ConsensusDays 23 recordings now available
ConsensusDays 23 took place 5-6 June and we have another successful edition to celebrate! Beyond the exciting programme, here are a few stats from this year:
22 talks 35 submissions 231 registrations 347 members of the #consensus channel 612 members of the ConsensusDays mailing list 614 YouTube views of the raw streams Today, we bring you the final news of the year: the edited talks are now available on YouTube.
ConsensusDays 23 programme and registration
We’re happy to announce the publication of the ConsensusDays 23 programme. The workshop will take place 5-6 June in the 14:00-18:30 UTC period.
We were again overwhelmed by the community interest, and many decisions ended up coming down to program limitations and session planning rather than quality alone.
IPC subnets land on Filecoin Spacenet
The Interplanetary Consensus framework (IPC), formerly known as Hierarchical Consensus, addresses two challenges of blockchain networks, transaction volume and application heterogeneity. In doing so, it boosts the capabilities of the Filecoin network.
Alfonso de la Rocha
Jorge M. Soares
Cryptonet launches new open source SNARK system
Testudo is a new open source SNARK system developed by Cryptonet that offers efficient proofs with smaller setups. It uses polynomial commitments and sumchecks to prove the satisfiability of an R1CS system, and applies several optimizations to reduce the trusted setup size, improve proving times, and achieve fast verification and small proof size.
New directions in Network Research
As Protocol Lab’s footprint in the public goods space has grown, the Network Research team has taken the lead on integrating and adapting PL’s work to the needs and interests of the scientific community, with the goal of designing and building public goods to move science forward faster.
ConsensusDay 23: deadline extended to 19 Mar
We have already received a number of excellent submissions for ConsensusDay 23 but have decided to extend the submission deadline in order to accommodate several pending contributions. We will therefore be accepting submissions until the end of Sunday, 19 March, anywhere on earth.
ConsensusDay 23: call for contributions
ConsensusDay is back! We’re returning to our roots and organising a virtual event on 5 June 2023, in a format similar to the 2021 edition.
That means we will not be publishing proceedings this year and therefore welcome both novel contributions and those under review or published elsewhere in the last 12 months.
The Filecoin Spacenet goes live
For all of the past year, our team at ConsensusLab has been hard at work pushing the boundaries of Filecoin scalability and devising a framework for horizontal scaling that allows for the seamless spawning of interoperable subnets, as well as a reference implementation of a consensus algorithm suitable for running said subnets.
Join us in Lisbon for the ConsensusLab Summit
In less than two weeks, the Protocol Labs Network will be meeting in Lisbon, Portugal for LabWeek22, a decentralised conference and a first for us. ConsensusLab will also be present, and we’re organising our own event: the ConsensusLab Summit.
Raymond Cheng joins PL Research
We are excited to welcome Raymond Cheng to the Protocol Labs Research team. We asked Raymond about his journey to Protocol Labs, the projects he will be working on, and his thoughts about future technological developments:
ConsensusDay 22: programme now live!
Consensusday 22 is fast approaching! The workshop, which will be co-located with ACM CCS this year, will take place 7 November in Los Angeles.
We have another exciting programme for this edition, comprising 15 talks that cover assumptions, PoS security, leader election, performance, and more.
Introducing Cryptonet network grants
Originally founded to drive the creation of Filecoin, Cryptonet set out to create a community of researchers and engineers working on designing, proving, improving the building blocks for crypto-networks to engender new capabilities across the Web 3.
Announcing RFP-014: The one with private retrieval
Can we speak privately?
Unfortunately, our current options for private communication are limited, hamstrung by their reliance on a single-trusted-origin data publication model, high latencies, and security vulnerabilities.
We think it is possible to design a scalable system that doesn’t sacrifice latency for privacy.
The Pikachu RFP: Checkpointing Filecoin onto Bitcoin
Blockchains based on a reusable resource (such as proof-of-stake or proof-of-space) are not as secure as those based on proof-of-work. Specifically, they are vulnerable to long-range attacks (LRA), where an adversary can create a long fork very cheaply.
Streamlining our grantmaking framework
In our ongoing quest to continuously improve the UX around our research grants programme, we’re announcing today a number of updates to both the framework and the operations that should enable a more streamlined, faster, and easier experience for all stakeholders.
Ioannis Caragiannis to advise Cryptonet
Cryptonet is excited to announce that Ioannis Caragiannis will be supporting the team as a research advisor.
Ioannis is a professor at Aarhus University, where he also serves as the head of the research group on computational complexity and game theory.
ConsensusFactory summary and recordings
Last Wednesday, we hosted the first edition of ConsensusFactory: Decentralized Reflections on Consensus, a new virtual event that brought together speakers from different blockchain ecosystems to talk about the scalability strategies each of their projects are pursuing.
