Algorithmic Foundations of Blockchains – I work on the algorithmic foundations of blockchains, so trying to design blockchains that are faster and more scalable for global applications. Typically, data is stored in centralized databases. So there’s a server sitting somewhere in the world that stores all of your data, and it’s maintained by this one party.
The problem with this is that if the party maintaining that data is corrupt either because of hacking or other factors like maybe corruption within the entity itself, that data could be vulnerable to changes, deletions, all kinds of problems. So, the reason that people are excited about blockchains today is the fact that we can maintain this distributed system without requiring trust in any single party.
One of the key features that characterizes my research is trying to design practical algorithms with theoretical guarantees that go along. So, one of the main goals for this research is to design algorithms that make it easier for blockchain-based applications to really scale and be efficient at the kinds of levels that people are trying to deploy them.
One of the projects that I’ve been working on with my collaborators called Dandelion, which is a network privacy solution for cryptocurrencies, has already been implemented in a couple of existing cryptocurrencies and has generated a lot of discussion in online forums and within that community.
One of the reasons that I was really attracted to blockchains as a research area is the fact that they combine so many different domains like networking, like information theory, like security, economics. And I think one of the things that’s very fun about working in this area is bridging some of those gaps and bringing some of the old tried and tested ideas from these well-established communities into this new and very quickly evolving space.
And it’s a really unique research opportunity because it’s developing so quickly and it’s easy to have impact if you can propose algorithms that actually work. So, I think that’s kind of a unique thing in the research space and one of the reasons that I’m personally excited about working on it.
reference – Algorithmic Foundations of Blockchains
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