On the Similarities between Blockchains and Merkle-Damgård Hash Functions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Blockchain as a new technology has created a great amount of hype and hope for different applications. There is a promise of a better, decentralised trust based on strict guarantees from cryptography. However, there is a great similarity in the structure of blockchains and classical iterated hash functions of the Merkle-Damgård (M-D) type. As the structure of M-D type hash functions has been extensively studied and many different structural weaknesses have been exposed, it is plausible to think that blockchains also share these structural problems. In this paper, we present the most relevant problems of M-D type hash functions and their relation to blockchains. We also examine how these might affect currently established blockchains. Our results can help in avoiding some problems in the design of new blockchain systems and also provide some (theoretical) limits on the trustworthiness of current blockchains.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2018 IEEE 18th International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers IEEE
Pages129-134
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-7839-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-7840-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
Event18th IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 16 Jul 201820 Jul 2018

Conference

Conference18th IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period16/07/1820/07/18

Fingerprint

Hash functions
Cryptography

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Consensus mechanism
  • Iterated hash functions

Cite this

Halunen, K., Vallivaara, V., & Karinsalo, A. (2018). On the Similarities between Blockchains and Merkle-Damgård Hash Functions. In Proceedings - 2018 IEEE 18th International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018 (pp. 129-134). [8431963] Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/QRS-C.2018.00035
Halunen, Kimmo ; Vallivaara, Visa ; Karinsalo, Anni. / On the Similarities between Blockchains and Merkle-Damgård Hash Functions. Proceedings - 2018 IEEE 18th International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers IEEE, 2018. pp. 129-134
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Halunen, K, Vallivaara, V & Karinsalo, A 2018, On the Similarities between Blockchains and Merkle-Damgård Hash Functions. in Proceedings - 2018 IEEE 18th International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018., 8431963, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers IEEE, pp. 129-134, 18th IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018, Lisbon, Portugal, 16/07/18. https://doi.org/10.1109/QRS-C.2018.00035

On the Similarities between Blockchains and Merkle-Damgård Hash Functions. / Halunen, Kimmo; Vallivaara, Visa; Karinsalo, Anni.

Proceedings - 2018 IEEE 18th International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers IEEE, 2018. p. 129-134 8431963.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

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Halunen K, Vallivaara V, Karinsalo A. On the Similarities between Blockchains and Merkle-Damgård Hash Functions. In Proceedings - 2018 IEEE 18th International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security Companion, QRS-C 2018. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers IEEE. 2018. p. 129-134. 8431963 https://doi.org/10.1109/QRS-C.2018.00035