Blockchain Projects at Top Security Conferences

Blockchain Projects at Top Security Conferences


4 min read

With NC-Max finally accepted at The Network and Distributed System Security (NDSS) Symposium 2022, we wonder how many blockchain projects have published their main design components at top security conferences before us. So we did a quick search and noted down the results in this post.

This post may also help you to dig deeper into the theoretical depth of some of today's major blockchain projects.

A few words on our criteria before the list:

Why security conferences?

We choose top security conferences because they are considered the main battlefield in the early age of blockchain research: they are the earliest to accept blockchain papers and have published tons of most-cited ones. Of course, there are top-notch blockchain designs published at other computer science conferences, but an exhaustive search of all CS conferences is infeasible.

Which top security conferences?

“Top security conferences” include the “Big 4” security conferences: IEEE S&P (Oakland), ACM CCS, Usenix Security and NDSS, and the three IACR flagship events: Eurocrypt, Crypto, and Asiacrypt.

What counts as a (paper, project) pair

  • The paper is accepted at a top security conference between 2010 and 2022.
  • The project should have an official website and a white paper. Moreover, the project should be actively maintained: we exclude a design if its Github repository is maintained only by the paper’s authors and has stopped updating after the paper is officially published.
  • Their relation: the project officially announced the adoption of the system architecture proposed in the paper, or the author submitted a formal proposal such as a BIP to the project and the proposal has not been rejected yet. It gets a bit tricky for cryptographic primitive papers. A cryptographic primitive paper is considered pairing with a project only if one of the authors is employed by or developing the project. For example, although there are many projects built on verifiable delay functions (VDF), these projects cannot take credit for the paper “Verifiable Delay Functions” (Crypto 2018).

The Short List of Projects: Eleven in Total

In alphabetical order: Algorand, Arbitrum, Bitcoin, Cardano, InterBTC, Nervos, Perun, RedBelly Network, Thundercore, Tumblebit, and Zcash.

(Paper, Active Project) Pairs

PaperVenueYearCategoryProjectProject StateWhy Quantified
NC-Max: Breaking the Security-Performance Tradeoff in Nakamoto ConsensusNDSS2022ConsensusNervosLaunched in November 2019Nervos RFC20
Red Belly: A Secure, Fair and Scalable Open BlockchainS&P2021ConsensusRedBelly NetworkNot launched yetListed as the research papers at official website
Erlay: Efficient Transaction Relay for BitcoinCCS2019P2PBitcoinThe proposal is still a draft.BIP 330
Vault: Fast Bootstrapping for the Algorand CryptocurrencyNDSS2019P2PAlgorandLaunched in June 2019White paper
XCLAIM: Trustless, Interoperable, Cryptocurrency-Backed AssetsS&P2019InteroperabilityInterBTCLaunched in April 2020Listed as the research papers on the official website
Perun: Virtual Payment Hubs over CryptocurrenciesS&P2019Payment channel networkPerunNot launched yetWhite paper
Ouroboros Crypsinous: Privacy-Preserving Proof-of-StakeS&P2019ConsensusCardanoLaunched in September 2017Research paper
Thunderella: Blockchains with Optimistic Instant ConfirmationEurocrypt2018ConsensusThundercoreLaunched in May 2019White paper
Ouroboros Genesis: Composable Proof-of-Stake Blockchains with Dynamic AvailabilityCCS2018ConsensusCardanoLaunched in September 2017Research paper
Arbitrum: Scalable, private smart contractsUsenix Security2018Roll-upArbitrumLaunched in May 2021White paper
Ouroboros Praos: An adaptively-secure, semi-synchronous proof-of-stake protocolEurocrypt2018ConsensusCardanoLaunched in September 2017Research paper
The Bitcoin Backbone Protocol with Chains of Variable DifficultyCrypto2017ConsensusBitcoinLaunched in Jan 2009One example of many papers analyzing Nakamoto Consensus
TumbleBit: An Untrusted Bitcoin-Compatible Anonymous Payment HubNDSS2017Payment hubTumbleBitIntegrated into Breeze wallet in August 2017Listed as the research paper on the official website
Ouroboros: A Provably Secure Proof-of-Stake Blockchain ProtocolCrypto2017ConsensusCardanoLaunched in September 2017Research paper
Zerocash: Decentralized Anonymous Payments from BitcoinS&P2014Zero knowledgeZcashLaunched in October 2016Listed as the original zerocash paper at the official website.

In below you can find some projects that are published at top security venues but are no longer active—at least we didn’t find their corresponding active projects.

(Paper, Inactive Project) Pairs

PaperVenueYearCategoryProjectProject StateWhy Quantified
Chainspace: A Sharded Smart Contracts PlatformNDSS2018Smart contractChainspaceThe GitHub organization was inactive since 2019.Research paper
SmartPool: Practical Decentralized Pooled MiningUsenix Security2017Mining PoolSmartPoolThe GitHub organization was inactive since 2017.Research paper

At last, we list some blockchain projects whose main components are published at other top CS venues we are aware of. Although listing them in an ad hoc fashion would make this article less rigorous, we feel like this article is not complete without them.

Blockchain Projects at Other Top CS Venues

PaperVenueYearCategoryProjectProject StateWhy Quantified
A Decentralized Blockchain with High Throughput and Fast ConfirmationUSENIX ATC2020ConsensusConfluxLaunched in November 2020Research paper
Fast and secure global payments with StellarSOSP2019ConsensusStellarLaunched in July 2014Research paper
Algorand: Scaling Byzantine Agreements for CryptocurrenciesSOSP2017ConsensusAlgorandLaunched in June 2019White paper

We will keep updating this article for a few months. If your (paper, project) pair should appear in the list but does not, please let us know.

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