Prof. Emin Gün Sirer (at left in photo above) gathers with students and industry attendees at the 2019 IC3 Fall Retreat hosted by JP Morgan on November 22, 2019. Please see summaries below of the Retreat and other events, as well as news, blogs, and publications.
Greetings! Welcome to the IC3 Newsletter.

This is an outreach to keep the blockchain community aware of IC3 innovations, events, news, publications, and other service to the community by IC3 faculty, post-docs, students, and partners.


IC3 SF BAY AREA MEETUP - Tuesday, February 18
Hosted by Calibra
1 Facebook Way
Menlo Park, CA

Join us for networking and blockchain research presentations by Prof. Dawn Song from UC Berkeley and IC3 and Dr. Sam Blackshear from Calibra.
Dawn Song, UC Berkeley, Oasis Labs, and IC3
Sam Blackshear, Calibra
6:00 PM Arrival and networking with refreshments

6:30 PM "Move: A Language with Programmable Resources” presented by Dr. Sam Blackshear, Calibra Research Group

7:00 PM "Building a Platform for a Responsible Data Economy" presented by Prof. Dawn Song, University of California, Berkeley and IC3

8:00 PM Networking with refreshments

Please   register here.

FINANCIAL CRYPTOGRAPHY and DATA SECURITY 2020 - February 10-14, Sabah, Malaysia
Prof. Andrew Miller and Emin Gün Sirer have the following papers at FCDS 2020.

Selfish Mining Re-Examined . Kevin Alarcón Negy (Cornell University), Peter R. Rizun (Bitcoin Unlimited), Emin Gün Sirer (Cornell University)

SoK: A Classification Framework for Stablecoin Designs . Amani Moin (Cornell University), Kevin Sekniqi (Cornell University), Emin Gün Sirer (Cornell University)

Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof-of-Work . Aggelos Kiayias (University of Edinburgh and IOHK), Andrew Miller (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Dionysis Zindros (University of Athens and IOHK)

STANFORD BLOCKCHAIN CONFERENCE - Feb 19-21, Stanford University
Prof. Ari Juels and Fan Zhang will be speaking on Friday Feb 21 at Stanford.

DECO: Liberating Web Data Using Decentralized Oracles for TLS
Fan Zhang, Cornell University

Mixicles: Simple Private Decentralized Finance
Ari Juels, Cornell University

Also see these talks by IC3 Sponsors Calibra, Ethereum and Protocol Labs:

Technical aspects of the Libra system
Ben Maurer, Facebook/Calibra

The Celo Ultralight Client
Ariel Gabizon, Protocol Labs

The Optimistic VM
Karl Floersch, Ethereum Foundation


This event is hosted by Cornell Blockchain , a group organized and operated by Cornell students in Ithaca and NYC. Speaking last year were Professors Ari Juels, Elaine Shi, and Emin Gün Sirer, along with several luminaries from the blockchain community. Please watch for more details and registration info.

IC3 FALL RETREAT - November 22, Brooklyn, NY
Hosted by IC3 Sponsor JPM Chase at their Brooklyn Metrotech offices.

IC3 faculty, students, sponsors and guests gather at IC3 Retreats to discuss the major technical challenges, issues and innovative solutions to widespread blockchain adoption.

 Below, Prof. Andrew Miller, UIUC and IC3 Associate Director welcomes the Retreat attendees before the start of the first session on Smart Contract Architectures.
Professor Andrew Miller, UIUC and IC3 Associate Director
There were 28 talks from faculty and students across the globe and a compelling Town Hall led by Prof. Andrew Miller.

Ample breaks were scheduled for follow up discussions and networking. The Retreat was capped off by a dinner at the nearby Kimoto Rooftop Restaurant and an after-party at the aptly named Endswell. Please see the detailed Retreat agenda .

