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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Recent Publications

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2024-02-01 / Report
A finality calculator for Filecoin’s Expected Consensus
We propose a finality calculator for Filecoin’s Expected consensus that considers what takes place during epochs and can attain, under normal operating conditions, an error probability of 2^(−30) in 30 epochs (15 minutes) - a 30x improvement over the current 900-epoch threshold.
2023-08-30 / Report
Filecoin Proof of Useful Space
This document provides a simple formal definition of Proof of Space (taken from the academic literature) and an informal definition of persistent and useful space (needed for Filecoin). It describes construction details and a security proof for the Stacked-DRGs proof of space (SDR), and goes into how SDR is used in Filecoin.
2023-08-14 / Conference paper
Security analysis of Filecoin's Expected Consensus in the Byzantine vs honest model
Filecoin is the largest storage-based open-source blockchain, both by storage capacity (>11EiB) and market capitalization. This paper provides the first formal security analysis of Filecoin’s consensus (ordering) protocol, Expected Consensus (EC).
AFT 2023 / 2023.10.23 / Princeton, NJ, USA
2023-04-22 / Conference paper
Base fee manipulation in Ethereum's EIP-1559 transaction fee mechanism
In 2021 Ethereum adjusted the transaction pricing mechanism by implementing EIP-1559, which introduces the base fee - a fixed network fee per block that is burned and adjusted dynamically in accordance with network demand.
DISC 2023 / 2023.10.09 / L'Aquila, Italy
Sarah Azouvi , Guy Goren , Lioba Heimbach, Alexander Hicks