This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #110

Issue #110


Issue #110

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: A Permissionless Proof-of-Stake Blockchain with Best-Possible Unpredictability (or, How to Mimic Bitcoin via Proof-of-Stake).


  1. To eliminate the unnecessary waste of energy and computing power in Bitcoin, this paper develops a novel proof-of-stake consensus in the permissionless setting.

  2. Among other features, the design achieves the “best possible” unpredictability for permissionless proof-of-stake protocols.

  3. Predictability can be abused by the attackers for launching strengthened version of multiple attacks such as selfish-mining and bribing, against proof-of-stake systems.

  4. This work inspired by Bitcoin’s “block-by-block” design and shows that a direct and natural mimic of Bitcoin’s design via proof-of-stake is secure if the majority 73% of stake is honest.

  5. The result relies on an interesting upper bound of extending proof-of-stake blockchain established: players (who may extend all chains) can generate blockchain at most 2.72× faster than playing the basic strategy of extending the longest chain.

  6. A novel strategy called “D-distance-greedy” strategy is introduced, which enables to construct a class of secure proof-of-stake blockchain protocols, against an arbitrary adversary, even assuming much smaller (than 73% of) stake is honest.

  7. To enable a thorough security analysis in the cryptographic setting, this work develops several new techniques: for example, to show the chain growth property, it represents the chain extension process via a Markov chain, and then develops a random walk on the Markov chain; to prove the common prefix property, it introduces a new concept called “virtual chains”, and then presents a reduction from the regular version of common prefix to “common prefix w.r.t. virtual chains”.

AuthorsLei Fan*, Jonathan Katz†, Phuc Thai‡, and Hong-Sheng Zhou‡,

Affiliations: * Shanghai Jiaotong University, † University of Maryland, and ‡ Virginia Commonwealth University.


1. Paper Title: Legendre PRF (Multiple) Key Attacks and the Power of Preprocessing.

Summary: This multiple-key attack might be of interest in the Ethereum context, since recovering many keys simultaneously maximizes an attacker’s profit.

Authors: Alexander May* and Floyd Zweydinger*

Affiliations* Ruhr University Bochum.

2. Paper Title: LEO: A Programming Language for Formally Verified, Zero-Knowledge Applications.

Summary: A statically-typed functional programming language, built with intuitive semantics that enable users to write decentralized applications the attest to the correctness of their offline compilation and execution.

Authors: Collin Chin*, Howard Wu*, Raymond Chu*, Alessandro Coglio*, Eric McCarthy*, and Eric Smith*,

Affiliations* Aleo.

3. Paper Title: A Trustless GQ Multi-Signature Scheme with Identifiable Abort.

Summary: A trapdoor less GQ multi-signature scheme with identifiable abort property and only 4 rounds of interaction in the signing phase, secure in the dishonest majority model.

Authors: Handong Cui* and Tsz Hon Yuen*,

Affiliations* The University of Hong Kong.

4. Paper Title: VerLoc: Verifiable Localization in Decentralized Systems.

Summary: This paper tackles an open challenge: reliably determining the geo-location of nodes in decentralized networks, considering adversarial settings and without depending on any trusted parties.

Authors: Katharina Kohls* and Claudia Diaz†,

Affiliations* Radboud University Nijmegen and † KU Leuven.

5. Paper Title: SCSGuard: Deep Scam Detection for Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Summary: A novel deep learning scam detection framework that harnesses the automatically extractable bytecodes of smart contracts as their new features.

Authors: Huiwen Hu* and Yuedong Xu*,

Affiliations* Fudan University.


No papers.


No papers.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Multi-Threshold Byzantine Fault Tolerance.

Summary: A generalized version of the BFT problem, which defines fault thresholds separately for safety and liveness under synchrony and asynchrony (or partial-synchrony), respectively.

Authors: Atsuki Momose* and Ling Ren†,

Affiliations* Nagoya University and † University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2. Paper Title: Pravuil: Global Consensus for a United World.

Summary: A robust, secure, and scalable consensus protocol for a permissionless blockchain suitable for deployment in an adversarial environment such as the Internet.

Authors: David Cerezo Sánchez*,

Affiliations* Catalopia.


1. Paper Title: While Stability Lasts: A Stochastic Model of Stablecoins.

Summary: A new stochastic model of over-collateralized stablecoins with an endogenous price.

AuthorsAriah Klages-Mundt* and Andreea Minca*,

Affiliations: * Cornell University.

2. Paper Title: Should Central Banks Use Distributed Ledger Technology and Digital Currencies to Advance Financial Inclusion?

Summary: This paper examines how central banks might use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to improve access to safe and affordable financial products and services.

AuthorsMichael S. Barr*, Adrienne A. Harris*, Lev Menand†, and Karin Thrasher*,

Affiliations: * University of Michigan and † Columbia University.

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