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Event Entry

What and Who

On Fairness Concerns in the Blockchain Ecosystem

Johnnatan Messias
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
SWS Student Defense Talks - Thesis Defense
AG Audience

Date, Time and Location

Thursday, 25 April 2024
60 Minutes
E1 5


Blockchains revolutionized centralized sectors like banking and finance by promoting decentralization and transparency. In a blockchain, information is transmitted through transactions issued by participants or applications. Miners crucially select, order, and validate pending transactions for block inclusion, prioritizing those with higher incentives or fees. The order in which transactions are included can impact the blockchain final state.

Moreover, applications running on top of a blockchain often rely on governance protocols to decentralize the decision-making power to make changes to their core functionality. These changes can affect how participants interact with these applications. Since one token equals one vote, participants holding multiple tokens have a higher voting power to support or reject the proposed changes. The extent to which this voting power is distributed is questionable and if highly concentrated among a few holders can lead to governance attacks.
In this thesis, we audit the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains to investigate the norms followed by miners in determining the transaction prioritization. We also audit decentralized governance protocols such as Compound to evaluate whether the voting power is fairly distributed among the participants. Our findings have significant implications for future developments of blockchains and decentralized applications.


Gretchen Gravelle
+49 681 9303 9102
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Virtual Meeting Details

923 6785 8852
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Gretchen Gravelle, 03/11/2024 10:22 -- Created document.