Watch / Directions in Smart Contract Research: A Selection

Directions in Smart Contract Research: A Selection

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Directions in Smart Contract Research: A Selection

Duration: 00:16:12

Speaker: Philip Daian

Type: Talk

Expertise: Advanced

Event: Devcon 2

Date: Sep 2016

Tackling the problem of writing smart contracts is difficult, and understanding them fully remains even harder. We analyze what work the academic community is doing and should be doing to advance the basic foundational science of smart contracts. We make the case for better smart contracts through a three pronged approach: tooling (including formal verification and analysis models), bug bounties, and recovery through escape hatches. We survey current related work and discuss research and engineering directions to increase the cost of future attacks, in the context of lessons learned from contracts in the field.


About the speakers


Philip Daian

Researcher / PhD Student

Philip Daian ( is a researcher at Cornell University and IC3 (  His research focuses on fairness and security in smart contract-based protocols, and aims to understand the implications of the unique environment created by decentralized blockchains and systems on the application of adversarial security models and mechanism design.  He has worked on peer-reviewed systems that span smart contract security, smart contract verification, decentralized and non-custodial exchange design, secure custody of blockchain funds, and permissionless secure consensus protocols.  He is actively involved in deploying a number of projects in the Ethereum ecosystem, including The Hydra (, Project Chicago (, GasToken (, and Hack this Contract (, as well as providing independent security consulting for a number of tokens and projects in the industry.  He is also an outspoken blogger on cryptoeconomics and security.

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