Traditional consensus algorithms, whether they operate in a synchronous, partially asynchronous or fully asynchronous network model, and whether they are designed around simple faults, Byzantine faults or accountable faults, generally operate in a model where there is a fixed set of participants in the protocol, with the assumption that at…

“Decentralization” is one of the words that is used in the cryptoeconomics space the most frequently, and is often even viewed as a blockchain’s entire raison d’être, but it is also one of the words that is perhaps defined the most poorly. Thousands of hours of research, and billions of…

Trigger warning: math.

One of the key cryptographic primitives behind various constructions, including deterministic threshold signatures, zk-SNARKs and other simpler forms of zero-knowledge proofs is the elliptic curve pairing. Elliptic curve pairings (or “bilinear maps”) are a recent addition to a 30-year-long history of using elliptic curves for cryptographic applications…

Systems like Ethereum (and Bitcoin, and NXT, and Bitshares, etc) are a fundamentally new class of cryptoeconomic organisms — decentralized, jurisdictionless entities that exist entirely in cyberspace, maintained by a combination of cryptography, economics and social consensus. They are kind of like BitTorrent, but they are also not like BitTorrent…

Vitalik Buterin

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