Greetings!

Since the last research update, IC3 researchers used Universal Composability to implement off-chain payment channels, presented three papers at FC21, tested blockchain payment technology in space, received a Sloan Fellowship, and more!
The authors present an implementation of a simple payment channel protocol in SaUCy, a project that aims to bridge the world of cryptocurrency developers with the universal composability (UC) framework. The authors also provide an executable security specification in the form of a UC ideal functionality.
by Jun-You Liu (Cornell, IC3), Surya Bakshi (UIUC, IC3), Shreyas Gandlur (Princeton), Ankush Das (CMU), and Andrew Miller (UIUC, IC3)
CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Three papers including IC3 authors were presented at FC21
George Kappos (UCL), Haaroon Yousaf (UCL), Ania M. Piotrowska (UCL, Nym Technologies), Sanket Kanjalkar (UIUC), Sergi Delgado-Segura (PISA Research), Andrew Miller (UIUC), Sarah Meiklejohn (UCL)
Zeta Avarikioti (ETH Zurich), Eleftherios Kokoris-Kogias (IST Austria, Novi Research), Roger Wattenhofer (ETH Zurich), Dionysis Zindros (NKUA, IOHK)
Mustafa Al-Bassam (UCL), Alberto Sonnino (UCL), Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum Research) Ismail Khoffi (LazyLedger Labs)
NEW RESEARCH
The authors initiate the investigation of order-fairness, the principal that transactions should appear in the finalized ledger in the order they are sent to the network, in the permissionless setting and provide two protocols that realize it. These protocols work in a synchronous network and use an underlying longest-chain blockchain. Additionally, the authors show that any fair-ordering protocol achieves a powerful zero-block confirmation property, through which honest transactions can be securely confirmed even before they are included in any block.
Mahimna Kelkar (Cornell, IC3), Soubhik Deb, and Sreeram Kannan (both University of Washington, Seattle)

The authors describe the Chainlink OCR protocol, which significantly improves the efficiency of how data is computed across Chainlink oracles. This decreases costs and increases the amount of real world data made available to smart contract applications.
Lorenz Breidenbach, Christian Cachin, Alex Coventry, Ari Juels, Andrew Miller (All Chainlink Labs)
See more in the blog post.

The authors provide Systematization of Knowledge (SoK) of Decentralized Finance (DeFI), delineating the DeFi ecosystem along its principal axes. They provide an overview of the DeFi primitives, classify DeFi protocols according to the type of operation they provide, and consider in detail the technical and economic security of DeFi protocols. They also outline the open research challenges in the ecosystem.
Sam M. Werner (Imperial College London), Daniel Perez (Imperial College London), Lewis Gudgeon (Imperial College London), Ariah Klages-Mundt (Cornell, IC3), Dominik Harz (Imperial College London, Interlay), William J. Knottenbelt (Imperial College London)

The authors propose a new class of cryptographic primitives called fuzzy message detection schemes. These schemes allow a recipient to derive a specialized message detection key that can identify correct messages, while also incorrectly identifying non-matching messages with a specific and chosen false positive rate p. This allows recipients to outsource detection work to an untrustworthy server, without revealing precisely which messages belong to the receiver.
Gabrielle Beck (Johns Hopkins), Julia Len (Cornell), Ian Miers (UMD), Matthew Green (Johns Hopkins)

The authors give a security framework for non-interactive zero-knowledge arguments with a ceremony protocol. They revisit the ceremony protocol of Groth’s SNARK, showing that the original construction can be simplified and optimized and avoiding the random beacon model used in the original work. 
Markulf Kohlweiss (IOHK, The University of Edinburgh), Mary Maller (Ethereum Foundation), Janno Siim (University of Tartu), Mikhail Volkhov (The University of Edinburgh)
EVENTS
Yan Ji (Cornell) presented "BDoS: Blockchain Denial of Service" at the IC3 webinar, "Attacks on Bitcoin and the Lightning Network" on February 26th.
George Kappos (UCL) and Haaroon Yousaf (UCL) presented "An Empirical Analysis of Privacy in the Lightning Network" at the IC3 webinar, "Attacks on Bitcoin and the Lightning Network" on February 26th.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENTS
IC3 partner J.P. Morgan tested the world’s first bank-led tokenized value transfer in space, executed via smart contracts on a blockchain network established between satellites orbiting the earth.
Learn more in the J.P. Morgan press release and on Tyronne Lobban and Christine Moy’s Twitter accounts. 
Flashbots, a project stewarded by Scott Bigelow, Phil Daian (IC3), Stephane Gosselin, Alex Obadia, and Tina Zhen, released explore.flashbots.net, a public dashboard and MEV transaction explorer.
See more in the Medium post.
IC3 received a research grant from our partner Chainlink's Community Grants Program to support future research on oracle networks, blockchains, smart contracts, and data infrastructure.
See more in the Chainlink grant announcement.
Alin Tomescu (VM Ware) gives an approachable explanation of Merkle Trees and a security proof in this blog post.
Gyroscope alpha testnet is live! Gyroscope is a self-stabilizing stablecoin design. Work toward an early iteration of Gyroscope was done at the 2020 IC3 Blockchain Camp in the winning coding project, which was led by Lewis Gudgeon, Ariah Klages-Mundt, and Daniel Perez.
See more at test.gyro.finance.
AWARDS
IC3 Faculty Member Giulia Fanti was named a 2021 Sloan Research Fellow. Sloan Fellowships are awarded by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to recognize extraordinary creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments in early-career, U.S. and Canadian researchers.
Please send any new research or presentations to sarahallen@cornell.edu to be included in the next research update.
 
Best wishes, 
Sarah Allen
IC3 Community Manager
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The Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3)