We are excited to announce the 39 grantees selected for the recent Academic Grants Round. This grants round invited researchers, think-tanks, Ph.D. students, and all those interested in advancing knowledge around the Ethereum ecosystem to submit academic proposals. Thank you to all those who submitted proposals, and congratulations to all the grantees. We are pleased with the number of quality applications that we received, which surpassed our initial expectations. Given the extraordinary potential of many project proposals, we have more than doubled the initial budget from $750,000 to $2 million. The granted projects vary broadly in scope and geographic representation with research teams from Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Nepal, Pakistan, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam. We look forward to the results from the many academic projects supported in this round! If you missed this round and are researching something in this space, consider submitting a project inquiry to the Ecosystem Support Program. More than $2 million has been allocated across 39 grants in 7 different categories:
Category # of projects Amount (USD)
Economics 9 $222,067.00
Consensus Layer 9 $483,477.81
P2P Networking 5 $386,592.00
Maximum Extractable Value 5 $351,659.00
Formal Verification 4 $283,165.51
Cryptography and zero knowledge proofs 2 $120,000.00
Other domains 5 $194,807.00
Economics Project Research Team Institution Description
Analysis of the Dynamic Interplay between Ethereum and Ethereum Rollups: Transaction Fees and Demand Trends Aysajan Eziz; Guneet Kaur Nagpal Independent To research the dynamic interplay of transaction fees and demand trends between base layer and layer 2 rollups.
Equilibrium staking rewards: Implications for POS blockchain security Prof Talis Putnins; Tra Nguyen, Ph.D. candidate; Lecky Lao, Ph.D. candidate Independent To research and propose economic modeling of “opportunity costs of capital”, the dynamics of how capital flows between staking opportunities, and what that implies for the security of Ethereum (and other POS blockchains) as it transitions to POS and the optimal design of the staking incentive mechanisms.
Monetary Policy in the Age of Cryptocurrencies Prof. Thai Nguyen; Prof. Tra Pham; Dr. Binh Nguyen Thanh; Dr. Linh Nguyen Thi My; Dr. Tuan Chu; Dr. Seng Kok; Dr. Phong Nguyen RMIT Vietnam To shed light on the possible economic development of countries when cryptocurrencies are used as legal tender, particularly in light of the fact that the central banks would lose most of the monetary policy tools.
Time series analysis for transaction fee market Huisu Jang YunYoung Lee, Ph.D; Seongwan Park, Ph.D; Seungju Lee Woojin Jeong; Advisor: Jaewook Lee Soongsil University and Seoul National University To perform a time series analysis of the Ethereum gas fee market after the introduction of EIP-1559.
The Influence of Transaction Costs on Economic Activity on the Ethereum Network Dr. Lennart Ante Blockchain Research Lab gGmbH To investigate the extent to which transaction costs interrelate with different economic activities on the Ethereum network.
The Market for Music Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Price, Volume, and Risk Danling Jiang, Ph.D. Keli Xiao, Ph.D. Lolita Nazarov, B.S Haixiang (Diego) Zhu, MS Stony Brook Foundation To understand the market for the music content non-fungible tokens (music NFTs) and the determinants of price, volume, and risk dynamics of such NFTs traded on OpenSea, powered by the Ethereum blockchain.
The Microeconomic Foundation of DAO David Yang, Ph.D. Independent To understand the economic conditions that justify the emergence of a DAO structure in governing community decisions.
Towards scalable incentive machines: attributing value to individual agents in multi-player games Tal Kachman Donders Institute of Brain and Cognition To bridge coalitional game theory with the approximation power of deep learning to construct payoff machines: large-scale estimators capable of measuring every agent’s contribution to a multi-agent system according to different underlying principles.
Understanding Waiting Time in Transaction Fee Mechanisms Prof Luyao Zhang, Ph.D; Prof Fan Zhang, Ph.D.; Research Fellow: Tianyu Wu Independent To systematically study and then develop a practical policy that can further reduce the users’ waiting time in Ethereum TFM.
