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December 6 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST
Title: Analyzing Cryptocurrencies (Usage, Security and Phenomena)
Speaker: Lucianna Kiffer, Ph.D. student, College of Computer and Information Science, Northeastern University
Location: Northeastern University, 805 Columbus Avenue, Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Center, Room #655, Boston, Massachusetts 02120
In this talk I will cover the basics of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain protocols they run and present results from my previous papers which focus on a broad range of questions like:
- Why do blockchain protocols work and how do we analyze the security of these protocols?
- What are some blockchain-specific phenomena that we observe?
- How are people actually using these things?
I’ll introduce a model for analyzing blockchain protocols and a definition of security and show how this model is used to analyze Nakamoto’s protocol, the protocol run by Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as other protocols. To address the second question I’ll present work looking at a special kind of purposeful network partitions that have occurred in Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as other cryptocurrencies, which resulted in new currencies being created and therefore a whole new layer of game theoretic dynamics. Lastly, to better understand how cryptocurrencies are being used, we’ll look at Ethereum as an example since it is one of the most expressive blockchains. The talk will cover results from the following papers as well as present ongoing work:
Kiffer, Lucianna, Dave Levin, and Alan Mislove. “Stick a fork in it: Analyzing the Ethereum network partition.” Proceedings of the 16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks. ACM, 2017.
Kiffer, Lucianna, Dave Levin, and Alan Mislove. “Analyzing Ethereum’s Contract Topology.” Proceedings of the Internet Measurement Conference 2018. ACM, 2018.
Kiffer, Lucianna, Rajmohan Rajaraman and abhi shelat. “A Better Method to Analyze Blockchain Consistency.” Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. ACM, 2018.
About the Speaker
Lucianna Kiffer is a 3rd year Ph.D. student advised by Alan Mislove and Rajmohan Rajaraman. Her research, though focused on blockchain protocols, spans a variety of topics including measurement studies and theoretical analyses.