29. November – 04. Dezember 2020, Dagstuhl-Seminar 20491

CANCELLED Security of Decentralized Financial Technologies

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this seminar was cancelled. A related Dagstuhl-Seminar was scheduled to 16. – 21. Oktober 2022 – Seminar 22421.


Joseph Bonneau (New York University, US)
Arthur Gervais (Imperial College London, GB)
Marie Vasek (University College London, GB)

Auskunft zu diesem Dagstuhl-Seminar erteilt

Dagstuhl Service Team


Trusted intermediaries have dominated economic interactions for centuries. With the advent of decentralized ledgers, such as Bitcoin, there exists arguably a rare opportunity window to build and shape novel decentralized financial technologies. Together, we have the possibility to lay the foundations for a transparent, auditable, and fair financial system.

The security of decentralized ledgers no longer relies on trust in a central third party. Instead, participants are expected to understand the open source protocol properties and security guarantees. We observe that such assumptions are challenging in real-world settings. To keep users informed, quantifiably secure, unbiased, and objective academic research is therefore crucial to clarify security and privacy properties of decentralized financial technologies. Ideally, we should construct systems which operate correctly by default, are transparent and auditable by any participant. Besides such societal challenges, decentralized ledgers still suffer from many technical limitations, e.g. they do not scale towards throughputs offered by state-of-the-art custodian payment networks, they are not as usable, and more importantly, their security might be vulnerable to well-funded irrational actors.

This Dagstuhl Seminar aims to unite researchers with deep knowledge in the many subfields of decentralized ledgers to jointly revisit their security and privacy properties. Example topics we will study are:

  • Use-case driven security
  • Secure data compression techniques
  • Manipulation resilient governance
  • Quantification of decentralization

The objectives of the seminar are to:

  1. Elaborate on how we can protect users of decentralized financial technologies. The seminar, therefore, aims to refine the fundamental tensions between security, usability, and performance of decentralized networks.
  2. Given those insights, the seminar aims to outline best practices for users to remain safe when utilizing decentralized ledgers.
  3. We plan to apply our recommendations specifically to blockchains such as Bitcoin and layer-two scaling solutions (such as Lightning).

Motivation text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Joseph Bonneau, Arthur Gervais, and Marie Vasek

Dagstuhl-Seminar Series


  • Networks
  • Security / Cryptology


  • Blockchain technology
  • Authenticated data structures
  • Security foundations
  • Distributed consensus protocols
  • Security economics


In der Reihe Dagstuhl Reports werden alle Dagstuhl-Seminare und Dagstuhl-Perspektiven-Workshops dokumentiert. Die Organisatoren stellen zusammen mit dem Collector des Seminars einen Bericht zusammen, der die Beiträge der Autoren zusammenfasst und um eine Zusammenfassung ergänzt.


Download Übersichtsflyer (PDF).

Dagstuhl's Impact

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Es besteht weiterhin die Möglichkeit, eine umfassende Kollektion begutachteter Arbeiten in der Reihe Dagstuhl Follow-Ups zu publizieren.