Protocol Labs Research
2022-09-16 / Blog
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.
2022-08-26 / Blog
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.
2022-07-26 / Blog
Introducing ProbeLab
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.
2022-07-25 / Blog
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.
2022-07-05 / Blog
On algebraic vector commitments

In this post, we discuss a recent result from Cryptonet about the impossibility of succinct vector commitments in groups of known prime order.

2022-06-30 / Blog
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.
2022-06-20 / Blog
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.
Sílvia Bessa , Karola Kirsanow , Joel Chan, Matt Akamatsu
2022-06-15 / Blog
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.
2022-06-06 / Blog
A deep dive into DKG, chain of SNARKs, and arkworks
In this blog post I am going to share the main takeaways I have learned while implementing a proof of concept (PoC) of a Distributed Key Generation (DKG) inside of a SNARK.
2022-05-26 / Blog
A Public Goods experiment on Filecoin: Retroactively funding impact with Quadratic Voting
The PL Network Goods team launched a quadratic voting funding experiment on Filecoin repositories with the help of maintainers and storage providers, rewarded community contributors, and built retroactive funding infrastructure for broader application.
2022-04-20 / Blog
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.
2022-03-16 / Blog
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.
2022-03-03 / Blog
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).
Alfonso de la Rocha , Lefteris Kokoris-Kogias, Jorge M. Soares , Marko Vukolić
2022-02-07 / Blog
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.

2022-01-19 / News, Blog
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.
2021-12-21 / Blog
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.
2021-12-17 / Blog
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).
2021-12-13 / Blog
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.
Spyros Voulgaris, Yiannis Psaras
2021-11-22 / Blog
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.
Lukas Zapolskas, Nicolas Gailly
2021-10-22 / Blog
CryptoComputeLab announces proofs release version
CryptoComputeLab is very proud to release Proofs v10.0.0! A lot has changed under the hood in this release, but ultimately, it comes down to additional GPU support options and better performance during proving.
2021-09-02 / Blog
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.
2021-07-29 / Blog
The Winding Journey to Proofs v8.0.0 and beyond

The proofs team is proud to announce the recent proofs releases v8.0.0, v8.0.1, and v8.0.2! These releases are Hyperdrive-enabled, which means that they contain the proof aggregation API that uses SnarkPack – in fact, the major difference between proofs v7.0.x and v8.0.x is the aggregation functionality!

2021-06-23 / Blog
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.
2021-06-02 / Blog
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.
2021-05-18 / Blog
CryptoComputeLab announces proofs release versions 7.0.0 and 7.0.1
The Proofs Team is pleased to announce the recent release of version 7.0.0 of the proofs library. The most notable improvement is that we’ve replaced the old gpu code with the new gpu2 code.
2021-05-10 / Blog
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.
2021-04-26 / Blog
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.
2021-03-24 / Blog
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.
2021-01-29 / Blog
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.
2021-01-20 / Blog
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.
2021-01-11 / Blog
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.
2021-01-01 / Blog
Our Bitswap nodes have become “jumping inspectors” (updated)
A few weeks ago, we shared how we have taught our Bitswap nodes to jump. If you recall from that post, the content discovery range extension gained came at the expense of an increased number of duplicate blocks exchanged in the network.
2020-12-18 / Blog, News
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.
2020-12-10 / Blog
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.
2020-11-23 / Blog
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:
2020-11-16 / Blog
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.
2020-11-03 / Blog
"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.
2020-10-29 / Blog
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.
2020-10-06 / Blog
GossipSub: An attack-resilient messaging-layer protocol for public blockchains
Securing permissionless networks is the bane of open networks, starting with the Internet and every overlay network that operates over it. This challenge has existed from the early days of the Internet to the current Web 3.
2020-09-18 / Blog
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.
2020-08-27 / Blog
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.
2020-07-23 / Blog
How content addressing can solve streaming challenges as networks are overloaded
Given the mass migration to remote work we’ve seen in recent months, you’d think the internet would be collapsing under the added strain. Yet precisely the opposite has happened. As experts have observed, the internet isn’t buckling under added traffic; it’s thriving.
2020-05-04 / Blog
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?
2020-03-19 / Blog
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.