MadMax: surviving out-of-gas conditions in Ethereum smart contracts

MadMax: surviving out-of-gas conditions in ethereum smart contracts Grech et al., OOPSLA’18 We’re transitioning to look at a selection of papers from the recent OOPSLA conference this week. MadMax won a distinguished paper award, and makes a nice bridge from the CCS blockchain papers we were looking at last week. Analysis and verification of smart … Continue reading MadMax: surviving out-of-gas conditions in Ethereum smart contracts

Securify: practical security analysis of smart contracts

Securify: practical security analysis of smart contracts Tsankov et al., CCS’18 Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good. When we’re talking about securing smart contracts, we need all the help we can get! Bugs can cost millions of dollars. Securify uses a set of expert heuristics (patterns) to help identify issues in smart … Continue reading Securify: practical security analysis of smart contracts

Designing secure Ethereum smart contracts: a finite state machine approach

Designing secure Ethereum smart contracts: a finite state machine based approach Mavridou & Laszka, FC’18 You could be forgiven for thinking I’m down on smart contracts, but I actually think they’re a very exciting development that opens up a whole new world of possibilities. That’s why I’m so keen to see better ways of developing … Continue reading Designing secure Ethereum smart contracts: a finite state machine approach

Zeus: Analyzing safety of smart contracts

Zeus: Analyzing safety of smart contracts Kalra et al., NDSS’18 I’m sure many readers of The Morning Paper are also relatively experienced programmers. So how does this challenge sound? I want you to write a program that has to run in a concurrent environment under Byzantine circumstances where any adversary can invoke your program with … Continue reading Zeus: Analyzing safety of smart contracts

Chainspace: a sharded smart contracts platform

Chainspace: a sharded smart contracts platform Al-Bassam et al., NDSS’18 Chainspace is a DApp (decentralised application) platform based on smart contracts, designed for higher scalability than is currently achievable with Bitcoin or Ethereum. Our modest testbed of 60 cores achieves 350 transactions per second, as compared with a peak rate of less than 7 transactions … Continue reading Chainspace: a sharded smart contracts platform

The ring of Gyges: investigating the future of criminal smart contracts

The Ring of Gyges: investigating the future of criminal smart contracts Juels et al, CCS’16 The authors of this paper wrote it out of a concern for the potential abuse of smart contracts for criminal activities. And it does indeed demonstrate a number of ways smart contracts could facilitate crime. It’s also though, another good … Continue reading The ring of Gyges: investigating the future of criminal smart contracts

Step by step towards creating a safe smart contract: lessons from a cryptocurrency lab

Step by step towards creating a safe smart contract: lessons and insights from a cryptocurrency lab Delmolino et al., 2015. This is an experience report from teaching a smart contract programming course to undergraduates at the University of Maryland, back in the Fall of 2014. Of course that’s a very long time ago in the … Continue reading Step by step towards creating a safe smart contract: lessons from a cryptocurrency lab

Adding concurrency to smart contracts

Adding concurrency to smart contracts Dickerson et al., PODC’17 Yesterday we looked at how analogies from concurrent objects could help us understand smart contract behaviour. In today’s paper choice from PODC’17 (which also has one Maurice Herlihy on the author list) we get to borrow some ideas from concurrent objects to increase the concurrency of … Continue reading Adding concurrency to smart contracts

A concurrent perspective on smart contracts

A concurrent perspective on smart contracts Sergey & Hobor, Workshop on Trusted Smart Contracts, 2017 Maurice Herlihy gave a keynote on ‘Blockchains and the future of distributed computing‘ at PODC’17. In his slides (I wasn’t there to hear the talk in person), he recommends reading ‘A concurrent perspective on smart contracts.’ And here we are! … Continue reading A concurrent perspective on smart contracts