This Week in Blockchain Research Issue #49

Issue #49

Issue #49

Paper of the Week:

Paper Title: Hydra: Fast Isomorphic State Channels.


  1. Permissionless distributed ledger protocols suffer from serious scalability limitations, including high transaction latency (the time required to settle a transaction), low throughput (the number of transactions that can be settled per unit of time), and excessive storage required to maintain the state of the system and its transaction history, which can be ever growing.

  2. Offchain solutions have the advantage that they do not require additional trust assumptions about the honesty of parties beyond those of the underlying blockchain, and that they can be very efficient in the optimistic case where all participants in the offchain protocol instance behave as expected.

  3. As a drawback, in a traditional payment-channel network a transaction between two parties that do not share a direct payment channel requires interaction among all parties on a payment- channel path between them (so-called intermediaries), even in the optimistic case. State channels extend the concept of payment channels to states in order to support smart contracts.

  4. Multi-party state channels were introduced together with a high-level description of a respective protocol. A multi-party state channel allows a set of parties to maintain a “common” state whereon they can compute without interacting with the blockchain (in the optimistic case).

  5. Multi-party state channels introduce significant conceptual and engineering overhead beyond layer-one solutions: the contract state must be verified in a non-native representation.

  6. This work solves this problem using isomorphic multi-party state channels. These are state channels that reuse the exact state representation of the underlying ledger and, hence, inherit the ledger’s scripting system as well.

  7. A set of parties coordinates to commit a set of UTxOs (owned by the parties) into an offchain protocol, called the head protocol. That UTxO set constitutes the initial head state, which the parties can then evolve by handling smart contracts and transactions among themselves without blockchain interaction—in the optimistic case.

  8. In case of disputes or in case some party wishes to terminate the offchain protocol, the parties decommit the current state of the head back to the blockchain. Ultimately, a decommit will result in an updated blockchain state that is consistent with the offchain protocol evolution on the initially committed UTxO set.

AuthorsManuel M. T. Chakravarty*, Sandro Coretti*, Matthias Fitzi*, Peter Gazi*, Philipp Kant*, Aggelos Kiayias*†, and Alexander Russell*‡,

Affiliations: * IOHK, † University of Edinburgh, and ‡ University of Connecticut.


1. Paper Title: SmartDHX: Diffie–Hellman Key Exchange with Smart Contracts.

Summary: A blockchain-based DHKE scheme with multi-party capabilities where all cryptographic operations are implemented in a smart contract, without any client-side modifications or any additional libraries.

AuthorsRobert Muth* and Florian Tschorsch*,

Affiliations: * Technische Universitat Berlin.

2. Paper Title: Leveraging Weight Functions for Optimistic Responsiveness in Blockchains.

Summary: Can we get better guarantees for NSBs if we assign different weights to the blocks?

AuthorsSimon Holmgaard Kamp*, Bernardo Magri*, Christian Matt†, Jesper Buus Nielsen*, Søren Eller Thomsen*, and Daniel Tschudi†,

Affiliations: * Aarhus University and † Concordium.


1. Paper Title: A Blockchain Traceable Scheme with Oversight Function.

Summary: A blockchain traceable scheme with oversight func- tion (BTSOF) to limit the tracing right of the regulator.

AuthorsTianjun Ma*†, Haixia Xu*†, and Peili Li*†,

Affiliations: * CAS and † University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

2. Paper Title: Triptych-2: efficient proofs for confidential transactions.

Summary: This work extends Triptych to build a proving system that proves knowledge of openings of multiple commitments to zero within a single set, correct construction of a verifiable random function evaluated at each opening, and value balance across a separate list of commitments within a single proof.

AuthorsSarang Noether*,

Affiliations: * Monero Research Lab.

3. Paper Title: Soteria: A Provably Compliant User Right Manager Using a Novel Two-Layer Blockchain Technology.

Summary: A user right management system designed to safeguard user-data privacy in a transparent and provable manner in compli- ance to regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

AuthorsWei-Kang Fu‡, Yi-Shan Lin†, Giovanni Campagna*, De-Yi Tsai‡, Chun-Ting Liu†, Chung-Huan Mei†, Edward Y. Chang*† Monica S. Lam*, Shih-Wei Liao‡, 

Affiliations: * Stanford University, † HTC DeepQ, and ‡ National Taiwan University.


1. Paper Title: A Quantitative Analysis of Security, Anonymity and Scalability for the Lightning Network.

Summary: What is the quantitative impact of scalability, security, and privacy limitations in the current Lightning Network?

AuthorsSergei Tikhomirov*, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez†, and Matteo Maffei†,

Affiliations: * University of Luxembourg and † TU Wien.

2. Paper Title: A Flexible n/2 Adversary Node Resistant and Halting Recoverable Blockchain Sharding Protocol.

Summary: A flexible n/2 adversary node resistant blockchain protocol that can adjust the class number, shard number, and shard size based on the workload.

AuthorsYibin Xu*, Yangyu Huang†, Jianhua Shao*, George Theodorakopoulos*,

Affiliations: * Cardiff University and † Guilin University of Electronic and Technology.

3. Paper Title: An n/2 Byzantine node tolerate Blockchain Sharding approach.

Summary: A new Blockchain Sharding approach that can withstand up to n/2 of malicious nodes in the system.

AuthorsYibin Xu* and Yangyu Huang†,

Affiliations: * Cardiff University and † Guilin University of Electronic and Technology.

4. Paper Title: Improving Transaction Success Rate via Smart Gateway Selection in Cryptocurrency Payment Channel Networks.

Summary: A new routing approach which calculates the ratio of total inbound capacity to outbound capacity of each connected gateway and chooses the minimum among these.

AuthorsSuat Mercan*, Enes Erdin*, and Kemal Akkaya*,

Affiliations: * Florida International University.


No papers.


1. Paper Title: Optimal and Error-Free Multi-Valued Byzantine Consensus Through Parallel Execution.

Summary: The first error-free and communication-optimal Byzantine Consensus extension protocol in which each process only broadcasts a single bit with a binary Byzantine Broadcast protocol.

Authors: Andrew Loveless*, Ronald Dreslinski*, and Baris Kasikci*,

Affiliations* University of Michigan.


1. Paper Title: Crypto Wash Trading.

Summary: This work examines and compares digit patterns, trade patterns and behavioral patterns between regulated exchanges (with Bitlicense and under the preview of New York State Department of Financial Services) and unregulated exchanges (that are further divided into unregulated Tier-1 and Tier-2 exchanges, with Tier-1 exchanges more reputable and better known).

AuthorsLin William Cong*, Xi Li†, Ke Tang‡, and Yang Yang‡,

Affiliations: * Cornell University, † University of Newcastle, and ‡ Tsinghua University.

2. Paper Title: Decentralized Finance (DeFi).

Summary: This paper introduces DeFi, puts DeFi in the context of the traditional financial economy, connects DeFi to Open Banking and ends with some policy considerations.

AuthorsDirk A. Zetzsche*, Douglas W. Arner†, and Ross P. Buckley‡,

Affiliations: * Universite du Luxembourg, † The University of Hong Kong, and ‡ UNSW.

Conferences & CFPs:

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.”

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