ConsensusLab welcomes its 2022 summer fellows!
The ConsensusLab team is excited to welcome our first summer research fellows, who will be joining us at different times throughout the summer to work on some of our core research projects.
Join us on 22 June for ConsensusFactory!
Are you interested in consensus and distributed system scalability? So are we!
That’s why we’re organizing ConsensusFactory, a new virtual event that will bring together speakers from different blockchain ecosystems, who will present the scalability approaches they are exploring.
Abby Silin joins PL Research
We are excited to welcome Abby Silin as a Research Administrator at Protocol Labs.
We asked Abby about what brought her to Protocol Labs, the projects she’ll be working on, and her thoughts on future technological developments:
ConsensusDay 22: call for contributions
After a wildly successful 2021 edition, ConsensusDay is back for 2022! The goal remains the same: to provide a forum for the discussion of early-stage but high-impact research with scientific interest and real-world applications and to build a community around it.
Matteo Campanelli joins CryptoNetLab as a Research Scientist
CryptoNetLab is pleased to welcome Matteo Campanelli to the team as a research scientist.
Matteo previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University (with Claudio Orlandi) and at the IMDEA Software Institute (with Dario Fiore).
New research opportunities from CryptoEconLab
The hard-thinking research scientists of the CryptoEconLab have developed a set of research questions that are particularly appropriate for scoped independent work. These questions can be used to design an MSc thesis or PhD industry-experience project for students in computer science, statistics, complexity science, economics, or related areas, or as the basis for independent research.
Funding the Commons
The Network Goods team at Protocol Labs recently held the second in a continuing series of events bringing together researchers and thought leaders to discuss novel experiments and future directions for funding our collective commons.
Dario Catalano to advise CryptoNetLab
CryptoNetLab is excited to announce that Dario Catalano will be supporting the team as a research advisor.
Dario is a professor at University of Catania, where he investigates questions related to reducing the gap between theory and practice in cryptography, with a particular focus on developing advanced yet efficient encryption mechanisms and designing secure distributed digital signature schemes.
Meet Alex Terrazas, CryptoEconLab TPM
We are excited to announce that Alex Terrazas will be guiding and supporting CryptoEconLab as a Technical Program Manager.
We asked Alex about his journey to Protocol Labs, the CryptoEconLab projects he will be working on, and his thoughts about future technological developments:
Liz Bryson joins PL Research
We are excited to welcome Liz Bryson as a Research Administrator at Protocol Labs.
We asked Liz about what brought her to Protocol Labs, the projects she’ll be working on, and her thoughts on future technological developments:
Tom Mellan joins CryptoEconLab as a Research Scientist
CryptoEconLab is pleased to welcome Tom Mellan to the team as a research scientist.
Tom has spent the last two years modeling infectious diseases at Imperial College London. The backbone of this research centered on the messy intersection of science, maths and policy; asking simple questions like: what’s happened and why?
Sílvia Bessa joins PL Research
We are excited to welcome Sílvia Bessa to the Protocol Labs Research team. We asked Sílvia about her journey to Protocol Labs, the projects she will be working on, and her thoughts about future technological developments:
Open problems in incentive research
CryptoEconLab is the PL hub for research in cryptoeconomics, an emerging interdisciplinary field investigating the dynamics of economic coordination games in cryptographically-secured peer-to-peer networks. CryptoEconLab stands at the intersection of computer science, network science, statistics, economics, psychology, decision neuroscience, and system engineering, and the problems it explores have strong resonances with the field of complex systems theory.
Axel Cortés Cubero joins CryptoEconLab
We are excited to announce that Axel Cortés Cubero has joined CryptoEconLab, where he will explore the dynamics of cryptoeconomic networks as a research scientist.
We asked Axel about his journey to Protocol Labs, the CryptoEconLab projects he will be working on, and his thoughts about future technological developments:
Decentralized internet, networks, protocols, and systems (DINPS) workshop at IEEE ICDCS 2022: call for contributions
Call for Papers Announcement: Workshop on Decentralized Internet, Networks, Protocols, and Systems Website: https://research.protocol.ai/sites/dinps/ Submission Deadline: 5 March 2022 In June 2021, we ran a workshop on “Decentralizing the Internet with IPFS and Filecoin” (DI2F) alongside IFIP Networking 2021 to establish a forum for academics, researchers and developers to share their expertise and latest findings on decentralized storage, IPFS, libp2p, and Filecoin.
Introducing Patrick Woodhead, Retrieval Markets TPM
We are pleased to introduce Patrick Woodhead, the Technical Program Manager for the Retrieval Markets initiative. Research into data retrieval systems will be critical to the development of a CDN for Web3, and Patrick is helping to guide these efforts at Protocol Labs.
