This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #92

Issue #92

Issue #92

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: DeFi-ning DeFi: Challenges & Pathway.


  1. The decentralized and trustless nature of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology leads to a shift in the digital world.

  2. The possibility to execute smart contracts, on cryptocurrencies like Ethereum opened doors to countless new applications.

  3. One particular exciting use case is decentralized finance (DeFi), which aims to revolutionize traditional financial services by founding them on a decentralized infrastructure.

  4. This work shows the potential of DeFi by analyzing its advantages compared to traditional finance.

  5. Additionally, it surveys the state-of-the-art of DeFi products and categorize existing services.

  6. Since DeFi is still in its infancy, there are countless hurdles for mass adoption. The paper discusses the most prominent challenges and point out possible solutions.

  7. Finally, it analyzes the economics behind DeFi products. By carefully analyzing the state-of-the-art and discussing current challenges, it gives a perspective on how the DeFi space might develop in the near future.

AuthorsHendrik Amler*, Lisa Eckey*, Sebastian Faust*, Marcel Kaiser†, Philipp Sandner†, Benjamin Schlosser*,

Affiliations: * Technical University of Darmstadt and † Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.


1. Paper Title: The Eye of Horus: Spotting and Analyzing Attacks on Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Summary: Horus provides quick means to quantify and trace the flow of stolen assets across the Ethereum blockchain.

Authors: Christof Ferreira Torres*, Antonio Iannillo*, Arthur Gervais†, and Radu State*,

Affiliations* University of Luxembourg and † Imperial College London.

2. Paper Title: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Pitfalls and Best Practices in Automated Sound Static Analysis of Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Summary: This paper reviews the existing approaches to automated, sound, static analysis of Ethereum smart contracts and highlight prevalent issues in the state of the art.

Authors: Clara Schneidewind*, Markus Scherer*, and Matteo Maffei*,

Affiliations* TU Wien.

3. Paper Title: Quantifying Blockchain Extractable Value: How dark is the forest?

Summary: The first to provide a generalized real-time replay trading algorithm, which, according to the estimates could have yielded a profit of 51, 688.33 ETH over 2 years of the Ethereum blockchain.

Authors: Kaihua Qin*, Liyi Zhou*, and Arthur Gervais*,

AffiliationsImperial College London.

4. Paper Title: On the Synchronization Power of Token Smart Contracts.

Summary: ERC20 tokens, as well as other token standards, are more powerful and versatile than plain cryptocurrencies, and are subject to dynamic requirements.

Authors: Orestis Alpos*, Christian Cachin*, Giorgia Azzurra Marson*, and Luca Zanolini*

Affiliations* University of Bern.

5. Paper Title: Immutable and Democratic Data in permissionless Peer-to-Peer Systems.

Summary: This paper looks at different technologies on how to persist data without using a central authority, mainly looking at permissionless peer-to-peer networks, primarily Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) and a combination of DLTs with conventional databases.

Authors: Maximilian Ernst Tschuchnig*, Dejan Radovanovic*, Eduard Hirsch*, Anna-Maria Oberluggauer*, and Georg Schafer,

Affiliations* Salzburg University.


1. Paper Title: The Cryptographic Complexity of Anonymous Coins: A Systematic Exploration.

Summary: A common framework that can be used to evaluate the level of anonymity associated with different cryptocurrency schemes, regardless of the implementation method.

Authors: Niluka Amarasinghe, Xavier Boyen, and Matthew McKague,

Affiliations* Queensland University of Technology.


1. Paper Title: Selective Deletion in a Blockchain.

Summary: The first concept to delete entries in a blockchain while maintaining the characteristic attributes like trustworthiness and consistency.

Authors: Peter Hillmann*, Marcus Knupfer*, Erik Heiland*, and Andreas Karcher*,

Affiliations* Bundeswehr University.


No papers.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Decentralized Financial Market Infrastructures.

Summary: Financial services mechanisms and governance structures have not kept pace with the evolution of computing, and thus fail to capitalize on important risk reducing opportunities in the globally connected financial ecosystem where we operate today.

AuthorsTim Swanson*

Affiliations: * Clearmatics.

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