Our research topics are cryptography, data security, and distributed algorithms, with emphasis on cryptography and secure protocols for distributed systems and blockchain networks.

During his 20-year career in industrial research at IBM Research - Zurich Christian Cachin has become an expert in distributed, cryptographic protocols. He contributed to solutions for cloud security, developed consensus protocols, and helped to create the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain platform (more info).

Current projects

Blockchain and consensus protocols

A blockchain is a public ledger, maintained by many nodes without central authority using a distributed cryptographic protocol, for recording transactions. The nodes validate the information to be appended to the blockchain. A distributed consensus protocol tolerating faults and adversarial attacks ensures that the nodes agree on a unique order in which entries are appended. Cryptographic tools play an important role for consistency and privacy.

Based on earlier work on Byzantine-fault tolerant (BFT) consensus for distributing trust on the Internet, we are exploring consensus protocols and security mechanisms, and apply them to blockchain systems.

See also some blogs and other material, about the Hyperledger Fabric architecture, on distributing trust, and blockchain consensus.

Background

  1. Elli Androulaki, Artem Barger, Vita Bortnikov, Christian Cachin, Konstantinos Christidis, Angelo De Caro and others. Hyperledger Fabric: A distributed operating system for permissioned blockchains. Proceedings of EuroSys 2018.

  2. Christian Cachin and Marko Vukolic. Blockchain consensus protocols in the wild. Proceedings of DISC 2017.

  3. Christian Cachin, Simon Schubert, and Marko Vukolic. Non-determinism in Byzantine fault-tolerant replication. Proceedings of OPODIS 2016.

  4. Christian Cachin, Rachid Guerraoui, and Luís Rodrigues. Introduction to Reliable and Secure Distributed Programming. Springer, 2011.

Past projects

See this older list of research interests