ResNetLab welcomes Barath Raghavan as a research advisor
We are pleased to announce that Barath Raghavan will be working with ResNetLab as an advisor. Barath is a professor of computer science at USC, where he co-leads the networked systems lab and conducts research across the fields of core networked systems, computing for social good and sustainability, and security.
AbstractionLab Update: notes from the frontier
The independent researchers of the AbstractionLab tackle ambitious projects with huge potential to drive breakthroughs in computing, communication, and decentralization. They are the scout ship pilots exploring the farthest reaches of the adjacent possible.
ResNetLab 2020 in review: we love it when a plan comes together
We hope you spent some fantastic time with your loved ones during the holiday season. With the time to pause, rest, and reflect – and with the goal of kicking off 2021 in the best way possible – we decided to capture ResNetLab’s 2020 highlights, share what we’ve learned, and describe what we will be focusing on in 2021.
Beyond Swapping Bits: project review (and preview!)
If you have been following along for the past three months (1, 2, 3, 4), you know that we in ResNetLab started the Beyond Bitswap project with one goal in mind: to drive speed-ups for file-sharing in IPFS.
Announcing the Protocol Labs Associate Research Program Manager (ARPM) summer program
Protocol Labs is currently accepting applications for its Associate Research Program Manager (ARPM) ten-week summer program (2021). The ARPM experience is an opportunity for undergraduate students to learn to support and grow research programs; drive research initiatives; and engage in meta-research analyses, exploring high-level ways to improve the efficacy and impact of scientific research.
Teaching Bitswap nodes to jump
By now you may have heard about ResNetLab’s research endeavour to drive speed-ups on file transfers: Beyond Swapping Bits. Our recent blog post, “Honey, I shrunk our libp2p streams”, considers how adding compression to libp2p could lead to significant bandwidth savings.
Anca Nitulescu joins Protocol Labs Research
Anca Nitulescu is joining CryptoLab as a Research Scientist. After obtaining their PhD in cryptography at ENS Paris, they worked as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Aarhus University and as Chief Cryptographer at Cosmian before coming to Protocol Labs.
A Research Perspective on Filecoin, Part Two
In Part One, we traced the intellectual and technological history of modern implementations of distributed ledger technology. Now let’s take a stroll through the technological landscape around the time of Filecoin’s release:
A Research Perspective on Filecoin
The Filecoin network is launching in the middle of a revolution in internet architecture, where vulnerable centralized services dependent on trusted parties are being replaced with resilient decentralized solutions based on verifiable computation, and internet services are being relocated from inefficient central monoliths to the far reaches of the network by peer-to-peer markets.
"Two ears, one mouth": how to leverage bitswap chatter for faster transfers
As part of ResNetLab’s research endeavour to drive speed-ups on file transfers, Beyond Swapping Bits, we present a new contribution to IPFS Bitswap protocol. We argue that Bitswap is currently discarding a wealth of information that could be used to its benefit, improving retrieval success and minimizing the latency to retrieve content.
Honey, I shrunk our libp2p streams
Today we’re excited to share the story of how we decided to explore compression for libp2p streams and ended up achieving up to a 75% decrease in bandwidth use when performing an IPFS file exchange.
COVID-19 Open Innovation Grant update
In the spring, as COVID-19 swept the globe, Protocol Labs quickly retooled its grant program and launched an accelerated grants program to support open-source projects building tools to confront present and future pandemics.
A brief history of (re)building the Internet
The Internet began life as a military network engineered for resilience in the face of a nuclear attack. That’s right—the same network you use to check on your friends and share cat photos has at its core a structural pattern intended to survive a nuclear exchange long enough to mutually assure destruction with the USSR.
Introducing the Filecoin Economy
Filecoin provides a blockchain-based marketplace that promises to revolutionize the global storage economy. The Filecoin marketplace delivers a totally new and secure way for anyone in the world to buy and sell storage. We’re excited to share an overview of how the storage economy works on the Filecoin Network.
Vasilis Giotsas joins Protocol Labs Research
Vasileios (Vasilis) Giotsas is joining the Resilient Networks Lab (ResNetLab) as a Research Engineer. He comes to PL from Lancaster University, where he was an Assistant Professor, after stints at Technischen Universität Berlin and the University of California San Diego.
Alfonso de la Rocha joins Protocol Labs Research
Alfonso is joining the Resilient Networks Lab (ResNetLab) as a Research Engineer. He comes to PL from Telefónica R&D, where he worked on blockchain-based technologies such as TrustOS.
