We promote a knowledge-sharing collaboration between academia, industry, developers, and government to advance distributed ledger technology in business and society.
CAAW 2024: The 3rd International Workshop on Cryptoasset Analytics (CAAW) | Co-located with the ACM Web Conference 2024
The 3rd International Workshop on Cryptoasset Analytics (CAAW) is a premier gathering for researchers across various academic disciplines. It focuses on the latest findings in cryptoasset analytics and related ecosystems. The workshop is an interdisciplinary platform, bridging the gap between technology and cross-cutting issues like law, ethics, and security.
The DLT Climate Hackathon
DLT Science Foundation (DSF), in collaboration with The HBAR Foundation Sustainable Impact Fund, proudly introduces the DLT Climate Hackathon! This is an exciting event is an opportunity to empower developers, researchers, and climate enthusiasts to explore and refine the methods for tracking and mitigating climate change.
In an interview published by Authority Magazine, Nikhil Vadgama, co-founder and director of the DLT Science Foundation, discussed the application of Artificial Intelligence in business operations.
On 3-4 February 2024, Nikhil Vadgama and Paolo Tasca, co-founders of the DSF, were key speakers at NYUAD's Dubai conference on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
In a piece for Euronews, DSF Chairman Dr. Paolo Tasca delved into the intricate and regulatory framework surrounding cryptocurrency in the UK.
In a recent Forbes article, the Global Protocol Report has been commended for its thorough analysis of the blockchain sector. This report, a collaboration between the DLT Science Foundation, INACTA Ventures, Crypto Oasis, and Crypto Valley, examines 50 blockchain protocols, offering unparalleled insights into their performance and evolution.
In a recent IT Logs article, Nikhil Vadgama, DSF co-founder and director, shared his expertise on the evolving fintech landscape.
If you were to ask one of the major AI CEOs (and we can’t think about anyone other than Sam Altman these days) if they would be willing to release their tech as open-source, I venture that the answer would be no. No because of what it does to their valuation, no because of what it does for their competitive advantage, and no because the costs would be too high - among other reasons.
Research Library Highlights
Global Protocol Report
This report's primary objective is to offer a nuanced understanding of prominent DLT protocols, exploring their strengths, weaknesses, and unique value propositions. The report has unparalleled depth and will delve into the foundational concepts of Distributed Ledger Technology. The subsequent sections delve into critical components of successful innovation, including the role of capital, infrastructure, and talent in advancing DLT protocols.
SecPLF: Secure Protocols for Loanable Funds against Oracle Manipulation Attacks
The evolving landscape of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has raised critical security concerns, especially pertaining to Protocols for Loanable Funds (PLFs) and their dependency on price oracles, which are susceptible to manipulation. The emergence of flash loans has further amplified these risks, enabling increasingly complex oracle manipulation attacks that can lead to significant financial losses. Responding to this threat, we first dissect the attack mechanism by formalizing the standard operational and adversary models for PLFs. Based on our analysis, we propose SecPLF, a robust and practical solution designed to counteract oracle manipulation attacks efficiently. SecPLF operates by tracking a price state for each crypto-asset, including the recent price and the timestamp of its last update. By imposing price constraints on the price oracle usage, SecPLF ensures a PLF only engages a price oracle if the last recorded price falls within a defined threshold, thereby negating the profitability of potential attacks. Our evaluation based on historical market data confirms SecPLF's efficacy in providing high-confidence prevention against arbitrage attacks that arise due to minor price differences. SecPLF delivers proactive protection against oracle manipulation attacks, offering ease of implementation, oracle-agnostic property, and resource and cost efficiency.
Twisted by the Pools: Detection of Selfish Anomalies in Proof-of-Work Mining
The core of many cryptocurrencies is the decentralised validation network operating on proof-of-work technology. In these systems, validation is done by so-called miners who can digitally sign blocks once they solve a computationally-hard problem. Conventional wisdom generally considers this protocol as secure and stable as miners are incentivised to follow the behaviour of the majority. However, whether some strategic mining behaviours occur in practice is still a major concern. In this paper we target this question by focusing on a security threat: a selfish mining attack in which malicious miners deviate from protocol by not immediately revealing their newly mined blocks. We propose a statistical test to analyse each miner's behaviour in five popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monacoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. Our method is based on the realisation that selfish mining behaviour will cause identifiable anomalies in the statistics of miner's successive blocks discovery. Secondly, we apply heuristics-based address clustering to improve the detectability of this kind of behaviour. We find a marked presence of abnormal miners in Monacoin and Bitcoin Cash, and, to a lesser extent, in Ethereum. Finally, we extend our method to detect coordinated selfish mining attacks, finding mining cartels in Monacoin where miners might secretly share information about newly mined blocks in advance. Our analysis contributes to the research on security in cryptocurrency systems by providing the first empirical evidence that the aforementioned strategic mining behaviours do take place in practice.
