Fan Zhang

Assistant Professor


My research aims to solve security problems in real-world systems with cryptography. In particular, I’m interested in designing novel solutions leveraging decentralized consensus (aka blockchains), cryptography, game theory, and even trusted execution environments (TEEs). I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University, advised by Prof. Ari Juels. I received my bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University. In my separate capacity, I’m a faculty advisor at Chainlink Labs.

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To learn more, you can check out my research page and publications.


  • Sep 11, 2023 📢 New paper alert! The Locality of Memory Checking with Weijie Wang, Yujie Lu, and Charalampos Papamanthou is online! (To appear in CCS'23)
  • Jul 02, 2023 Sprints: Intermittent Blockchain PoW Mining will be presented at SBC'23.
  • Jun 07, 2023 📢 New paper alert! Breaking the Chains of Rationality: Understanding the Limitations to and Obtaining Order Policy Enforcement with Sarisht Wadhwa, Luca Zanolini, Francesco D’Amato, Aditya Asgaonkar, and Kartik Nayak is online!
  • May 03, 2023 📢 New paper alert! Sprints: Intermittent Blockchain PoW Mining with Michael Mirkin, Lulu Zhou, Ittay Eyal is online.
  • May 01, 2023 MISO: Legacy-compatible Privacy-preserving Single Sign-on using Trusted Execution Environments has been accepted to EurpS&P 2023.
  • Feb 20, 2023 Received Yale Roberts Innovation Fund Award.
  • Oct 23, 2022 He-HTLC: Revisiting Incentives in HTLC is accepted to NDSS 2023. Congrats to Sarisht and Jannis!
  • Aug 26, 2022 zkBridge: Trustless Cross-chain Bridges Made Practical is accepted to CCS 2022.
  • Aug 12, 2022 We wrote a blog post on incentive attacks in HTLCs and our solution He-HTLC.
  • Aug 01, 2022 Received an NSF Frontier grant for the Center for Distributed Confidential Computing. This is a multi-institution effort, involving faculty from IU (Lead), CMU, Duke, OSU, Penn State, Purdue, Spelman, UIUC and Yale. Yale News.
  • Jul 29, 2022 Received three grants from Ethereum Foundation.
  • May 05, 2022 Manuscript on He-HTLC is online. We revisited bribery attacks in HTLCs (hash-time locked contracts), presented a new family of them (reverse bribery), and proposed a solution.
  • Apr 22, 2022 Our work on empirical analysis of EIP-1559 is presented at ETHconomics @ Devconnect 2022. Recording available here.
  • Mar 11, 2022 Our paper on empirical analysis of EIP-1559 is accepted in CCS 2022.
  • Mar 16, 2022 I will join the TPC of Oakland'23.
Older ones...
  • Dec 01, 2021 I will join the TPC of CCS'22 and DeFi'22.
  • May 01, 2021 I will join the TPC of PET 2022 and AFT 2021.
  • Nov 13, 2020 I joined the TPC of PET 2021 and CCS 2021.
  • Nov 13, 2020 I presented DECO at CCS'20.
  • Oct 01, 2020 I presented CanDID at the annual convention of Chinese Institute of Engineers - Greater New York Chapter.
  • Oct 01, 2020 I presented CanDID at Empire Hacking (organized by Trail of Bits).
  • Oct 01, 2020 I presented DECO at W3C Credential Community Group (CCG).
  • Oct 01, 2020 I joined the TPC of Financial Crypto 2021 and DeFi'21 workshop.
  • Sep 30, 2020 CanDID paper is accepted to IEEE S&P 2021!
  • Aug 29, 2020 DECO acquisition by ChainLink is announced!
  • Jul 29, 2020 CanDID, our latest work on Decentralized Identity (DID) is available online.
  • Mar 30, 2020 DECO accepted to CCS 2020!
  • Jan 08, 2020 Real World Crypto (RWC) video on DECO is now available online.
  • Oct 25, 2019 I visited ETH Zurich and presented “Connecting Blockchains to the Real World”.
  • Oct 21, 2019 I presented Paralysis Proofs at ACM AFT 2019 at Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Sep 20, 2019 I visited IBM Waston Center and presented DECO (Decenetralized Oracles)."
  • Sep 01, 2019 Two papers (CHURP, Tesseract) are accepted to ACM CCS'19! See you all in London!
  • Aug 02, 2019 “Paralysis Proofs: Secure Access-Structure Updates for Cryptocurrencies and More” is accepted to ACM AFT'19!
  • Apr 01, 2019 “Ekiden: A Platform for Confidentiality-Preserving, Trustworthy, and Performant Smart Contract Execution” is accepted to EuroS&P'19!
  • Nov 01, 2018 Town Crier is acquired by ChainLink!
  • Mar 30, 2018 I’m awarded the IBM PhD Fellowship Award for 2018-2020.
  • Mar 02, 2018 I presented Paralysis Proof at the 5th Bitcoin workshop @ Financial Crypto 2018 in Curacao.
  • Aug 02, 2017 Solidus: Confidential Distributed Ledger Transactions via PVORM is accepted to CCS'17.
  • Aug 13, 2017 I was invited to present Town Crier at Silicon Valley Ethereum Meetup.
  • Aug 18, 2017 I presented REM at USENIX Security 2017, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Jul 10, 2017 Intern at Intel Labs this summer.
  • May 15, 2017 Town Crier is officially live!
  • May 11, 2017 REM: Resource-Efficient Mining for Blockchains paper is accepted to USENIX Security'17. Available here.
  • Oct 17, 2016 Sealed-Glass Proofs: Using Transparent Enclaves to Prove and Sell Knowledge is accepted to EuroS&P ‘17.
  • Jul 22, 2016 Town Crier: An Authenticated Data Feed for Smart Contracts is accepted to ACM CCS'16.
  • May 13, 2016 Stealing Machine Learning Models via Prediction APIs is accepted to USENIX Security'16.

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