CS839: Blockchains and Decentralized Applications

You can click the title of past lectures to get access to its slide set. Please let the instructor know if any of the reading links do not work or are behind a paywall.

Note: This schedule is subject to change.


DateTopicReadingsSuggested Readings
9/14Consensus and Byzantine FailuresPractical Byantine Fault-ToleranceByzantine Generals
9/16Nakamoto ConsensusBitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System
9/21Smart ContractsEthereum Whitepaper
9/23Off-Chain ProtocolsThe Lightning NetworkPerun
9/28Privacy-Preserving CryptocurrenciesZCash (sections 1 and 7)

In-Depth Topics

DateTopicReadingsSuggested Readings
9/30Committee-based BFT #1HotStuff: BFT Consensus with Linearity and Responsiveness
10/5Committee-based BFT #2The HoneyBadger of BFT Protocols
10/7Proof-of-StakeOuroboros (sections 1-4)
10/12Audit MechanismsPlasma: Scalable Autonmous Smart ContractsPisa
10/14-No lecture
10/19Selfish MiningMajority is not enough: Bitcoin mining is vulnerableSelfish Mining Re-examined
10/21Novel Blockchain Protocols (Guest Lecture by Emin Gün Sirer)Avalanche
10/26Improvements to Nakamoto ConsensusBitcoin-NG: A Scalable Blockchain ProtocolByzCoin
10/28Oracles (Guest Lecture by Fan Zhang)DECO: Liberating Web Data Using Decentralized Oracles for TLS
11/2Blockchain ShardingOmniLedger
11/4Secure HardwareTeechainEkiden

Student-Suggested Topics and Project Development

These topics will be changed depending on student interests and projects.

DateTopicReadingsSuggested Readings
11/9Decentralized ExchangesUniswap Whitepaper0x White Paper
11/11Midterm ExamReview lecture notes
11/16Audit Mechanisms Cont.Arbitrum
11/18-No lecture
11/23Ethereum 2.0GasperThree Attacks on PoS Ethereum
11/25ThanksgivingNo lecture
11/30Novel Blockchain Protocols Cont.StellarRipple Whitepaper
12/2-No lecture
12/7Decentralization (Guest Lecture by Soumya Basu)Case Study
12/9-No lecture
12/14Project PresentationsStudents present their project results