Blockchain Defect: Scenario Security

In the eyes of economists, cryptographers, and computer scientists, there is still a lot of room for improvement in blockchain technology.

In fact, innovative technologies will spread like wildfires, and only in the practical stage will there be limitations. The same is true for blockchain technology.

A new technology, we will find its advantages, then imagine the ideal application in various scenarios, but the actual “killer application” is still a cryptocurrency limited to pure virtual economy such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

According to the survey report, in May, a total of 84 blockchain application projects were disclosed in the world, and China occupied 37. Distributed in the three major areas of finance, traceability, and government affairs, including blockchain electronic depository platform, housing mortgage loan platform and resettlement fund management. Although there are many blockchain systems that solve actual needs in the real society, they are all small-scale explorations and attempts, and even forcibly manufacturing application scenarios. There are very few successful scalers.

Each technology has its limitations, and they will eventually evolve or become obsolete. In the previous media, you can always see the wrong habit of unifying the blockchain and bitcoin. I have hardly heard non-programmers talking about SQL and NoSQL databases, although they have different storage styles for relational and non-relational databases.

The book “Blockchain Core Technology Development and Application” believes that the current blockchain technology has limitation in mathematical tools, game theory, cryptography, code, etc., and there is still much room for improvement. The paper “Blockchain Security Issues: Research Status and Prospects” also comprehensively discusses the security challenges of blockchain facing actual network conditions.

The transaction and block entities in the blockchain data layer involve various cryptography such as public key encryption, digital signature, hash function, and privacy protection technologies such as component ring signature and zero-knowledge proof. However, with the rise of quantum computing, existing cryptographic algorithms will face the danger of reduced security or even compromised. Blockchain applications generally lack effective key management technology, and key leakage and loss caused by improper use and storage bring great losses to digital asset users. The blockchain allows users to have multiple pseudonyms, providing only weaker user identity anonymity. Through transactional profiling and transaction clustering analysis, the true identity of the owner can be inferred based on transaction characteristics. Some cryptographic components may also have defects and vulnerabilities during the compilation process. Transactional extension attacks are often used for attacks against cryptocurrency trading platforms.

The security problems of various network technologies themselves will inevitably bring security risks to the blockchain network layer, including the lack of identity authentication, data verification, and network security management mechanisms for P2P networks. The network topology of the node also facilitates the attacker’s attack, and the association between the network transmission user’s IP address can also be monitored and tracked.

The consensus layer is the core of blockchain architecture. The consensus mechanism in the blockchain is not yet fully developed. There are many problems such as incomplete security proof, unreliable security assumptions, poor scalability, unstable consistency, difficult initialization and reconstruction, etc. Different types of consensus mechanisms also face different attack threats.

The incentive layer and the consensus layer of blockchain are interdependent and jointly maintain the security and stability of blockchain system. The main problem that the incentive layer needs to solve is the incompatibility of economic incentives, which means that miners involved in maintenance will not implement malicious attacks, but will guide their mining strategy with maximum self-interest. This strategy conflicts with the overall interests of the blockchain, destroying the efficiency and stability of the blockchain system, including selfish mining attacks,  the block attack and sustainable incentives.

The smart contract is the core of the contract layer. It was first proposed by Nick Szabo and later redefined by Ethereum. However, because the smart contract code is open source and involves digital asset transfer, once the code vulnerability is exploited, it will cause irreversible damage. In addition to the text security issues of smart contract creators when designing business logic, the contract layer also faces issues such as smart contract code vulnerabilities, external data source calls, lack of formal verification, and difficulty in implementing privacy protection.

Application layer refers to a wide range of application scenarios of blockchain technology in finance, supply chain, energy and other fields. As a blockchain hierarchy that directly interacts with users, it is generally required to have an API interface, a cross-chain heterogeneous and Regulatory technology. At present, it seems to face problems such as cross-chain operation difficulties, lack of regulatory technology and application layer attacks.

Blockchain Defect: Scenario Security

In summary, we always “perfectize” blockchain technology. In the eyes of economists, cryptographers, and computer scientists, there is still a lot of room for improvement in blockchain technology.

Blockchain is an undeniable ingenious invention, but there are also a lot of deficiencies that plague technical experts and industry practitioners, including security, scalability, performance, cost, energy, privacy, supervision, redundancy, complexity, loopholes, speculation, etc.

How to make full use of the new technical characteristics of blockchain, explore realistic scenarios suitable for blockchain technology, and make breakthroughs and gradual innovations in data structure, cryptography technology, communication network, consensus game, economic incentives and programmable contracts at the bottom of blockchain, so as to promote the real landing of block chain technology, is the common ideal and task of the industry at present.

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