About: Smart contract is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 5006 publications have been published within this topic receiving 57058 citations.
01 Jan 2013
TL;DR: Ethereum as mentioned in this paper is a transactional singleton machine with shared state, which can be seen as a simple application on a decentralised, but singleton, compute resource, and it provides a plurality of resources, each with a distinct state and operating code but able to interact through a message-passing framework with others.
Abstract: The blockchain paradigm when coupled with cryptographically-secured transactions has demonstrated its utility through a number of projects, not least Bitcoin. Each such project can be seen as a simple application on a decentralised, but singleton, compute resource. We can call this paradigm a transactional singleton machine with shared-state. Ethereum implements this paradigm in a generalised manner. Furthermore it provides a plurality of such resources, each with a distinct state and operating code but able to interact through a message-passing framework with others. We discuss its design, implementation issues, the opportunities it provides and the future hurdles we envisage.
TL;DR: The blockchain taxonomy is given, the typical blockchain consensus algorithms are introduced, typical blockchain applications are reviewed, and the future directions in the blockchain technology are pointed out.
Abstract: Blockchain has numerous benefits such as decentralisation, persistency, anonymity and auditability. There is a wide spectrum of blockchain applications ranging from cryptocurrency, financial services, risk management, internet of things (IoT) to public and social services. Although a number of studies focus on using the blockchain technology in various application aspects, there is no comprehensive survey on the blockchain technology in both technological and application perspectives. To fill this gap, we conduct a comprehensive survey on the blockchain technology. In particular, this paper gives the blockchain taxonomy, introduces typical blockchain consensus algorithms, reviews blockchain applications and discusses technical challenges as well as recent advances in tackling the challenges. Moreover, this paper also points out the future directions in the blockchain technology.
••22 May 2016
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present Hawk, a decentralized smart contract system that does not store financial transactions in the clear on the blockchain, thus retaining transactional privacy from the public's view.
Abstract: Emerging smart contract systems over decentralized cryptocurrencies allow mutually distrustful parties to transact safely without trusted third parties. In the event of contractual breaches or aborts, the decentralized blockchain ensures that honest parties obtain commensurate compensation. Existing systems, however, lack transactional privacy. All transactions, including flow of money between pseudonyms and amount transacted, are exposed on the blockchain. We present Hawk, a decentralized smart contract system that does not store financial transactions in the clear on the blockchain, thus retaining transactional privacy from the public's view. A Hawk programmer can write a private smart contract in an intuitive manner without having to implement cryptography, and our compiler automatically generates an efficient cryptographic protocol where contractual parties interact with the blockchain, using cryptographic primitives such as zero-knowledge proofs. To formally define and reason about the security of our protocols, we are the first to formalize the blockchain model of cryptography. The formal modeling is of independent interest. We advocate the community to adopt such a formal model when designing applications atop decentralized blockchains.
TL;DR: This paper focuses on the relationship between blockchain and IoT, investigates challenges in blockchain IoT applications, and surveys the most relevant work in order to analyze how blockchain could potentially improve the IoT.
Abstract: In the Internet of Things (IoT) vision, conventional devices become smart and autonomous. This vision is turning into a reality thanks to advances in technology, but there are still challenges to address, particularly in the security domain e.g., data reliability. Taking into account the predicted evolution of the IoT in the coming years, it is necessary to provide confidence in this huge incoming information source. Blockchain has emerged as a key technology that will transform the way in which we share information. Building trust in distributed environments without the need for authorities is a technological advance that has the potential to change many industries, the IoT among them. Disruptive technologies such as big data and cloud computing have been leveraged by IoT to overcome its limitations since its conception, and we think blockchain will be one of the next ones. This paper focuses on this relationship, investigates challenges in blockchain IoT applications, and surveys the most relevant work in order to analyze how blockchain could potentially improve the IoT.
••24 Oct 2016
TL;DR: This paper investigates the security of running smart contracts based on Ethereum in an open distributed network like those of cryptocurrencies, and proposes ways to enhance the operational semantics of Ethereum to make contracts less vulnerable.
Abstract: Cryptocurrencies record transactions in a decentralized data structure called a blockchain. Two of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, support the feature to encode rules or scripts for processing transactions. This feature has evolved to give practical shape to the ideas of smart contracts, or full-fledged programs that are run on blockchains. Recently, Ethereum's smart contract system has seen steady adoption, supporting tens of thousands of contracts, holding millions dollars worth of virtual coins. In this paper, we investigate the security of running smart contracts based on Ethereum in an open distributed network like those of cryptocurrencies. We introduce several new security problems in which an adversary can manipulate smart contract execution to gain profit. These bugs suggest subtle gaps in the understanding of the distributed semantics of the underlying platform. As a refinement, we propose ways to enhance the operational semantics of Ethereum to make contracts less vulnerable. For developers writing contracts for the existing Ethereum system, we build a symbolic execution tool called Oyente to find potential security bugs. Among 19, 336 existing Ethereum contracts, Oyente flags 8, 833 of them as vulnerable, including the TheDAO bug which led to a 60 million US dollar loss in June 2016. We also discuss the severity of other attacks for several case studies which have source code available and confirm the attacks (which target only our accounts) in the main Ethereum network.
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