Proof-of-Stake Protocols Modelling: A Extensible Framework for Incentives Design
With the rapid development of blockchain technology, more and more platforms and various protocols keep emerging. The specifications of Proof-of-Stake (PoS), delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) as well as many variants are designed together with the creation of these protocols. However, a general, formal scientific foundation to model incentives in different blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) systems is still lacking. In this paper, we introduce a general and extensible framework to model and evaluate the design of incentive mechanisms in PoS networks. And we apply the framework to the Hedera system, a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)-based PoS system where we measure its decentralisation and inequality of wealth distribution. Our framework serves as a generic framework to investigate the staking selection and reward dynamics with the concomitant effects on the crypto economics of various PoS-based systems.
REA, Triple-Entry Accounting and Blockchain: Converging Paths to Shared Ledger Systems
During the last half century, the concept of shared ledger systems that offer a single source of truth has challenged traditional bookkeeping, leading to innovations such as the resource-event-agent (REA) accounting framework, triple-entry accounting (TEA), and blockchain. Despite these advancements, the historical development of shared ledger systems remains under-researched and unclear, with the influence of REA on TEA particularly overlooked. This study aims to fill this gap by conducting a genealogical analysis of shared ledger systems, with a focus on tracing the development of TEA and its historical byproduct of the REA framework designed by McCarthy. Through a comprehensive literature review and interviews with pioneers in REA, TEA, and blockchain, we uncover the missing link between REA and TEA. Our findings suggest that the current explosion of shared ledger systems results from the convergence of three parallel research streams, occasionally interacting with each other. We correct common misconceptions, acknowledge the influence of key individuals, and map out the overlapping paths of REA, TEA, and blockchain. By elucidating the historical evolution of shared ledger systems, this study contributes to the academic debate and fosters further discourse among researchers in REA, TEA, and blockchain, thereby enhancing the potential applications within these fields.
Evolution of ESG-focused DLT Research: An NLP Analysis of the Literature
Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) have rapidly evolved, necessitating comprehensive insights into their diverse components. However, a systematic literature review that emphasizes the Environmental, Sustainability, and Governance (ESG) components of DLT remains lacking. To bridge this gap, we selected 107 seed papers to build a citation network of 63,083 references and refined it to a corpus of 24,539 publications for analysis. Then, we labeled the named entities in 46 papers according to twelve top-level categories derived from an established technology taxonomy and enhanced the taxonomy by pinpointing DLT's ESG elements. Leveraging transformer-based language models, we fine-tuned a pre-trained language model for a Named Entity Recognition (NER) task using our labeled dataset. We used our fine-tuned language model to distill the corpus to 505 key papers, facilitating a literature review via named entities and temporal graph analysis on DLT evolution in the context of ESG. Our contributions are a methodology to conduct a machine learning-driven systematic literature review in the DLT field, placing a special emphasis on ESG aspects. Furthermore, we present a first-of-its-kind NER dataset, composed of 54,808 named entities, designed for DLT and ESG-related explorations.
Discover the DSF Science Fellowship and talent grants
Join the forefront of DLT knowledge as a DSF Fellow, designing and executing transformative projects that shape our digital future. our diverse grant programs dedicated to research, education, and innovation.
Pioneering climate change solutions
DLT Earth represents a global grant program dedicated to advancing climate research, sustainable finance, and ESG reporting methodologies. In collaboratiion with the HBAR Foundation Sustainable Impact Fund, our mission is to revolutionise the way we understand, track, and combat climate change.
We invite researchers, innovators, and organisations worldwide to join the mission.
Positioning the UK as a global leader in blockchain
With the UK CBT, we aim to the act as the national hub for blockchain innovation and expertise. Through cutting-edge research, education, and strategic collaborations, we enable the widespread adoption of blockchain across industries. We do this thanks to our active engagement with the University College London, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Birmingham – and the support of notable industry leaders Hedera, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Ripple and Ripple UBRI.