ConsensusDays 21 recap and recordings
It was a calm day in early August when we launched a call for contributions for ConsensusDay 21, the launch event for our ConsensusLab. Originally intended to be an intimate, one-day virtual workshop aiming to foster discussion of consensus research and bootstrap a collaboration network, it soon became clear that it was growing beyond our wildest expectations – and certainly beyond what we had planned and were prepared to accommodate.
A retrospective on the ARPM program
Now that summer has turned to fall, we’d like to share some of the things we’ve learned and accomplished during this past summer with our Associate Research Program managers (ARPMs): Dwarkesh, Max, and Sam.
Announcing the ConsensusDays 21 program
After a two-week review marathon, we’re happy to announce the exciting program for ConsensusDays 21. The workshop will take place 6-7 October (next week!) in the 14:00-20:00 UTC period.
We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of talk proposals, and many decisions ended up coming down to program limitations and session planning rather than quality alone.
PL Research at MetaScience2021
Protocol Labs Research is excited to announce that we will be participating in the MetaScience 2021 conference: a global virtual conference spanning two weekends, 16-18 September and 23-25 September, to connect the study of science across disciplines, methodologies, and regions.
ConsensusDay becomes ConsensusDays 21
We would like to thank all authors for the overwhelming response to the call for contributions. We are delighted by the quality and number of submissions received, which already required us to expand our review team.
Introducing the microblog format
The PL Research blog is home to news about our software releases and conference presentations, deep dives into our techniques and tech stack, design reports, and updates about our new research initiatives.
ConsensusDay 21: call for contributions
It was only last week that we announced the launch of ConsensusLab, a new Protocol Labs research group focused on scalable consensus for decentralised systems. Looking to drive more focused research into the topic, we are now inviting you to participate in our first public event, ConsensusDay 21.
ConsensusLab: supercharging our consensus research
We are excited to announce the launch of ConsensusLab, a new research group focused on scalable consensus for decentralised systems and a part of Protocol Labs Research.
Consensus — loosely defined as global agreement on the state of a decentralised network across its mutually untrusting participants — has been known to be at the heart of decentralised systems ever since the inception of Nakamoto’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus.
zk-SNARKs for the world!
Did you know Filecoin is the largest zk-SNARK network deployed to date?
For the past two years we have been working on bringing zk-SNARKs to the world and to the Filecoin Network.
Marko Vukolić joins PL Research as ConsensusLab Lead
Protocol Labs Research is excited to announce that Marko Vukolić is joining us to establish and lead the ConsensusLab, which will explore and develop methods of coordinating distributed systems.
We asked Marko why he decided to join PL Research, what he will be working on, and to share his thoughts about future technological developments:
PL Research welcomes its first cohort of summer research associates
Protocol Labs Research is delighted to welcome our inaugural cohort of Associate Research Program Managers (ARPMs): Max Krieger, Dwarkesh Patel, and Samuel Tang are joining us for a 10-week summer research experience focused on metaresearch and research program management.
Introducing our new grant spectrum
Protocol Labs Research is committed to supporting the innovation needed to build our decentralized future.
Today we are pleased to announce the expansion of the PL Research Grant Program to include a variety of new funding opportunities designed to support collaborative work on problems defined by the broader research community and critical to our work at Protocol Labs.
COVID-19 Open Innovation Grant update
In the spring of 2020, as a rapid response to the COVID crisis, Protocol Labs launched an accelerated grants program to support open-source projects building tools to confront present and future pandemics.
Adam Marblestone joins PL Research as an Advisor
We are delighted to announce that Adam Marblestone will be joining PL Research as an advisor. Adam is a neuroscientist and technologist who has conducted research in brain circuit mapping and quantum information theory.
ResNetLab on Tour: Blockchain@Berkeley
We were delighted to present our brand new ResNetLab on Tour programme to the vibrant community of the Berkeley’s Blockchain Innovation Hub on April 28th and 29th!
The ResNetLab on Tour programme is a one-stop-shop for all things IPFS and Web 3.
Trent Davis joins Protocol Labs Research
Trent Davis is joining the PL Research team as a Research Administrator. Trent received degrees in business and economics at Washington State University and Cornell University, did research at Cornell, and helped develop the Cornell Blockchain club and the Smart Contract Research Forum.
ResNetLab on Tour tutorials go on-demand
We started the ResNetLab on Tour programme in late 2019 with the goal of onboarding the research and academic community to the IPFS architecture and the interesting open problems and research directions associated with the decentralisation of internet services.
