IOHK research on sidechains accepted to IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy


IOHK, the blockchain research and development company behind top 10 cryptocurrency Cardano, has announced that its recent paper on sidechain protocols has been accepted to the leading Oakland cybersecurity conference. The paper provides the first formal definition of a sidechain system, demonstrating how assets can be moved securely between blockchains, and lays out a sidechain construction suitable for proof-of-stake blockchains.

Sidechains have been envisioned as the mechanism to improve the scalability issues of blockchains, enabling seamless and efficient interoperability between blockchain protocols. Until now, there has been no attempt at a provably secure construction. IOHK’s research also details the properties of a “firewall” to limit the impact of a sidechain failure on a blockchain.

OHK Chief Scientist Aggelos Kiayias said: “As our industry works toward creating more scalable and enterprise-ready blockchains, the acceptance of our paper to this leading research conference represents an important validation of the significance of this research in supporting this aim. The ability to perform operations across blockchains, for instance from a main blockchain to a sidechain, supporting enhanced functionalities like smart contract operations, is a significant technological advancement for the blockchain industry. Our paper lays a rigorous foundation for the development of these protocols on next-generation blockchains like Cardano.”

IOHK Researcher Dionysis Zindros said: “In this paper, we propose the first cryptographic definition for sidechain security, which richly captures the notion of ‘firewalling’ between chains — and more. We give a construction that allows proof-of-stake-based blockchains to interoperate, a protocol we then formally prove secure in our model. I am confident this paper will be the beginning for follow-up constructions in the space by the many researchers working hard in pursuing the ideas of chain interoperability.”

Held in May 2019 in San Francisco, California, the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy focuses on the presentation of high caliber academic research and developments in computer security and electronic privacy. IOHK’s paper was written by Professor Kiayias and Dionysis Zindros, of the University of Edinburgh and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Peter Gazi of IOHK Research.

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