Protocol Labs Research

Marko Vukolić

Research Scientist / ConsensusLab


Doctor of Science (PhD) in Distributed Systems, 2008


Dipl. Ing. in Electrical Engineering / Telecommunications, 2001

University of Belgrade

Marko joined Protocol Labs mid-2021 as the ConsensusLab lead. Prior to this he was a Principal Research Staff Member in IBM Research Zurich, where he worked from 2015-2021 and earlier as a PostDoc (2008-2010). Marko has also served as tenured faculty at EURECOM (2010-2014) and a visiting professor at the Systems Group at ETH Zurich (2014).

Marko obtained a Doctor of Science (PhD) degree in Distributed Systems from EPFL in the Distributed Programming Laboratory (LPD) in 2008. Prior to his PhD, Marko graduated from the EPFL Doctoral School in Computer and Communication Sciences in 2003 and obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications) from the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, in 2001.

Marko’s main research interest is in decentralized systems, that is in distributed systems that span multiple administrative and trust domains (e.g., permissionless and permissioned blockchain systems). This fascinating area of computer and communication sciences blends (Byzantine) fault-tolerant distributed systems, planet-scale computer networking, security, data privacy, applied cryptography, game theory and economics. He describes himself as basically interested in “decentralizing everything”, including payment and financial systems, cloud computing and machine learning/AI. His recent focus has been on building highly scalable and efficient consensus protocols to help improve throughput of decentralized systems.

Areas of Expertise

Decentralized Systems, Blockchain, Tradeoffs in Distributed Systems, Scalable Systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance, Game Theory


2021-11-23 / Journal article
On the Future of Decentralized Computing
Decentralized systems (e.g., blockchain systems) have the potential to revolutionize financial and payment systems, as well as the internet — for the good of humankind and planet Earth. This position paper aims at justifying this standpoint and at laying out a vision for the future of decentralized computing.
Bulletin of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science / 2021.11.23

Blog posts

2021-10-29 / News, Events
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.
2021-09-28 / News, Events
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.
2021-07-30 / News
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.