This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #23

Issue #23

Issue #23

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: HyperService: Interoperability and Programmability Across Heterogeneous Blockchains.


  1. Existing interoperability proposals are mostly centering around atomic token exchange between two blockchains, aiming to eliminate the requirement of centralized exchanges.

  2. This work argues that token exchange is not the complete scope of blockchain interoperability, instead, blockchain interoperability is complete only with programmability, allowing developers to write decentralized applications executable across those disconnected state machines.

  3. Two categories of challenges for simultaneously delivering programmability and interoperability are recognized: (i) the programming model of cross-chain decentralized applications (or dApps) is unclear and (ii) existing token-exchange oriented interoperability protocols, such as Atomic Cross-Chain Swaps (ACCS), are not generic enough to realize cross-chain dApps.

  4. To meet these challenges, this work presents the first platform for building and executing dApps across heterogeneous blockchains powered by two innovative designs: (i) a developer-facing programming framework for writing cross-chain dApps and (ii) a blockchain-facing cryptography protocol to securely realize those dApps on blockchains.

  5. Within the programming framework, a Unified State Model (USM) is proposed, a blockchain-neutral and extensible model to describe cross-chaindApps, and the HSL, a high-level programming language to write cross-chain dApps under the USM programming model.

  6. A prototype of this work is implemented in approximately 35,000 lines of code and evaluated with three categories of cross-chain dApps, showing that the end-to-end dApp execution latency imposed by HyperService is in the order of seconds, and the HyperService platform has sufficient capacity to continuously incorporate new production blockchains.

Authors: Zhuotao Liu*†, Yangxi Xiang‡, Jian Shi§, Peng Gao✜, Haoyu Wang‡, Xusheng Xiao§†, Bihan Wen✜, and Yih-Chun Hu*†,

Affiliations: * University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, † HyperService Consortium, ‡ Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, § Case Western Reserve University, and ✜ University of California, Berkeley.


1. Paper Title: ETHDKG: Distributed Key Generation with Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Summary: A new state of the art protocol for distributed key generation that includes a new mechanism to resolve disputes, which arise if certain parties violate the protocol rules, as well as a range of techniques improving the performance of our implementation in practice.

AuthorsPhilipp Schindler*, Aljosha Judmayer*, Nicholas Stifter*†, and Edgar Weippl*†,

Affiliations: * SBA Research and † TU Wien.

2. Paper Title: Infochain: A Decentralized System for Truthful Information Elicitation.

Summary: A completely decentralized information collection system in Ethereum.

AuthorsCyril van Schreven*, Naman Goel*, and Boi Faltings*,

Affiliations: * EPFL.

3. Paper Title: An Eye for an Eye: Economics of Retaliation in Mining Pools.

Summary: Strategies called Adaptive Retaliation Strategies (ARS), to mitigate not only Block Withholding (BWH) attacks but also Fork After Withholding FAW attacks.

AuthorsYujin Kwon*, Hyoungshick Kim†, Yung Yi*, Yongdae Kim*

Affiliations: * KAIST and †Sungkyunkwan University.


No papers.


Check out paper of the week!


1. Paper Title: Succinct Arguments for Bilinear Group Arithmetic: Practical Structure-Preserving Cryptography.

Summary: A zero-knowledge succinct argument system without trusted setup for bilinear group arithmetics.

AuthorsRussell W. F. Lai*, Giulio Malavolta†, and Viktoria Ronge*,

Affiliations: * Friedrich-Alexander University and † Carnegie Mellon University.

2. Paper Title: WI Is Not Enough: Zero-Knowledge Contingent (Service) Payments Revisited.

Summary: This work shows that in the fixed zkCP protocol, the minimal checks do not prevent an attack that lets the buyer learn one bit of information about the digital good. It also provides evidence that expensive verification of the CRS of the common SNARK schemes cannot be avoided in order to secure zkCP and zkCSP protocols.

AuthorsGeorg Fuchsbauer*,

Affiliations: * Université PSL | ENS.

Consensus Protocols:

1. Paper Title: Puncturable Signatures and Applications in Proof-of-Stake Blockchain Protocol.

Summary: A systematic study of puncturable signature and its applications in proof-of-stake blockchain protocol to design puncturable signature that allows for fine-grained revocation of signing capability with minimum computation cost, and make it a suitable building block to construct secure and practical proof-of- stake blockchain protocol.

Authors: Xinyu Li*, Jing Xu*, Xiong Fan†, Yuchen Wang*, and Zhenfeng Zhang*,

Affiliations* Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences and † University of Maryland.


1. Paper Title: How Do Private Digital Currencies Affect Government Policy?

Summary: This paper establishes a typology for digital currencies classified along the two axes of state-sponsorship and centralization, concluding that private decentralized digital currencies are a novel invention with important welfare implications for emerging markets.

AuthorsMax Raskin*, Fahad Saleh†, and David Yermack*,

Affiliations: * NYU and † McGill University.

2. Paper Title: Pause The Blockchain Legal Revolution.

Summary: This paper critically evaluates the popular claims surrounding the potential of blockchain technologies to disrupt the legal system by separating hype from fact.

AuthorsKelvin F.K. Low* and Eliza Mik†,

Affiliations: * City University of Hong Kong and † Melbourne Law School.



“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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