【Block#10 Call for Contribution】Smart Contract Security, and Governance (Day2)

We are looking for Main Discussants for Block#10! In the next BGIN event, we are (partially) opening up Main Discussant positions to anybody willing to share and discuss ‘Smart Contract Security and Governance’ based on research papers, white papers, and reports that have been published or new ideas/suggestions from you! Please feel free to share your ideas and suggestions below. We are looking forward to your contribution!!

Welcome Shunya Noda, Professor at Tokyo University.

Welcome Mr. Torigoe at Titania Research.

Hi! I’m Ippei Torigoe, and I usually work as an anon called vita.
I appreciate the opportunity to hear from you.

I originally worked at a staking provider in singapore, then as a researcher at a venture capital firm in dubai. Subsequently, I founded a research team called Titania Research, which contributes mainly in the area of block construction process in Ethereum.

Personally, I am interested in exploring the area of PBS (proposer-builder separation) in Ethereum.

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Hello Torigoe -san @vita . It is a pleasure to meet you virtually.
You have great experience, having worked in various industries and countries.
Let’s explore topics of interest to have a great conversation in Tokyo.
Leon

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Hi! I joined here.

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It’s great to have you here. I fully support Leon’s moderation and the sharing insights from Prof. Noda and Mr. Torigoe.

Hello @vita @Shunya_Noda

We are in the final 2 weeks before the event starts. Shall we try to align the topics that we would like to discuss?

I understand you have various research interests. Let’s see what common themes we can focus on.

My initial suggestion was to link smart contracts, security and (security governance). Security often depends on motivations of stakeholders. Technically, 100% security does not exist. Smart contracts are notoriously weak. Many block chain projects think about security as an afterthought. Solidity language was not designed with security in mind.

Besides, security is expensive. As a general rule, most of participants want to make profit and nobody wants to share costs.

Can we build on that?
For example:

  • Who is responsible for security in a decentralized project?
  • Smart contracts often represent an agreement between parties. If it is broken by a third party, what happens?
  • Should contract parties be interested in security? If so, to what extent?
  • In the traditional world security is an expense driven either by the business model or regulation. Therefore: should security be regulated? How should contract paries be motivated to maintain security rather than transfer all consequences to others?

Please share your ideas which research topics you would like to bring.

Hello @leonmol

The topic I am working on is about beacon-chain communication such as known as PBS. And more abstract than smart contract security is incentive mismatch due to execution reward spikes. So I hope to talk mainly on topics like ‘MEV issues in Ethereum’ with the following flow.

  • Definition of MEV
  • Explanation of block construction flow
  • Current problem 1: Centralization of builders
  • Current problem 2: Centralization of relays
  • Direction of solution under discussion: out of protocol
  • Direction of solution under discussion: in protocol
  • Comparison with traditional finance

Hi @vita
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
A couple of questions:

  • Do you see any ways how this research relates to security and/or governance?
  • This topic seems to be focused on Ethereum only. I am wondering how this can be applied to other blockchains. We normally have representatives from many different projects and therefore, if they feel this is not relevant then they may lose interest. Is there a way to generalize to go beyond just Eth?

Leon

@Shunya_Noda Any thoughts?

  • I’m not sure if this is called security, but I do know that reorg are more likely to occur during MEV spikes, in which case the chain is more likely to be reorganized and security is compromised.
  • I think it’s the future of the block space or the type of MEVs, such as arbitrage or front running something.
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OK, @vita sounds good.
What could be that compromise in your opinion?

The whole point of security governance is aligning motivation and assuring security. If an actor, including an inside actor (e.g. builders and/or proposers), want to make money at the expense of others, then they try to find system/technology weaknesses to achieve their goals.

Ultimately, people, processes and technology should align to produce security.

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