Since the last research update, IC3 researchers considered transaction fee mechanism design, stablecoin deleveraging, front-running protection, decentralized databases, and more!

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Ithaca for the 2022 IC3 Blockchain Summer Camp! See more about the camp in the IC3 website event summary.


Please join us for the IC3 NFT Gallery Opening at Cornell Tech on October 3rd featuring IC3 and invited speakers! Registration is open on Eventbrite.

*While the initial batch of tickets are claimed, we will send an additional wave of acceptances closer to the event, so please register for the waitlist if you hope to attend. 


Foundations of Transaction Fee Mechanism Design was presented in the Highlights Beyond EC plenary session at EC’22!

The authors prove a new impossibility result: assuming finite block size, no single-parameter, non-trivial, possibly randomized transaction fee mechanism (TFM) can simultaneously satisfy UIC and 1-SCP. They also rethink incentive compatibility and consider the impact of new design elements. 

Hao Chung and Elaine Shi (both CMU)

Press: CyLab

While stability lasts: A stochastic model of noncustodial stablecoins was published in Mathematical Finance!

The authors develop a stochastic model that helps explain deleveraging crises in over-collateralized stablecoin systems. They also discuss noncustodial ways these issues can be mitigated.

Ariah Klages-Mundt and Andreea Minca (Cornell) 

Decentralized Governance of Stablecoins with Closed Form Valuation was presented at MARBLE!

The authors model incentive security in non-custodial stablecoins and derive conditions for participation. They apply option pricing theory to derive closed form solutions to the stakeholders’ problems, and to value their positions. They derive the optimal, incentive compatible interest rate, as well as conditions for the existence of equilibria, and discuss design implications.

Lucy Huo, Ariah Klages-Mundt, Andreea Minca (all Cornell), Frederik Christian Münter, Mads Rude Wind (both Copenhagen University)


Flash Freezing Flash Boys: Countering Blockchain Front-Running

The authors introduce a prototype blockchain architecture with front-running protection based on Shamir secret sharing commit-and-reveal.

Haoqian Zhang, Louis-Henri Merino, Vero Estrada-Gali˜nanes, Bryan Ford (All EPFL)

Tweet thread: Bryan Ford

Safe Permissionless Consensus

The authors present Sandglass, the first permissionless consensus algorithm that guarantees deterministic agreement and termination with probability 1 under general omission failures.

Youer Pu (Cornell), Lorenzo Alvisi (Cornell), Ittay Eyal (Technion)

Blog: Decentralized Thoughts


New IC3 Blog Post: Decentralizing Databases with Basil by Florian Suri-Payer and Natascha Crooks

Applications want to retain database functionality when decentralizing. Basil merges the ordering layer and the application materialization layer for improved scalability and usability

Full paper: ACM

The 2nd Edition of the DeFi MOOC started Sep 6! This free online course covers topics ranging from an intro to DeFi, privacy, regulation, oracles, and more! 

See more on the course website.

IC3 Co-Director Ari Juels published the op-ed NFTs Can and Will Be So Much More in Coindesk about the promise of NFTs for royalties, provenance, and more.

IC3 Alum Nicolas Gailly implemented a proof of concept (PoC) of a Distributed Key Generation (DKG) inside of a SNARK.


IC3 Partner Protocol Labs is accepting grant applications! 

See RFP-012: Checkpointing Filecoin onto Bitcoin and RFP-014: Private retrieval of data.

Additionally, they launched a new long-running small grants program with a focus on cryptography (RFP-013: Cryptonet network grants) and now have quarterly application deadlines for grants (Streamlining our grantmaking framework)- currently accepting for the fall deadline.


Work at IC3! 

IC3 has open positions for both a Community Manager and Research Engineer! Job description will be available shortly via Cornell, but if you are interested in either role, please reach out to Oana Gherman ([email protected]) and Sarah Allen ([email protected]). 

IC3 Partner the Ethereum Foundation is seeking a Research Scientist, Consensus Protocol. 

Learn more and apply on the EF Job Page

Please send any new research or presentations to [email protected] to be included in the next research update.


Best wishes, 

Sarah Allen

IC3 Research Program Manager

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The Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3)