Podcast

We host a weekly podcast called The Blockchain Journal Club where we explain and discuss the key contributions of a recent blockchain research article.

Episodes

  • Episode 7: Asynchrous Blockchains (Part 2, Feat. Jakub Sliwinski) (Spotify)

In this episode, we are joined by Jakub Sliwinski from ETH Zurich to discuss his recent article proposing an asynchrous blockchain without consensus.

We go in depth on the theoretical foundations behind a peer to peer payments system which protects against double spend attacks without requiring expensive network synchronization.

Paper: article

  • Episode 6: Blockchain in Healthcare - Gamechanger or Overkill? (Spotify)

This episode features a review article covering various problems in the healthcare industry that blockchain can help solve. We go over the benefits and limitations of decentralized systems and discuss scenarios where blockchain is crucial, and where it might be overkill.

Paper: article

  • Episode 5: Finding Vulnerable Wallets on Ethereum (Spotify)

In this episode we look at a study which identified Ethereum wallets generated from vulnerable private keys, and uncovered the famous ‘blockchainbandit’ worth over 40 million dollars in his prime. We discuss how keys and addresses are generated in Ethereum, potential security risks, and speculate on the morality of wallet draining.

Paper: report

  • Episode 4: Analyzing the Risks and Prevalence of Bitcoin Brain Wallets (Spotify)

Brain wallets are Bitcoin secret keys that are generated from a person coming up with a memorable passphrase. They can be convenient and sometimes more secure. In this episode we discuss a paper which studies the prevalence of these types of wallets and quantifies the risk involved.

We go over the concepts of Bitcoin addresses, public key cryptography, and wallet security.

Paper: pdf

  • Episode 3: Asynchrous Blockchain Without Consensus (Spotify)

In this episode we are joined by guest and fellow PhD student, Simon Sehayek. We discuss a recent paper which proposes an asynchrous blockchain using a graph structure instead of a blockchain. This would allow the network to avoid proof of work and promises transaction finality. We also go over some blockchain fundamentals including double spending and network consensus.

Paper: arxiv

  • Episode 2: Improving Proof-of-Work Difficulty Updates (Spotify)

In this episode of The Blockchain Journal Club, we discuss a recent paper which proposes an alternate way to adjust the difficulty in blockchain mining to guarantee more reliable block times.

The author tries to improve the responsiveness of mining difficulty to rapidly changing hash-rates. Most blockchain implementations are very slow to update mining difficulty. This can cause problems where powerful miners are able to control the difficulty and can end up crashing certain currencies.

Paper: ledger journal

  • Episode 1: Using Blockchain to Solve Scientific Problems (Spotify)

In this episode we discuss a recent paper of ours “Difficulty Scaling in Proof of Work for Decentralized Problem Solving”.

We’ll be going over the basics of how mining is achieved in blockchains like Bitcoin and how various efforts have been made to leverage computational power towards solving scientific problems.

These problems can go from protein folding for drug discovery to neural network parameter searching.

Paper: arxiv