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 presentations (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.

To get assigned to a paper, please select your top five choices of papers you would like to present at the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/JLmwPTnH5x1usiv73


Sep 18 Introduction to the seminar Dr. Petar Tsankov PDF
Mar 8 Blockchains Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System Martina Forster PDF Dana
Mar 8 Blockchains Ethereum: A Secure decentralized generalized transaction ledger Yoel Zweig PDF Dimitar
Mar 15 Privacy Zerocash: Decentralized Anonymous Payments from Bitcoin Elizaveta Tretiakova PDF Benjamin
Mar 15 Scalability The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Scalable Off-Chain Instant Payments Marco Tollini PDF Gagandeep
Mar 22 Scalability Arbitrum: Scalable, private smart contracts Stefan Tiegel PDF Samuel
Mar 22 Scalability General State Channel Networks Lara Bruseghini PDF Gagandeep
Mar 29 Attacks teEther: Gnawing at Ethereum to Automatically Exploit Smart Contracts Joël Schneider PDF Jingxuan
Apr 5 Attacks Finding The Greedy, Prodigal, and Suicidal Contracts at Scale Julia Badertscher PDF Petar
Apr 5 Routing attacks SABRE: Protecting Bitcoin against Routing Attacks Elia Schudel PDF Samuel
Apr 12 Static analysis SECURIFY: Practical Security Analysis of Smart Contracts Theo Giovanna PDF Dana
Apr 12 Gas analysis Computing Exact Worst-Case Gas Consumption for Smart Contracts Lili Georgieva PDF Pesho
May 3 Verification SMT-Based Verification of Solidity Smart Contracts Lara Kohler PDF Maximilian
May 3 Symbolic analysis Osiris: Hunting for Integer Bugs in Ethereum Smart Contracts Raphael Wegner PDF Benjamin
May 10 Gas analysis MadMax: Surviving Out-of-Gas Conditions in Ethereum Smart Contracts Luis Wyss PDF Petar