This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #16

Issue #16

Issue #16

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Pay-To-Win: Incentive Attacks on Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrencies.


  1. The first comprehensive systematization of incentive attacks (bribing attacks and similar techniques) within permissionless proof-of-work cryptocurrencies.

  2. The purpose is to highlight unconsidered attack types and present new and improved techniques that address several of these open questions, in an effort to fill some gaps.

  3. First, a comparison and categorization of the varying system models of previously proposed attacks is presented along with interesting observations.

  4. Next, three new pay-to-win incentive attacks are introduced that are trustless, both for the attacker and the collaborating miners, and do not require the adversary to control any hash rate.

  5. Each attack is then thoroughly explained by presenting (i) a general overview of the attack, (ii) a step-by-step description, (iv) attack evaluations, and (v) analysis of the attack properties.

  6. With this research, it is demonstrated that the hash rate distribution among permissionless PoW based cryptocurrencies does not play a central role in defining the underlying security guarantees. 

  7. In face, the ratio of rational miners and available funds for performing bribes also form a key component that demands further study.

AuthorsAljosha Judmayer*, Nicholas Stifter†, Alexei Zamyatin‡, Itay Tsabary§˖, Ittay Eyal§˖, Peter Gazi✜, Sarah Meiklejohn☥, and Edgar Weippl*,

Affiliations: * SBA Research, † TU Wien, ‡ Imperial College London, § Technion, ˖IC3, ✜ IOHK and ☥ University College London.


1. Paper Title: A Composable Security Treatment of the Lightning Network.

Summary: The first complete security analysis of the lightning network in the universal composition (UC) setting.

AuthorsAggelos Kiayias*† and Orfeas Stefanos Thyfronitis Litos*,

Affiliations: * University of Edinburgh and † IOHK.


1. Paper Title: Towards a formally verified implementation of the MimbleWimble cryptocurrency protocol.

Summary: This work puts forward elements that constitute essential steps towards the development of an exhaustive formalization of the MimbleWimble cryptocurrency protocol, the analysis of its properties and the verification of its implementations.

AuthorsGustavo Betarte*, Maximiliano Cristiá†, Carlos Luna*, Adrián Silveira*, and Dante Zanarini†,

Affiliations: * Universidad de la República and † Universidad Nacional de Rosario.


1. Paper Title: Metamorphic IOTA.

Summary: A new metamorphic algorithm for tip selection by approving left behind tips, and improving confidence within the main tangle that offers the best guaranties of both IOTA and G-IOTA.

AuthorsGewu Bu*†‡, Wassim Hana*†‡, and Maria Potop-Butucaru*†‡,

Affiliations: * Sorbonne University, † CNRS, and ‡ LIP6.


No Papers.

Consensus Protocols:

1. Paper Title: Cryptocurrency Egalitarianism: A Quantitative Approach.

Summary: The first work to provide a quantitative evaluation of cryptocurrency egalitarianism and a treatment of this property that acts as the foundation for comparing cryptocurrency fairness when it comes to reward distribution.

Authors: Dimitris Karakostas*‡, Aggelos Kiayias*‡, Christos Nasikas†§, and Dionysis Zindros†‡,

Affiliations* University of Edinburgh, † University of Athens, ‡ IOHK, and § “ATHENA” Research Center.

2. Paper Title: Fair Byzantine Agreements for Blockchains.

Summary: This work presents a novel notion called for Byzantine agreement and then propose a fair, responsive and partition-resilient Byzantine agreement protocol tolerating up to 1/3 corruptions.

AuthorsTzu-Wei Chao*, Hao Chung*, and Po-Chun Kuo*,

Affiliations: * Taipei, Taiwan.

3. Paper Title: STAKEDAG: Stake-Based Consensus for Scalable Trustless Systems.

Summary: This paper proposes a new family of consensus protocols that uses Proof of Stake to achieve more scalable and robust consensus in a DAG.

Authors: Quan Nguyen*, Andre Cronje*, Michael Kong*, Alex Kampa*, and George Samman*,

Affiliations: * FANTOM.


1. Paper Title: Sending a Bit More Coin Home? An Analysis of Retail User Protection in Bitcoin Remittance Markets.

Summary: This paper examines the use of Bitcoin in money remittance markets as a specific illustration of wider emerging issues relating to the use of cryptocurrencies.

AuthorsJared Cotton*,

Affiliations: * Victoria University of Wellington.

2. Paper Title: Blockchain and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs): A New Way of Crowdfunding.

Summary: The objective of this study is to investigate the potential advantages and challenges of blockchain technology and ICOs, and how they are going to affect the entrepreneurial environment.

AuthorsPierluigi Martino*, Cristiano Bellavitis†, and Carlos M. DaSilva‡§,

Affiliations: * University of Pisa, † Auckland Business School, ‡ Thunderbird, and § University of Ljubljana.



“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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