ResNetLab welcomes Barath Raghavan as a research advisor
We are pleased to announce that Barath Raghavan will be working with ResNetLab as an advisor. Barath is a professor of computer science at USC, where he co-leads the networked systems lab and conducts research across the fields of core networked systems, computing for social good and sustainability, and security.
Announcing the Protocol Labs Associate Research Program Manager (ARPM) summer program
Protocol Labs is currently accepting applications for its Associate Research Program Manager (ARPM) ten-week summer program (2021). The ARPM experience is an opportunity for undergraduate students to learn to support and grow research programs; drive research initiatives; and engage in meta-research analyses, exploring high-level ways to improve the efficacy and impact of scientific research.
Anca Nitulescu joins Protocol Labs Research
Anca Nitulescu is joining CryptoLab (Update: now CryptoNetLab) as a Research Scientist. After obtaining their PhD in cryptography at ENS Paris, they worked as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Aarhus University and as Chief Cryptographer at Cosmian before coming to Protocol Labs.
COVID-19 Open Innovation Grant update
In the spring, as COVID-19 swept the globe, Protocol Labs quickly retooled its grant program and launched an accelerated grants program to support open-source projects building tools to confront present and future pandemics.
Vasilis Giotsas joins Protocol Labs Research
Vasileios (Vasilis) Giotsas is joining the Resilient Networks Lab (ResNetLab) as a Research Engineer. He comes to PL from Lancaster University, where he was an Assistant Professor, after stints at Technischen Universität Berlin and the University of California San Diego.
Alfonso de la Rocha joins Protocol Labs Research
Alfonso is joining the Resilient Networks Lab (ResNetLab) as a Research Engineer. He comes to PL from Telefónica R&D, where he worked on blockchain-based technologies such as TrustOS.
We asked Alfonso about his journey to PL, the projects he will be working on in the ResNetLab, and his thoughts about future technological developments:
Rosario Gennaro named 2020 IACR Fellow
In May, Rosario Gennaro was named a 2020 Fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). IACR established its Fellows Program in 2002 to recognize oustanding members for significant technical and professional contributions to cryptology and related fields.
Announcing our COVID-19 Open Innovation Grant awardees
After a marathon review, followed by necessary legal and financial procedures, we are happy to announce the projects we are supporting with Protocol Labs' COVID-19 Open Innovation Grant program.
This program was created to surface and support open-source projects working on tools to help humanity through present and future pandemics.
Karola Kirsanow joins Protocol Labs Research
Karola is an experienced paleogeneticist, having studied and done research at Cornell, Oxford, and Harvard. While at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Karola led a project looking at the genetic adaptation of modern humans to an agriculturalist diet and, in 2016, she founded a consultancy specialising in academic grants applications, scientific editing, and data analysis.
Protocol Labs launches a COVID-19 Open Innovation Grants program
In 2018, Protocol Labs launched a Request for Proposals program to support research in distributed systems, cryptography, and other areas of interest to our projects and company. To date, we have given over $500,000, with results made available to the public under open-source licenses.
The Underlay seeks qualified software engineer
The Underlay, a Protocol Labs independent research project undertaken in conjunction with the Knowledge Futures Group at MIT, is currently looking for a Software Engineer with strong full-stack web development skills and an interest in semantic web and decentralized web technologies.
Yiannis Psaras joins Protocol Labs Research
Yiannis (Ioannis) is joining the Resilient Networks Lab, which he helped get off the ground after becoming an advisor to PL in July 2019. Yiannis is currently a fellow of the United Kingdom’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and a Lecturer at University College London, where he has worked on a number of topics within the broad field of networking, with a significant focus on Information-Centric Networking (ICN).
Sarah Azouvi joins Protocol Labs Research
Sarah joins us from the Information Security Group at University College London, where she did research on consensus and worked towards her forthcoming PhD in Computer Science. During her studies, she collaborated with Protocol Labs and was also an intern at Calibra.
Luca Nizzardo’s thesis wins UPM Extraordinary Award
Source: IMDEA Software Institute. Posted here with permission.
Luca Nizzardo was a PhD student of the IMDEA Software Institute and his thesis “Cryptographic Techniques for the Security of Cloud and Blockchain Systems” defended in 2018 was directed by Associate Professor Dario Fiore.
A new lab for resilient networks research
Resiliency is at the core of systems that are capable of standing the test of time, providing unshakable access for the many generations to come. A resilient system or network is fundamentally uncompromised by an isolated failure or network split.
To the future...
Protocol Labs is a remarkably ambitious and ideological company. For example, our team’s dedication to abstraction has left us with an unusually modular corporate structure, and our belief in future-proof solutions has us biting off so much that we’re often left chewing for a long time.