We asked Alfonso about his journey to PL, the projects he will be working on in the ResNetLab, and his thoughts about future technological developments:
IEEE/IFIP DSN 2020 - The InterPlanetary File System and the Filecoin Network
ResNetLab was invited to present “The InterPlanetary File System and the Filecoin Network” in a 3-hour tutorial at the IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks! The conference, now in its 50th edition, has an established track record of top-quality research contributions, and is one of the oldest conferences in its subject area.
Rosario Gennaro named 2020 IACR Fellow
In May, Rosario Gennaro was named a 2020 Fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). IACR established its Fellows Program in 2002 to recognize oustanding members for significant technical and professional contributions to cryptology and related fields.
Hello from the Decentralized Energy Project!
We’re two materials scientists here at Protocol Labs, and we’re working to improve the electricity grid.
Why, you may be thinking, does a distributed file storage company have a project related to the energy grid?
IEEE ICBC 2020: The InterPlanetary File System and the Filecoin Network
ResNetLab presented at one of the most prominent conferences in the area of Distributed Ledger Technologies: the IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies! IEEE ICBC 2020 took place remotely, was well-attended, and had an exciting programme both in terms of tutorials during the first day and invited talks during the main conference, where Vitalik Buterin delivered the keynote speech.
Announcing our COVID-19 Open Innovation Grant awardees
After a marathon review, followed by necessary legal and financial procedures, we are happy to announce the projects we are supporting with Protocol Labs’ COVID-19 Open Innovation Grant program.
This program was created to surface and support open-source projects working on tools to help humanity through present and future pandemics.
Karola Kirsanow joins Protocol Labs Research
Karola is an experienced paleogeneticist, having studied and done research at Cornell, Oxford, and Harvard. While at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Karola led a project looking at the genetic adaptation of modern humans to an agriculturalist diet and, in 2016, she founded a consultancy specialising in academic grants applications, scientific editing, and data analysis.
Gossipsub v1.1 at 'Open Tech Will Save Us' virtual event
ResNetLab was present at Open Tech Will Save Us virtual meetup, an event organized by the Matrix.org team during which participants could watch a live stream provided by Jitsi and ask questions using the Matrix protocol (often through a client like Riot).
Protocol Labs launches a COVID-19 Open Innovation Grants program
In 2018, Protocol Labs launched a Request for Proposals program to support research in distributed systems, cryptography, and other areas of interest to our projects and company. To date, we have given over $500,000, with results made available to the public under open-source licenses.
SourceCred: an introduction to calculating cred and grain
You may not know that Protocol Labs is a supporter of an open-source governance and sustainability project called SourceCred. As a participant in a small SourceCred meetup last month, I learned enough about the underlying algorithm that I wrote up an explainer for their documentation repo and thought it might be interesting to share it here as well.
The Underlay seeks qualified software engineer
The Underlay, a Protocol Labs independent research project undertaken in conjunction with the Knowledge Futures Group at MIT, is currently looking for a Software Engineer with strong full-stack web development skills and an interest in semantic web and decentralized web technologies.
Yiannis Psaras joins Protocol Labs Research
Yiannis (Ioannis) is joining the Resilient Networks Lab, which he helped get off the ground after becoming an advisor to PL in July 2019. Yiannis is currently a fellow of the United Kingdom’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and a Lecturer at University College London, where he has worked on a number of topics within the broad field of networking, with a significant focus on Information-Centric Networking (ICN).
Sarah Azouvi joins Protocol Labs Research
Sarah joins us from the Information Security Group at University College London, where she did research on consensus and worked towards her forthcoming PhD in Computer Science. During her studies, she collaborated with Protocol Labs and was also an intern at Calibra.
Luca Nizzardo’s thesis wins UPM Extraordinary Award
Source: IMDEA Software Institute. Posted here with permission.
Luca Nizzardo was a PhD student of the IMDEA Software Institute and his thesis “Cryptographic Techniques for the Security of Cloud and Blockchain Systems” defended in 2018 was directed by Associate Professor Dario Fiore.
A new lab for resilient networks research
Resiliency is at the core of systems that are capable of standing the test of time, providing unshakable access for the many generations to come. A resilient system or network is fundamentally uncompromised by an isolated failure or network split.
To the future...
Protocol Labs is a remarkably ambitious and ideological company. For example, our team’s dedication to abstraction has left us with an unusually modular corporate structure, and our belief in future-proof solutions has us biting off so much that we’re often left chewing for a long time.