Pausing PL Research Open Research Grants
Over the 2022 calendar year, Protocol Labs Research received a tremendous amount of participation and submissions for our Open Research Grants program. Having awarded more than $1 million USD for researchers around the globe, we could not be more proud of the success of this program and the quality of our award recepients.
Generalized Impact Evaluators, A year of experiments and theory
TLDR: Protocol Labs' Network Funding team is releasing a whitepaper on Impact Evaluators, a funding mechanism designed for nontraditional projects with high uncertainty and high upside. Our goal is to add structure to the ongoing dialogue and share practical implementation advice based on a year of experience.
Announcing the final award for RFP-011, "Changing the Internet"
PL Research is pleased to announce the final research proposal funded as part of the Changing the Internet Initiative: a project by Maria Apostolaki and Jennifer Rexford of Princeton University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science departments, respectively, to improve the state of the art in routing and edge networking.
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.
Protocol Labs research funding recipients 2022
Protocol Labs Research is thrilled to announce the first research funding recipients of 2022! We fund researchers around the world and have given out 11 awards so far this year. These awards include three RFPs, two Summer Research Grants, five Doctoral fellowships, and one Postdoctoral fellowship.
This post was originally published in the IPFS blog and is reprinted here with minor edits
ProbeLab is an effort to apply solid scientific measurement methodologies to benchmark and optimize network protocols that operate in decentralized P2P environments.
Announcing the first award for RFP-011, "Changing the Internet"
PL Research is pleased to announce the first research project funded as part of the Changing the Internet Initiative: a project by Scott Shenker of ICSI and UC Berkeley, Arvind Krishnamurthy of the University of Washington, James McCauley of Mount Holyoke College, and Aurojit Panda of NYU to improve acess to Web3 services by creating a better client interface and user experience for accessing Web3 content.
New open problems in private data retrieval
tl;dr: We’d like to develop additional protocol-compatible primitives allowing users to interact privately with Web3 content.
Central to the Web3 vision of an open, permissionless, and decentralized internet is the ability of parties to interact directly and privately with each other while retaining ownership of their data.
Network Research and Bacalhau at DeSci Berlin
The Network Research team was excited to participate in DeSci Berlin, an amazing and very energized “unconference” that brought together researchers, technologists, and enthusiasts of science and web3 to discuss current problems and opportunities in the practice of science and workshop on how blockchain and decentralized technology can solve them.
What are public goods and commons?
Understanding public goods and commons, their role in society, and new opportunities made possible by web3
TLDR: Public goods and Commons are an important class of products that are typically under-funded due to shortcomings in existing market mechanics but create tremendous value for individuals and whole ecosystems.
The first graduating class of ConsensusLab projects
When ConsensusLab launched last year, we published a roadmap covering our first 18 months. We are still working towards that same roadmap, with minor adjustments over time to accommodate the changing landscape and externalities.
Working in public @ ConsensusLab
Do you ever wonder what ConsensusLab is up to? If so, you’re in for a treat!
Ever since our launch in July ‘21, we’ve been sharing our work with the broader community – one of our very first initiatives was organising ConsensusDays.
Scaling blockchains with hierarchical consensus
Scaling blockchains is not an easy task. Less so if one is looking to accommodate not only crypto-native use cases but also Web 2.0-like applications handling significant volumes of data at high throughput (of the kind that you would host with your preferred cloud provider).
Changing the Internet
How do you design a general-purpose global communication network? That is the question facing researchers and inventors hoping to create a new internet.
Open problems in incentive research
CryptoEconLab is the PL hub for research in cryptoeconomics, an emerging interdisciplinary field investigating the dynamics of economic coordination games in cryptographically-secured peer-to-peer networks. CryptoEconLab stands at the intersection of computer science, network science, statistics, economics, psychology, decision neuroscience, and system engineering, and the problems it explores have strong resonances with the field of complex systems theory.
Protocol Labs research funding recipients 2021, part 2
Last week we introduced you to the researchers pursuing key problems in cryptography via RFP-009, RFP-010, and a Nucleation Grant. Now we are excited to share the recipients of research awards intended to fund proposals from PhD candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty through our open grant offerings.
Protocol Labs research funding recipients 2021, part 1
This has been a prodigious year for generating new funded collaborations between Protocol Labs Research and top academic researchers around the world! We have given out a whopping eighteen awards since August (with others pending).
A visualization tool for the IPFS DHT
At the Mobile Multimedia Lab of the Athens University of Economics and Business, we have been working on optimisations for the InterPlanetary File System distributed hash table (IPFS DHT) and, in particular, on Multi-Level DHT support.
Increasing software update security through PGP-compatible threshold signatures
Increasing software update security through PGP-compatible threshold signatures Whether we are aware of them or not, software updates and the systems that support them permeate the current software landscape. Given their pervasiveness, it should come as a surprise that software created to manage such updates, broadly referred to as package managers, still pose security concerns.
A rebuttal to the Metaverse as a dystopia
A group of researchers here at PL recently indulged a tirade of mine about the notion that a metaverse is not something that we should want. It seemed worth the time to improve and condense the logic I presented there.
Designing a dataflow editor with TypeScript and React
This is a design report – a story about the tradeoffs and challenges that we encountered while building a medium-complexity React component in TypeScript. These include
state modeling (“making illegal states unrepresentable”) basic type-level programming in TypeScript DX patterns for generically typed React components DX patterns for reusable controlled components using a Redux-like action/dispatch state paradigm These topics all deal with the external interface and TypeScript typings; lower-level implementation challenges (like optimizing drag interactions and sharing state between React and D3) have been left to a future post.
ResNetLab presentations at Devfolio's ETH India 2021 Fellowship
Hot off the heels of ETHDenver, the largest Ethereum community event in North America, the Devfolio team who ran the hackathon platform for the event asked if we’d be interested in doing an IPFS training for another of their programs: the Devfolio Ethereum India Fellowship.
SnarkPack: How to aggregate SNARKs efficiently
A guided dive into the cryptographic techniques of SnarkPack
This post exposes the inner workings of SnarkPack, a practical scheme to aggregate Groth16 proofs, a derivation of the Inner Pairing Product work of Bünz et al.
Decentralized Energy Project recap
Three years ago, we set out to apply the decentralization ethos to the power grid — a complex, sprawling network with some parts dating back over a century. That was the beginning of the Decentralized Energy Project, an effort within AbstractionLab.
CryptoComputeLab announces proofs release 6.1.0
Today we’re proud to announce the recent release of rust-fil-proofs v6.1.0. This release contains a number of significant re-factors and performance optimizations, but we’d like to dig deeper into a couple of them to show some of the real-world impacts.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.