This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #60

Issue #60

Issue #60

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: An airdrop that preserves recipient privacy.


  1. Newly-created cryptocurrencies face a chicken-and-egg problem: users appear to prefer currencies that already have a thriving ecosystem.

  2. An airdrop is designed to transfer value to passive recip- ients. To be most effective at recruiting new users, an airdrop should not require recipients to enroll ahead of time—or, in the best case, even to know about the airdrop in advance.

  3. Airdrops have a serious flaw: they offer no privacy to their recipients. This means that an observer can easily learn whether or not any given recipient has claimed her airdropped value.

  4. Even cryptocurrencies that provide anonymity mechanisms for on-chain transactions do not prevent this leakage, because a recipient must first use her existing identity to claim the airdropped funds.

  5. Existing solutions fall short of addressing this issue. The simplest possible approach—sending each recipient a fresh secret key for claiming her funds— carries an even stronger disincentive: it requires recipients to trust the sender.

  6. This work builds an efficient and practical private airdrop system using special-purpose zero-knowledge proofs designed for this task.

  7. It exhibits practical private airdrop schemes designed to work with ECDSA and RSA credentials.

  8. Next, it carefully describes how to use private airdrops to bootstrap a new cryptocurrency, a scheme called a private genesis airdrop.

AuthorsRiad S. Wahby*, Dan Boneh*, Christopher Jeffrey†, and Joseph Poon‡,

Affiliations: * Stanford University, †, and ‡ Unaffiliated.


1. Paper Title: Blockchain with Varying Number of Players.

Summary: Does Nakamoto’s protocol satisfy consistency and liveness when the total computing power in the network can vary, assuming just an upper-bound on the maximum network delay?

Authors: T-H. Hubert Chan*, Naomi Ephraim†, Antonio Marcedone†, Andrew Morgan†, Rafael Pass‡, and Elaine Shi†,

Affiliations* The University of Hong Kong, † Cornell University, and ‡ Cornell Tech.

2. Paper Title: Bitcoin covenants unchained.

Summary: A formal model of covenants, which can be implemented with minor modifications to Bitcoin.

Authors: Massimo Bartoletti*, Stefano Lande*, and Roberto Zunino†,

Affiliations* Universita degli Studi di Cagliari and † Universita degli Studi di Trento.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Ledger Combiners for Fast Settlement.

Summary: Combining a family of existing ledgers into a new, virtual ledger that provides amplified security properties. 

Authors: Matthias Fitzi*, Peter Gaži*, Aggelos Kiayias*†, and Alexander Russell*‡,

Affiliations* IOHK Research, † University of Edinburgh, and ‡ University of Connecticut.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: LotMint: Blockchain Returning to Decentralization with Decentralized Clock.

Summary: A novel notion of Decentralized Clock/Time (DC/DT) as global and logical clock/time which can be agreed upon as a consensus.

Authors: Wenbo MAO* and Wenxiang WANG*,

Affiliations* LotMint DAO.


1. Paper Title: Central Bank Digital Currency with Adjustable Interest Rate in Small Open Economies.

Summary: This work examines the economic consequences of an interest-bearing design of the Central-Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and extends the discussion to an open-economy context with trade and capital flows.

AuthorsAmmu George*, Taojun Xie†, and Joseph D. Alba*,

Affiliations: * Nanyang Technological University and † National University of Singapore.

2. Paper Title: Risks and Benefits of Initial Coin Offerings: Evidence from Impak Finance, a Regulated ICO.

Summary: This study provides a better understanding of the business and legal environment surrounding Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

AuthorsEmilio Boulianne* and Melissa Fortin*,

Affiliations: * John Molson School of Business.

3. Paper Title: The Public Blockchain Ecosystem: An Empirical Analysis.

Summary: This paper offers an organizing empirical framework to understand the largely unexplored public blockchain ecosystem.

AuthorsFelix Irresberger*, Kose John†, and Fahad Saleh‡,

Affiliations: * Leeds University, † New York University, and ‡ McGill University.

4. Paper Title: A Survey of Fintech Research and Policy Discussion.

Summary: This paper provides a comprehensive fintech literature survey with relevant research studies and policy discussion around the various aspects of fintech. 

AuthorsFranklin Allen*, Xian Gu†, and Julapa Jagtiani‡,

Affiliations: * Imperial College London, † University of Pennsylvania, and ‡ Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Conferences, Journals, & CFPs:

Conferences’ Videos:



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