This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #74

Issue #74

Issue #74

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Ebb-and-Flow Protocols: A Resolution of the Availability-Finality Dilemma.


  1. The CAP theorem says that no blockchain can be live under dynamic participation and safe under temporary network partitions.

  2. To resolve this availability-finality dilemma, this paper formulates a new class of flexible consensus protocols which supports a full dynamically available ledger in conjunction with a finalized prefix ledger.

  3. The finalized ledger falls behind the full ledger when the network partitions but catches up when the network heals.

  4. Gasper, the current candidate protocol for Ethereum 2.0’s beacon chain, combines the finality gadget Casper FFG with the LMD GHOST fork choice rule and aims to achieve this property.

  5. However, this paper discovered an attack in the standard synchronous network model, highlighting a general difficulty with existing finality-gadget-based designs.

  6. It presents a construction of provably secure protocols with optimal resilience. Nodes run an off-the-shelf dynamically available protocol, take snapshots of the growing available ledger, and input them into a separate off-the-shelf BFT protocol to finalize a prefix.

  7. It also explores connections with flexible BFT and improves upon the state-of-the-art for that problem.

AuthorsJoachim Neu*, Ertem Nusret Tas*, and David Tse*,

Affiliations: * Standford.


1. Paper Title: Defending Against Malicious Reorgs in Tezos Proof-of-Stake.

Summary: An analysis of the possibility of malicious reorgs on the Tezos protocol in which statistical techniques are formulated for determining the degree of the protocol’s vulnerability to malicious reorgs, demonstrating that a different choice of parameters can reduce the probability of attack.

Authors: Michael Neuder*, Daniel J. Moroz*, Rithvik Rao*, and David C. Parkes*,

Affiliations* Harvard University.

2. Paper Title: Formalizing Bitcoin Crashes with Universally Composable Security.

Summary: The first formalized contingency plans framework for Bitcoin that is able to facilitate analysis of entire attack classes, giving detection guides, breakage classification, and contingency plans as the output.

Authors: Junming Ke*, Pawel Szalachowski†, Jianying Zhou†, and Qiuliang Xu*,

Affiliations* Shandong University and † SUTD.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Graviton: interchain swaps and wrapped tokens liquidity incentivisation solution.

Summary: This paper discusses the issues with liquidity that inhibit adoption of so-called wrapped tokens, i.e. digital assets issued in one blockchain ecosystem (origin) with representation in other blockchain networks (destination), and an incentive model and a governance mechanism for solving these issues are suggested.

Authors: Aleksei Pupyshev, Ilya Sapranidi, Elshan Dzhafarov, Shamil Khalilov, and Ilya Teterin,

Affiliations* VenLab team.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: NC-Max: Breaking the Throughput Limit of Nakamoto Consensus.

Summary: A consensus protocol that breaks the throughput limit and enables the full utilization of the nodes’ bandwidth in confirming transactions.

Authors: Ren Zhang*, Dingwei Zhang*, Quake Wang*, Jan Xie*, and Bart Preneel†,

Affiliations* Nervos and † imec-COSIC, KU Leuven.


1. Paper Title: The Digital Programmable Euro, Libra and CBDC: Implications for European Banks.

Summary: This study analyzes the impact of digital programmable Euro initiatives, such as the Libra stablecoin, and CBDCs, on banks. It finds that both Libra and a Euro CBDC might heavily affect European banks.

AuthorsPhilipp Sandner*, Jonas Gross*, Lena Grale*, and Philipp Schulden*,

Affiliations: * Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

2. Paper Title: Token-Based Platform Finance.

Summary: A dynamic model of platform economy where tokens derive value by facilitating transactions among users and the platform conducts optimal token-supply policy. 

AuthorsLin William Cong*, Ye Li†, and Neng Wang‡,

Affiliations: * Cornell University, † Ohio State University, and Columbia Business School.

Conferences, Journals, & CFPs:

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