Ouroboros Genesis Research to be Presented at Leading Computer Security Event  

Paper from IOHK represents next step in development of proof-of-stake systems with unparalleled security


New York, NY — 17 October 2018 — IOHK, the leading blockchain research and development company behind top 10 cryptocurrency Cardano, has announced that it will present its research on Ouroboros Genesis at ACM Conference on Computer and Communication Security. The research tackles critical challenges that exist in proof-of-stake protocols and this latest version of Ouroboros, the algorithm powering Cardano, represents a significant milestone on the roadmap of research that began with Ouroboros and was followed by Ouroboros Praos.


Using Ouroboros Genesis, users joining the blockchain later will be able to do so securely based only on an authentic copy of the genesis block, without the need to rely on a checkpoint provided by a trusted party. Though common in proof-of-work protocols like Bitcoin, this feature was previously unavailable in existing proof-of-stake systems and was widely believed impossible.


The Ouroboros Genesis paper will be presented by team member Christian Badertscher on October 17th at the ACM Symposium on Computer and Communications Security. The event is a leading global computer security and cryptography conference.





Aggelos Kiayias, IOHK Chief Scientist, said:

Ouroboros Genesis resolves an important open question in the PoS blockchain space, namely how it is possible to securely connect to the system without any information beyond the genesis block. This is a significant step forward that enables a higher degree of decentralization that seemed unatttainable for PoS protocols before our work. Our security analysis is also in the “universal composition” setting that provides, for the first time in the PoS space, a modular way of building secure applications on top of the ledger.”


Christian Badertscher said:

It is exciting to present Ouroboros Genesis at a top security conference and very rewarding to see how theoretical research can make a significant impact on practice. Avoiding the need of a trusted checkpoint, and still being secure in a setting with a variable level of participation, has been a challenging problem to solve in the PoS space.”





In February 2017, IOHK launched Ouroboros, the first iteration of its custom Proof-of-Stake protocol. IOHK’s research paper outlining Ouroboros was accepted to Crypto 2017, the foremost academic event in the field of cryptography. Ouroboros was developed by leading academics in response to an increasing global demand for efficient and secure blockchains that can process transactions sustainably. Along with the Bitcoin protocol, Ouroboros is the only proof-of-stake blockchain protocol that has achieved such a distinctive level of academic peer review.


Ouroboros Praos, the second version of the protocol was accepted to Eurocrypt 2018, hosted in Tel Aviv, Israel by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) and considered to be one of the most prestigious academic events in the cryptography field. Ouroboros was designed by a highly skilled team of cryptographers, led by IOHK Chief Scientist Professor Aggelos Kiayias, who is Chair in Cybersecurity and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, and director of the Blockchain Technology Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh.


For more information on Ouroboros Genesis, see https://forum.cardano.org/t/iohk-statement-ouroboros-genesis-new-research-for-cardano/11074



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