This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #37
|zk Capital||Dec 5, 2019|
Paper of the Week:
Today, attacks on blockchain incentive mechanisms are typically discovered through a lengthy process of modeling and theoretical analysis. In addition, the difficulty of obtaining general theoretical results in this area is well-known.
This work proposes a framework for discovering attacks on blockchain incentive mechanisms using deep reinforcement learning. It is intended as a general-purpose methodology for blockchain developers to test incentive mechanisms for vulnerabilities and it does not provide theoretical guarantees.
The proposed work is applied to various blockchain protocols and is able to recover known theoretical selfish mining results in the Bitcoin protocol, while also extending state-of-the-art results to domains that were previously intractable (e.g., the multi-agent setting, larger state spaces, other protocols).
The results suggest that in the Bitcoin protocol, as the number of agents increases, selfish mining and its variants become progressively less profitable. This is consistent with the fact that selfish mining has been unobserved in the wild (to the best of our knowledge), although it is unclear whether this observation or other externalities are the reason.
Additionally, the experiments provide results about multi- agent settings that have previously been challenging to analyze theoretically.
Finally, this paper shows that the proposed work is generally applicable to attacks on incentive mechanisms beyond selfish mining.
Summary: Potential Balance Discovery Attack (BDA) algorithm improvements and the role of LN client software in BDA.
Authors: Gijs van Dam*, Rabiah Abdul Kadir*, Puteri N.E. Nohuddin*, and Halimah Badioze Zaman*,
Affiliations: * The National University of Malaysia.
Summary: A sustainable technology for micropayments.
Summary: This work employs RL to dynamically learn a mining strategy with performance approaching that of the optimal mining strategy by observing and interacting with the network.
1. Paper Title: Blockchain Governance for Technologists.
Summary: A brief tutorial-style introduction to institutional economics, which is one of the important frameworks for thinking about the economic aspects of blockchain systems.
Affiliations: * University of Pittsburgh.
2. Paper Title: More (or Less) Economic Limits of the Blockchain.
Summary: This paper extends the blockchain sustainability framework of Budish (2018) to consider proof of stake (in addition to proof of work) consensus mechanisms and permissioned (where the number of nodes are fixed) networks.
Feb 10-14 - Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2020(Malaysia)
Feb 19-21 - Stanford Blockchain Conference 2020 (Palo Alto)
March 07-08 - Cryptoeconomic Systems Conference 2020 by MIT Press (Boston)
Past Conferences’ Videos:
“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.”
Thanks for reading! If we missed anything, shoot us an email so that we can feature it in our next newsletter!
This newsletter is for informational purposes only. This content does not in any way constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment solution or recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on zk Capital should be relied on in any manner as advice. None of the authors, contributors, or anyone else connected with zk Capital, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in this newsletter.