Blockchain Technologies: from an art to a science

Bitcoin and blockchain techniques significantly reshape the future of financial transactions, and distributed interactions in general, and eventually bring us a much more organized and documented digital world. The design of Bitcoin system is very elegant; it utilizes light weight cryptographic tools in a smart way so that the resulting system is open, secure, and also efficient. Today, Bitcoin and blockchain techniques have gained lots of attention, and huge amount of creative ideas have been introduced by researchers, developers, and advocates in Bitcoin community.

We take the provable security approach to developing blockchain techniques. We hope we can eventually move these powerful blockchain techniques from an art to a science. Specifically, we are interested in the following research topics:

  • Developing new security analysis frameworks.
  • Designing new blockchain consensus protocols.
  • Designing new applications on top of blockchains.

Research and teaching activities:

Implementation projects:

Research papers:

  • A Large-Scale Proof-of-Stake Blockchain in the Open Setting
    (or, How to Mimic Nakamoto's Design via Proof-of-Stake)
    Lei Fan, Jonathan Katz, Hong-Sheng Zhou
    Standford Blockchain Conference 2019
    Long version in submission.
    Early draft available online

  • Statement Voting
    Bingsheng Zhang, Hong-Sheng Zhou
    FC 2019 -- Financial Cryptography and Data Security Conference

  • Correcting Subverted Random Oracles
    Alexander Russell, Qiang Tang, Moti Yung, Hong-Sheng Zhou
    CRYPTO 2018 -- Advances in Cryptology
    Note: In this paper, we provide techniques to secure Bitcoin-like blockchains even when the underlying hash functions are subverted.

  • Trim: A Robust Pruning Method for Blockchain Ledger
    Alexander Chepurnoy, Tuyet Duong, Hong-Sheng Zhou
    Manuscript will be available online soon
    Source code available

  • Multi-Mode Cryptocurrency Systems
    Tuyet Duong, Alexander Chepurnoy, Hong-Sheng Zhou
    BCC 2018 --
    The Second ACM Workshop on Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and Contracts

  • Brief announcement: Statement Voting and Liquid Democracy
    Bingsheng Zhang, Hong-Sheng Zhou
    PODC 2017 -- ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing
    Presentation slides at PODC 2017

  • How to Mine Random Coins
    Aggelos Kiayias, Hong-Sheng Zhou, Vassilis Zikas

Research resources:

External collaborator
Alexander Chepurnoy (Ergo Platform and IOHK Research), Lei Fan (SJTU), Jonathan Katz (UMD), Aggelos Kiayias (Edinburgh and IOHK Research), Bingsheng Zhang (Lancaster), Vassilis Zikas (Edinburgh)