Dazed and Confused: What’s Wrong with Crypto Libraries? — Threats to Validity

15 Jun 2024


(1) Mohammadreza Hazhirpasand, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland;

(2) Oscar Nierstrasz, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland;

(3) Mohammad Ghafari, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


We selected 25 posts from each crypto library. This may not be a representative sample of the whole population; however, we were particularly interested in the common themes of issues in various libraries, not just one library. We selected the latest posts that are active on Stack Overflow that had at least one answer and skipped the recent questions to which nobody responded as well as the questions with no positive received votes. Nonetheless, there are various approaches to choose the posts, e.g., the number of answers or the number of views, while each of them can impose some threats to validity. To reduce subjectivity, two authors of this paper carefully performed thematic analysis to extract the themes. The final list of themes is deduced based on their discussions and crosschecking. Nevertheless, a few posts could have been assigned to other themes or a current theme could have been divided into several sub-themes. We may not have covered all the crypto libraries discussed on Stack Overflow, but we indeed selected the popular ones.

This paper is available on arxiv under CC BY 4.0 DEED license.