This Week in Blockchain Research Issue # 29

Issue #29

Issue #29

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: The Bitcoin Backbone Protocol Against Quantum Adversaries.


  1. This work models quantum attackers in the context of the Bitcoin backbone protocol.

  2. Next, it extracts sufficient conditions imposed on the number of PoWs an adversary can solve within s rounds in order for the common prefix and chain quality properties to hold.

  3. Using the presented model, bounds are obtained on the expected number of PoWs within s rounds that any quantum adversary can achieve. This is then used to get an “honest majority” condition.

  4. New concentration theorems (extending Chernoff bound and proving a generalised version of Azuma’s inequality) are then derived.

  5. Using (old and new) concentration results applied to the presented model for quantum attackers, a complete analysis of the Bitcoin backbone protocol is introduced by giving a tight characterization of the overwhelming probabilities that the properties hold with.

  6. The results of this paper prove that the protocol’s essential properties stand in the post-quantum setting assuming a suitably bounded Quantum adversary in the Quantum Random Oracle (QRO) model.

  7. Specifically, the results imply that security can be shown by bounding the quantum queries so that each quantum query is worth O(p^{−1/2}) classical ones and that the wait time for safe settlement is expanded by a multiplicative factor of O(p^{−1/6}), where p is the probability of success of a single classical query to the protocol’s underlying hash function.

AuthorsAlexandru Cojocaru* , Juan Garay† , Aggelos Kiayias*‡ , Fang Song† , Petros Wallden*,

Affiliations: * University of Edinburgh, † Texas A&M University, and ‡ IOHK.


1. Paper Title: Coded Merkle Tree: Solving Data Availability Attacks in Blockchains.

Summary: A novel hash accumulator that offers a constant-cost protection against data availability attacks in blockchains, even if the majority of the network nodes are malicious.

AuthorsMingchao Yu*, Saeid Sahraei*, Songze Li†, Salman Avestimehr*, Sreeram Kannan†‡, and Pramod Viswanath†§,

Affiliations: * University of Southern California, † Trifecta Blockchain, ‡ University of Washington Seattle, and § University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2. Paper Title: LockDown: Balance Availability Attack against Lightning Network Channels.

Summary: This work uncovers the possibility of balance lockdown due to misbehaving nodes associated with a given channel.

AuthorsCristina Pérez-Solà*§, Alejandro Ranchal-Pedrosa†, Jordi Herrera-Joancomart퇧, Guillermo Navarro-Arribas‡§, Joaquin Garcia-Alfaro✜􏰀,

Affiliations: * Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, † University of Sydney, ‡ Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, § CYBERCAT-Center for Cybersecurity Research of Catalonia􏰀, ✜ Institut Polytechnique de Paris, CNRS Samovar.

3. Paper Title: A Data Science Approach for Honeypot Detection in Ethereum.

Summary: A step by step methodology to obtain, process and analyze Ethereum contract transactions for the task of honeypot detection.

AuthorsRamiro Camino*, Christof Ferreira Torres*, and Radu State*,

Affiliations: * University of Luxembourg.


1. Paper Title: BLAZE: Practical Lattice-Based Blind Signatures for Privacy-Preserving Applications.

Summary: A new practical blind signature scheme from lattice assumptions conjectured to withstand quantum computer attacks.

AuthorsNabil Alkeilani Alkadri*, Rachid El Bansarkhani†, and Johannes Buchmann*,

Affiliations: * Technische Universität Darmstadt and † QuantiCor Security GmbH.


1. Paper Title: Fairness and Efficiency in DAG-based Cryptocurrencies.

Summary: A new theoretical framework that captures a large family of DAG-based ledger implementations.

AuthorsGeorgios Birmpas*, Elias Koutsoupias*, Philip Lazos†, and Francisco J. Marmolejo-Cossío*,

Affiliations: * University of Oxford and † Sapienza University of Rome.

2. Paper Title: PubChain: A Decentralized Open-Access Publication Platform with Participants Incentivized by Blockchain Technology.

Summary: To overcome the drawbacks and limitations of existing publication platforms such as Nature Publishing Group, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Elsevier of RELX Group and Springer-Verlag, this work exploits recent advances in decentralized technologies (i.e., blockchain, IPFS) to design a decentralized open-access publication platform.

AuthorsTaotao Wang*, Soung Chang Liew†, and Shengli Zhang*,

Affiliations: * Shenzhen University and † The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


No papers.

Consensus Protocols:

1. Paper Title: Proof-of-Stake Longest Chain Protocols Revisited.

Summary: This paper demonstrates a new, and fatal, attack on a protocol, motivating the design of a new family of Nakamoto-style longest chain PoS protocols, with a formal proof of their security against all possible attacks in a general security model.

Authors: Xuechao Wang*, Govinda Kamath†, Vivek Bagaria†, Sreeram Kannan‡, Sewoong Oh‡, David Tse†, Pramod Viswanath*,

Affiliations* University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, † Stanford University, and ‡University of Washington.


1. Paper Title: Platform Tokenization: Financing, Governance, and Moral Hazard.

Summary: This paper studies how tokenization, that is, token financing plus decentralized governance, affects moral hazard frictions between founders, investors, and users of a platform.

AuthorsJiri Chod*, Nikolaos Trichakis†, and S. Alex Yang‡,

Affiliations: * Boston College, † MIT, and ‡ London Business School.

2. Paper Title: Blockchain Technology for Environmental Compliance: Towards A 'Choral' Approach.

Summary: This Article examines the impact that blockchain technology could have on monitoring compliance with environmental regulations, rendering the process much more efficient thanks to its greater involvement of various non-public actors, including regulated entities and the general public.

AuthorsMiriam Allena*,

Affiliations: * Bocconi University.

3. Paper Title: Blockchain and the evolution of institutional technologies: Implications for innovation policy.

Summary: This paper presents a novel evolutionary economic model of institutional innovation by focussing the selection mechanism on the cost of contracting and thus furnishing a dynamic model of institutional evolution.

AuthorsDarcy W.E. Allen*, Chris Berg*, Brendan Markey-Towler*, Mikayla Novak*, and Jason Potts*,

Affiliations: * Blockchain Innovation Hub, RMIT University.



“Significant research in the blockchain space is constantly being achieved by academic researchers. Unfortunately, a lot of this research is overlooked due to the massive numbers of papers being generated and the way they are being promoted and published. We’ve put together a categorized list of academic papers that can guide our subscribers and keep them up to date.”

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