This seminar introduces students to the latest research trends in the field of blockchains. The seminar covers the basics of blockchain technology, including motivation for decentralized currency, establishing trust between multiple parties using consensus algorithms, and smart contracts as a means to establish decentralized computation. It also covers security issues arising in blockchains and smart contracts as well as automated techniques for detecting vulnerabilities using programming language techniques.

The objectives of this seminar are twofold:

  • learning about the blockchain platform, a prominent technology receiving a lot of attention in computer science and economy and
  • learning to convey and present complex and technical concepts in simple terms, and in particular identifying the core idea underlying the technicalities.

The seminar is carried out as a set of presentatins (2 each lecture) chosen from a set of available papers (available below). The grade is determined as a function of the presentation, handling questions and answers, and participation.


Sep 19 Introduction to the seminar Dr. Petar Tsankov PDF
Oct 3 Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System Philip Junker PDF Petar
Oct 3 Zerocash: Decentralized Anonymous Payments from Bitcoin Mikel Grabocka PDF Petar
Oct 10 ZoKrates - Scalable Privacy-Preserving Off-Chain Computations Francesco Saverio Varini Sam
Oct 10 Arbitrum: Scalable, private smart contracts Giorgio Musciagna Benjamin
Oct 17 Smashing Ethereum Smart Contracts for Fun and Real Profit Daniel Fischman Mitko
Oct 17 teEther: Gnawing at Ethereum to Automatically Exploit Smart Contracts Chen-Yen Kao Petar
Oct 24 Finding The Greedy, Prodigal, and Suicidal Contracts at Scale Aleixo Sanches Gagandeep
Oct 31 Vandal: A Scalable Security Analysis Framework for Smart Contracts Andreas Allenspach Petar
Oct 31 Foundations and Tools for the Static Analysis of Ethereum smart contracts Anselme Goetschmann Mitko
Nov 21 Ekiden: A Platform for Confidentiality-Preserving, Trustworthy, and Performant Smart Contracts Shivam Srivastava Dana
Nov 21 ContractFuzzer: Fuzzing Smart Contracts for Vulnerability Detection Can Cikis Dana
Nov 28 Scilla: a Smart Contract Intermediate-Level LAnguage Johannes Kapfhammer Petar
Nov 28 An Empirical Analysis of Traceability in the Monero Blockchain Mark Ballandies Benjamin
Dec 5 S-gram: Towards Semantic-Aware Security Auditing For Ethereum Smart Contracts Guanju Li Petar
Dec 5 MadMax: Surviving Out-of-Gas Conditions in Ethereum Smart Contracts Rupanshu Ganvir Petar
CALYPSO: Auditable Sharing of Private Data over Blockchains
RapidChain: Scaling Blockchain via Full Sharding
Online Detection of Effectively Callback Free Objects with Applications to Smart Contracts
SECURIFY: Practical Security Analysis of Smart Contracts
Enter the Hydra: Towards Principled Bug Bounties and Exploit-Resistant Smart Contracts
Erays: Reverse Engineering Ethereum’s Opaque Smart Contracts
BitML: a calculus for Bitcoin smart contracts
DelegaTEE: Brokered Delegation Using Trusted Execution Environments