Participating companies included Ava Labs, Blockstack, Calibra, Chainlink, Citi, Consensys, Digital Asset, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Ethereum Foundation, Fidelity, IBM, Intel, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Oasis Labs, Pisa, Siemens, Tezos and VMware. Below are photos of some of the other faculty and industry representatives in attendance.
Christine Moy, JPM
Parth Gargava, Fidelity
Albert Chiang,VMware
Sam Blackshear, Calibra
Dawn Song, UC Berkeley and Oasis Labs
Shaul Kfir, Digital Asset
Puneet Singhvi, Citi
Sarah Meiklejohn, UCL
Yorke Rhodes, Microsoft
The IC3 2019 Fall Retreat attendees gathered (below) for a group photo at the end of the day at in the JPM Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY . The Retreat included IC3 faculty and students from Cornell, Cornell Tech, ETH Zurich, EPFL, UC Berkeley, UCL, UIUC, and the Technion. 

Hosted by IC3 Sponsor Chainlink

Deep Dive into Off-chain Protocols by Dr. Patrick McCorry
Cryptocurrencies do not scale. In this technical deep-dive, we provide an overview of an alternative scaling approach, off-chain protocols, that lets parties transact locally amongst themselves instead of the global network.
Patrick McCorry (at far left) addresses the audience at the IC3 Meetup hosted by Chainlink on November 21st.

A. Juels, L. Breidenbach, A. Coventry, S. Nazarov, S. Ellis, and B. Magauran.  Mixicles: Simple Private Decentralized Finance .  

I. Tsabary, A. Spiegelman, and I. Eyal.  Just Enough Security: Reducing Proof-of-Work Ecological Footprint .

F. Zhang, S. K. D. Maram, H. Malvai, S. Goldfeder, and A. Juels.  DECO: Liberating Web Data Using Decentralized Oracles for TLS .

A. Judmayer, N. Stifter, A. Zamyatin, I. Tsabary, I. Eyal, P. Gazi, S. Meiklejohn, and E. Weippl.  Pay-To-Win: Incentive Attacks on Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrencies .

J. Grimmelmann.  All Smart Contracts Are Ambiguous .

G. Fanti, N. Holden, Y. Peres, and G. Ranade.  Communication cost of consensus for nodes with limited memory .


by Michael Mirkin, Yan Ji, Jonathan Pang, Ariah Klages-Mundt, Ittay Eyal, and Ari Juels on December 17, 2019

We have discovered a denial-of-service attack on Bitcoin-like blockchains that is much cheaper than previously described attacks. Such blockchains rely on incentives to provide security. We show how an attacker can disrupt those incentives to cause rational miners to stop mining.

by Itay Tsabary, Alexander Spiegelman, and Ittay Eyal on December 04, 2019

Proof-of-work (PoW) mechanisms secure about 80% of the $250B cryptocurrency market. PoW requires system participants to expend computational resources, and protects the system from attackers who cannot expend resources at an equivalent rate. As cryptocurrency prices soar so do the invested resources, and Bitcoin expenditures alone are 0.24% of the global electricity consumption.

by Yujin Kwon, Jian Liu, Minjeong Kim, Dawn Song, and Yongdae Kim on September 30, 2019

Decentralization is an essential factor the should be inherently considered in the design of blockchain systems. Even though people design systems for good decentralization, in practice, we often observe that blockchain systems are highly centralized. In fact, poor decentralization appears not only in PoW-based coins but also in coins adopting other mechanisms such as proof-of-stake (PoS) and delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS).

by Bryan Ford and Rainer Böhme on September 23, 2019

If you think you have designed a permissionless decentralized system that is cleverly secured based on rationality assumptions, you haven't. This blog post, based partly on ideas from Rainer Böhme's talk at the recent BDLT Summer School in Vienna, sketches an argument that rationality assumptions are self-defeating in open permissionless systems with weak identities

IC3 in the NEWS - JANUARY 2020 (see our Press page for many additional mentions of IC3 in the News)
Meet our new Community Manager! Sarah Allen is the IC3 Community Manager, supporting interactions among faculty, students, and industry partners; and spreading the IC3 word throughout the greater community. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and previous experience in academic research.

Please feel free to contact us for more info on these items.


Jim Ballingall
Executive Director
The Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3) 
cel:  408-212-1035
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