Equivalent to Factoring: Sharp Thresholds for All Generic-Ring Delay Functions.

Summary: This work proves sharp thresholds on the sequentiality of all generic-ring delay functions relative to an RSA modulus based on the hardness of factoring in the standard model.

Authors: Lior Rotem* and Gil Segev*,

Affiliations* Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

3. Paper Title: Bitcoin Covenants: Three Ways to Control the Future.

Summary: This work introduces a mechanism to construct a general class of covenants without requiring a change to the consensus rules of bitcoin, in contrast to previous covenant mechanism proposals.

Authors: Jacob Swambo*, Spencer Hommel†, Bob McElrath , and Bryan Bishop,

Affiliations* King’s College London and † Fidelity Center for Applied Technology.


No papers.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Groth16 SNARKs are Randomizable and (Weakly) Simulation Extractable.

Summary: This work shows that Groth16 is both weakly-simulation extractable and perfectly and efficiently randomizable.

Authors: Mikhail Volkhov* and Markulf Kohlweiss*†,

Affiliations* The University of Edinburgh and † IOHK.


1. Paper Title: A Few Explanations for <Fast-to-Finalize Nakamoto-Like Consensus>

Summary: This article asymptotically analyses the convergence of Nakamoto-like consensus of Tang et al. by proposing a general framework for formalizing consensus schemes comprising both the classical Nakamoto consensus (bitcoin consensus) and the consensus of Tang et al.

Authors: Shuyang Tang*,

Affiliations* Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


1. Paper Title: Backtesting of Algorithmic Cryptocurrency Trading Strategies.

Summary: A tool for backtesting algorithmic trading strategies for cryptocurrencies that provides a convenient way to automatically run comparisons of multi-dimensional parameter spaces for algorithmic trading strategies.

AuthorsJan Spörer*,

Affiliations: * Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

2. Paper Title: An Economic Model of Blockchain: The Interplay between Transaction Fees and Security.

Summary: A model to analyze how miners’ participation decisions interact with users’ participation and fee decisions in equilibrium, and identify the optimal protocol design when the goal is to maximize total throughput or users’ utility.

AuthorsJiahao He*, Guangyuan Zhang*, Jiheng Zhang*, and Rachel Q. Zhang*,

Affiliations: * The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Conferences, Journals, & CFPs:

Conferences’ Videos:



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