Darmstadt-Warsaw Research Seminar on Cryptography and Blockchains: Toward Democratizing Secure Decentralized Computation

07.07.2021 13:00-14:00

Speaker: Dr. Lefteris Kokoris-Kogias (Novi/Facebook) | Location: Online (Networking afterwards)

Prof. Sebastian Faust (TU Darmstadt)
Prof. Stefan Dziembowski (University of Warsaw)


While showing great promise, smart contracts are difficult to program correctly, as they need a deep understanding of cryptography and distributed algorithms, and offer limited functionality, as they have to be deterministic and cannot operate on secret data. In this talk we present Protean, a general-purpose decentralized computing platform that addresses these limitations by moving from a monolithic execution model, where all participating nodes store all the state and execute every computation, to a modular execution model. Protean employs secure specialized side-chains for building decentralized applications that are currently insecure or impossible to implement with smart contracts. Each side-chain is a multi-party computation system that provides an efficient implementation of a special-purpose functionality.

Afterwards, we present Calypso, one such side-chain. Calypso enhances permissioned and permissionless blockchains with the ability to manage confidential data without forfeiting availability or decentralization. The proposed architecture addresses two orthogonal challenges confronting modern distributed ledgers: (a) enabling the auditable management of secrets and (b) protecting distributed computations against arbitrage attacks when their results depend on the ordering and secrecy of inputs.

Short bio



  • Talk: Online via Zoom
  • Networking: Online – the link will be shared during the Zoom session