Consensus Layer Project Research Team Institution Description
(Danksharding + PBS) Builder centralization: Is it really safe? Huisu Jang; YunYoung Lee, Ph.D candidate; Seongwan Park; Seungju Lee; Woojin Jeong; Advisor: Jaewook Lee Statistical Learning & Computational Finance Lab, Seoul National University To explore two potential risks of centralizing block production in PBS and propose proper modifications to the current PBS scheme to ensure safety against the suggested risks.
Amplification Messaging for Short-Term Slot Finality and Improved Reorg-Tolerance Hammurabi Mendes, Ph.D.; Jonad Pulaj, Ph.D. Davidson College To formalize and evaluate relatively unobtrusive changes in GASPER for shorter-term finality and decreased likelihood of reorgs.
Analyzing and Securing Ethereum PoS in the Fully Asynchronous Network Dr. Qiang Tang; Zhenliang Lu, Ph.D.; Dr. Yuan Lu The University of Sydney To study the security of Ethereum PoS in the fully asynchronous network, in which there is no guaranteed delivery time, and to make design suggestions on how to make Ethereum PoS more secure in an asynchronous network.
Combining Accountability and Game Theory to Strengthen Blockchain Security Prof. Vincent Gramoli The University of Sydney To design novel algorithms that we will implement and evaluate in a large-scale distributed environment to demonstrate that blockchains can be made more secure with a practical combination of accountability and game theory.
Disentangling Transaction Privacy and Consensus in Ethereum Prof. Kartik Nayak; Prof. Fan Zhang Duke University To study the dilemma between desirable properties such as (pre and failed trade) transaction privacy and the properties of the underlying consensus mechanism provided by Ethereum.
Improving Ethereum Communication Efficiency through Accountability and Flexible Quorums Prof. Kartik Nayak Duke University To analyze 2 possible avenues to still obtain the same desirable security guarantees while improving efficiency. Firstly, using smaller quorums with accountability to obtain a more communication efficient protocol; and secondly using flexible quorums to obtain stronger security guarantees (of up to ⅔ fraction rational corrupt validators).
PoS Ethereum Agent-Based Model Prof. Claudio J. Tessone; Nicolò Vallarano, Ph.D. University of Zurich To provide an abstract Agent Based Model to simulate Ethereum Proof-Of-Stake consensus.
REVOKE: Consensus-layer mitigations for validator ransomware attacks Dr. Dan O’Keeffe; Dr. Darren Hurley-Smith; Alpesh Bhudia, Ph.D. candidate Royal Holloway University of London To explore consensus protocol adaptations to mitigate the risks of ransomware attacks on Ethereum 2.0 validators. It will aim to design a new revocation mechanism that will allow validators to improve their operational security by quickly changing their signing key without having to withdraw their stake.
Staking Mechanism Design: Ethereum 2.0 for Good Prof. Luyao Zhang, Ph.D.; Dr. Yulin Liu; Research Fellows: Xinyu Tian; Tianyu Xin; Zesen Zhuang SciEcon CIC To investigate the impact of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrades, mainly including its policy upgrade and the switch from proof of work to proof of stake, on its overall security, degree of decentralization, and scalability.
P2P Networking Project Research Team Institution Description
Coded Transaction Broadcasting for High-throughput Blockchains Prof. Mohammad Alizadeh; Lei Yang, Ph.D. student Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) To design and build a new scheme for broadcasting new pending transactions in a blockchain network, with the goal to reduce the bandwidth usage and the latency to propagate transactions.
DoS-secure transaction propagation on Ethereum: Exploit generation and attack detection Prof. Yuzhe Tang; Kai Li, Ph.D. student; Jiaqi Chen, Ph.D. student; Yibo Wang, Ph.D. student; Jack Willis; Nicholas P. Sweet; Mingyan Zhang Syracuse University To research and build an automated exploit generator to systematically evaluate the security/insecurity of current and future Ethereum clients under the low-cost DoS attacks as well as build DoS-secure mempool and transaction propagation protocols. Particularly, we will present a two-buffer mempool mechanism to support different transaction admission priorities.
Eclipse and DoS-Resilient Overlays for