Explain the three necessary properties to have in a cryptographic hash function.

Fundamentals

(a) Explain the three necessary properties to have in a cryptographic hash function.

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(b) What are the properties and mechanism that make blockchain tampering hard to achieve?

(c) Describe the three procedures, generate keys, sign, and verify, and how they are used in a digital signature scheme.

Bitcoin protocol & mechanics

(a) In your own word, what is Bitcoin, and what does it try to achieve?

(b) Describe the structure and element of a bitcoin transaction. What can happen to a transaction once a Bitcoin node receives it.

(c) Show the structure and content of a Bitcoin block. How are blocks organized into a blockchain?

(e) What are the role and functionality of a node in the Bitcoin network?

Consensus & mining

(a) Explain a distributed consensus algorithm used in Bitcoin.

(b) Describe Bitcoin mining. How does mining keep blockchain secured ?

(c) In Bitcoin, what is the relationship between block generation time, mining difficulty, and the network hash power? Why does this need to be managed ?

(d) Show an example of double spending attack in Bitcoin. What are the factors in determining success of this type of attack.

(e) Explain a 51% attack. What may encourage or discourage someone to launch such attack?

Alternative consensus

(a) Discuss differences between Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) and some of the advantages/disadvantages of both.

(b) What is the concept behind the Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) consensus model? What is good about it? What type of environment is FBA suitable for?

Ethereum & smart contracts

(a) Why is Ethereum often referred to as a “world computer”?

(b) Describe two use cases that can utilize the Ethereum and smart contract platform.

(c) Discuss some L1 and L2 solutions that have been proposed or implemented on the Ethereum project.

 

Enterprise blockchains

(a) Why is there a need for permissioned-ledger blockchain? Why don’t organizations simply implement distributed databases instead? Why don’t they use public blockchain such as Ethereum?

DEFI

(a) Briefly explain the 4 types of stablecoins mentioned in class. Which ones do you prefer (you can pick more than one)? Why so?

(b) Explain the liquidity pool, types of coins and tokens, and process involved in the DEFI lending service (such as compound.finance).

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