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IOHK’s proof-of-stake blockchain protocol accepted at Crypto 2017
Blockchain research and development company IOHK has announced that its research paper describing a Proof-of-Stake protocol, Ouroboros, has been accepted to Crypto 2017, the foremost academic event in the field of cryptography.
Sponsored by the International Association for Cryptologic Research, Crypto 2017 is the 37th International Cryptology Conference and will be held from August 20 to 24, 2017 at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Ouroboros was designed and built by a team of cryptographers, developers, and experts around the world. According to the official release, the protocol was developed in response to the surging global demand for efficient and secure blockchains that are capable of processing more transactions. Besides the Bitcoin protocol, Ouroboros is the only Proof-of-Stake blockchain protocol that has achieved such a distinctive level of academic peer review.
IOHK said that as the world’s first provably secure Proof-of-Stake protocol, Ouroboros has placed it to the forefront of the worldwide effort to develop a next-generation digital currency. The protocol allows the operation of a blockchain with an unprecedented level of security and efficiency. Its acceptance to Crypto 2017 is especially significant since peer recognition represents the means to widespread acceptance in the computer science field, it added.
“Building a secure Proof-of-Stake blockchain is an important open problem and I am very happy that we will share our progress towards its resolution with fellow cryptographers at Crypto this year. In Ouroboros, we flesh out for the first time the combinatorial nature of proving the security of Proof of Stake blockchain protocols and I anticipate that our methodology will be valuable widely to blockchain researcher”, said IOHK Chief Scientist Aggelos Kiayias. Prof. Kiayias led the white paper that details the Proof-of-Stake protocol.
“By developing a provably secure Proof-of-Stake protocol, we can now confidently build a blockchain that can handle many more users, resolving many of the scalability and performance issues faced by proof-of-work based protocols like Bitcoin. We have already implemented Ouroboros and tested it with a cloud deployment with very good results.”
The Ouroboros protocol is already being applied in industry as it is the technology backing the Cardano blockchain platform currently being developed by IOHK. Its potential uses extend beyond cryptocurrencies, including applications in voting and decentralized project funding. The platform is expected to draw widespread interest from companies, enterprise, and investors seeking the next-generation cryptocurrency and blockchain.
"With Ouroboros, as well as the upcoming version of our protocol ‘Ouroboros Praos’ that will be released soon, IOHK is at the forefront of efficient and secure blockchain research and development,” Prof. Kiayias added.
In a related announcement, IOHK said that its research paper on Scalable Randomness Attested by Public Entities (SCRAPE) has been accepted to the 15th Annual International Conference on Applied Cryptography and Networks Security (ACNS), which reviews academic research with high relevance to real-world problems. The research is being integrated into the Ouroboros protocol.
The research paper on SCRAPE is currently being peer reviewed with its acceptance into ACNS. SCRAPE is a way for users to jointly generate values guaranteed to be random, without the need to trust each other or a central randomness beacon. Anyone can verify that the value generated is random and that the same value is obtained by all users. This is breakthrough research on random values because it allows blockchains to scale for more widespread use. It can also be applied to many types of cryptographic protocol.