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ConsensusDay 22

7 November 2022

We explore the future of decentralization and examine the infrastructure limiting what you can do with technology.

Our research philosophy

Updates

2022-09-28 / Publications

Decentralized hole punching

We present a decentralized hole punching mechanism built into the peer-to-peer networking library libp2p. Hole punching is crucial for peer-to-peer networks, enabling each participant to directly communicate to any other participant, despite being separated by firewalls and NATs.

2022-09-16 / Posts

Gitcoin Grants Round 15: getting DeSci on the SamePage

Protocol Labs is excited to support the Decentralized Science Matching Grant Funding Round in Gitcoin’s GR15, now live until 22 September, 2022. The Gitcoin Grants Program uses quadratic funding to leverage small contributions across a large and diverse network of contributors into large impact –- a new Web3-native way of sustainably funding public goods projects.

2022-09-15 / Posts

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.

2022-09-09 / Publications

Impossibilities in succinct arguments: Black-box extraction and more

The celebrated result by Gentry and Wichs established a theoretical barrier for succinct non-interactive arguments (SNARGs), showing that for (expressive enough) hard-on-average languages we must assume non-falsifiable assumptions. We further investigate those barriers by showing new negative and positive results related to extractability and to the preprocessing model.

Research areas

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.

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Knowledge engineering

We aim to use learnings from previous efforts, growth in available data, and ambitions of qualitatively novel capabilities to facilitate the discovery, linking, and processing of knowledge. This work primarily consists of support for The Underlay, a project intending to build a global, distributed graph of public knowledge.

Type theory

A long-term goal for the IPFS ecosystem is to merge distributed apps and local apps into a single paradigm: fundamentally rethinking the UNIX programming model for a content-addressable platform. As a component of this, we aspire to make the best use of state-of-the-art advances in programming language design and implementation, such as substructural types, modal types, and algebraic effects.

Applied category theory

Category theory (CT) originated as a subdiscipline of pure mathematics, with a historical strength in unifying disparate mathematical areas to transport proofs and constructions between them. CT can also be viewed as an upgraded foundation for all of math, taking the place traditionally occupied by first-order logic and set theory, and is commonly used in theoretical computer science (especially type theory), and as a foundation for computational theorem-proving.

Distributed systems

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.

Cryptography

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.

Cryptoeconomics

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.

Distributed power systems

Our electricity system is undergoing a monumental transition from a centralized design based on fossil fuels to a distributed architecture based on renewable energy. Successfully navigating this requires reconceiving the grid as a distributed system, able to coordinate diverse resources and influence the deployment of capital by setting up appropriate incentive structures.

Networking

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.

Metaresearch

Metaresearch is the investigation of how scientific innovation occurs. It encompases work in the history, philosophy, and economics of science; the effects of incentive systems in research; the evaluation and validation of scientific data; and the dissemination of scientific knowledge, among other fields.

Our People

We're a fully remote team distributed across the globe. We work with talented and intellectually curious people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives who share a passion for improving technology for humanity.

Meet the team