Protocol Labs Research
Our mission urges us to consider problems across multiple subject areas, both applied and theoretical. We pursue these problems in the open and share our results in recorded talks and published papers.

Research Groups

ConsensusLab explores cutting-edge scalable permissionless consensus protocols, including three main pillars of sharding, consensus proper, and scalable execution.

CryptoEconLab at PL aspires to become a hub for research on economic incentives, coordination games, and novel marketplaces. We aim to develop capacity to design, validate, deploy, and govern large-scale economic systems.

Cryptonet is a public good cryptography lab providing technological empowerment by creating secure building blocks for Web3 protocols.

ProbeLab is on a mission to measure the performance of Web3 network protocols, benchmark protocols against target performance milestones, and propose improvements to their core design principles.

Research Areas

In any forum or marketplace where people can interact, the venue itself guides and constrains human interaction. Cryptoeconomics provides practices, tools, and knowledge that allow us to engineer the venue to achieve a goal.

Modern cryptography plays an integral role in every aspect of online and electronic security, including providing evidence you’re speaking to the intended party and hindering spying on the subsequent communication. Cutting-edge cryptography tools will allow the creation of incredibly strong evidence that general information processing has been performed in a privacy-preserving and trustless way.

Distributed systems are, broadly speaking, networked systems whose components are located in different nodes that communicate and coordinate to achieve the system’s purpose. Distributed systems are at the very core of what we do and our interests extend across the entire field.

Computer networks enable information to move across the globe. They are foundational to the world we live in and to the vast majority of our work. Our interests include transport and routing protocols, network security, p2p systems, publish-subscribe protocols, and network monitoring and simulation.

Recent Talks

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A metaverse of walled gardens?
WIPO Conversation on Intellectual Property and the Metaverse / 2023.03.29 / Genève, Switzerland

Recent Publications

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2023-03-21 / Report
SpaceVDF: Verifiable delay functions using cryptographic satellites
In this document we aim to evaluate how VDF algorithms based on physical limits can be implemented in satellites and which physical properties / or roles of physics we can utilize to guarantee the passage of time.
Yonatan Winetraub, Elad Sagi, Yan Michalevsky, Chhi'mèd Künzang , Jonathan Gross
2023-03-16 / Report
LURK: Lambda, the ultimate recursive knowledge
We introduce Lurk, a new LISP-based programming language for zk-SNARKs. Traditional approaches to programming over zero-knowledge proofs require compiling the desired computation into a flat circuit, imposing serious constraints on the size and complexity of computations that can be achieved in practice.
Nada Amin, John Burnham, François Garillot, Rosario Gennaro , Chhi'mèd Künzang , Daniel Rogozin, Cameron Wong
2023-02-13 / Report
tlock: Practical timelock encryption from threshold BLS
We present a practical construction and implementation of timelock encryption, in which a ciphertext is guaranteed to be decryptable only after some specified time has passed. We employ an existing threshold network, the League of Entropy, implementing threshold BLS [BLS01, B03] in the context of Boneh and Franklin’s identity-based encryption (IBE).
Nicolas Gailly , Kelsey Melissaris, Yolan Romailler
2023-01-10 / White paper
Generalized Impact Evaluators
Existing funding systems fail to sufficiently fund public goods and common goods due to insufficient mechanisms for coordinating various agents towards valuable outcomes. Relative to traditional capital systems that scalably organize activity around maximizing financial performance, impact funding remains underdeveloped, especially in the ability to reward high-upside, high-uncertainty work.