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Alternatives for Proof-of-Work based Blockchains

The objective of this project is to investigate existing alternatives for Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain protocols and advance the state of the art in this field. Thereby, the project aims to minimize the resource consumption, in terms of hardware resources required and electrical power consumed.

By applying modern cryptographic techniques, the security guarantees of alternative system designs compared to PoW based ones are retained or strengthened. To achieve this goal, the thesis considers crucial underlying components for alternative approaches, including the distributed generation of randomness and distributed key generation, as well as their overall design.

Wider Research Context

Due to its technical innovations and features, Bitcoin and the underlying technology, commonly referred to as blockchain, has attracted a growing amount of interest. Bitcoin as an open-source project enabled developers to modify and adopt the original protocol for a wide range of custom projects. Now there are several thousand cryptocurrencies, some with very different objectives, built on the fundamental concepts of Bitcoin. While Bitcoin was primarily designed as a decentralized payment network, other platforms, such as Ethereum, extend its basic functionality, allowing for many applications that go far beyond a payment system.

Further Information

  • The project is led by SBA Research.
  • This FFG programme is sponsored by Nationalstiftung für Forschung, Technologie und Entwicklung and Österreich-Fonds. The focus lies on funding industrial PhD projects to improve qualifications of research and innovation staff in companies and non-university research institutions.  An Industrial PhD project is performed by an employee of an Austrian company/non-university research institution, who is enrolled as a PhD student at a university during the whole project.

This project is funded by the FFG.