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The Research Institute’s non-profit initiative was founded by a group of researchers and developers looking to solve the apparent lack of a consistent philosophy and approach to solid research when it comes to new technological development in such areas as cryptography, systems analysis, big data processing, and distributed computing.

The Research Institute’s primary focus was always on supporting the international research community, strengthening academia—industry collaboration, product development and making a real difference.


In spring 2017, a group of researchers and developers with scientific and practical experience in blockchain product launches laid down the foundation for a new non-profit initiative. From the very beginning, the team took a proactive approach, initiating numerous joint projects with academic institutions and industrial R&D centres. The geography of the Research Institute expanded rapidly. It was soon recognised within the international research community, with a significant contribution in the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany. Our researchers successfully took part in leading industry events, while the Research Institute organised a number of conferences and events where notable speakers participated.

Research Institute Labs conducted applied research on topics, such as tokenization for real estate and the sharing economy, gateways and atomic swaps, decentralised finance and protocols, cryptographically secured cold storage, trading algorithms, impact analysis related to distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchain applications for enterprises and government institutions. The results of many of these studies were actively applied in practice.


From its very first days, working with the research community was the Research Institute’s main priority. This was mostly due to the fact that the blockchain technology itself was initially developed by a small group of enthusiasts. Therefore, open discussion, opinion exchange facilitation, and a desire to look at the problem from a variety of points of view were core values for the Research Institute. Also, it is no coincidence that the functionality of decentralised systems is based on the idea of ​​achieving algorithmic consensus - they just won’t work properly without active cooperation of their members.

It quickly became clear that for the adequate development of the decentralised systems industry, there was a need for specialists with appropriate training. The academy was unable to meet this need within a reasonable time frame. Therefore, we decided to take an educational direction in the Research Institute, attracting leading experts to collaborate and use our best practices. Classical universities were also involved in this work to mutual benefit.


The Research Institute created a series of events dedicated to evaluating the current state of research in emerging technologies. The first two editions of Master Workshop were dedicated to discussing the issues of blockchain scalability.

Master Workshop:
Off the Chain
Berlin · 30 June – 1 July, 2018
In this two-day workshop, more than 20 of the most respected thought leaders in the field lead a discussion on how and when state channels can be implemented, identifying problems and proposing potential solutions to help take it to the next stage.
Joshua Lind
Imperial College London
Christian Decker
Ian Miers
Jason Teutsch
Ethan Heilman
Pedro Moreno Sanchez
Purdue University
Lefteris Karapetsas
Raiden Network
Stefanie Roos
University of Waterloo
Sergio Demian Lerner
Cryptocurrency Security Consultant
Sebastian Faust
TU Darmstadt
Stefan Dziembowski
University of Warsaw
Jeremy Longley
Fabrice Drouin
Iddo Bentov
Cornell University
Kristina Hostakova
TU Darmstadt
Christian Reitwiessner
Liam Horne
Lisa Eckey
TU Darmstadt
Harry Kalodner
Princeton University
Thomas Bertani
Surya Bakshi
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Erik Bryn
Xiaozhou Li
Celer Network
Gert-Jaap Glasbergen
Tom Close
Patrick McCorry
King’s College London
Jez San
Master Workshop:
Layer 1 Solutions
Amsterdam · 17-18 November, 2018
‘Master Workshop: Layer 1 solutions’ brought together leading experts for an in-depth examination of Layer 1 scaling solutions for cryptocurrencies. They discussed delegated proof of stake (DPOS), key aggregation, two-tiered network systems, and many other new consensus & blockchain protocols that were being explored to solve the TPS bottleneck. Leaving hype, hubris and hysterical marketing claims at the door, this event was a unique chance for researchers to introduce their findings.
Mustafa Al-Bassam
Ewa Syta
Trinity College, Connecticut
Sarah Azouvi
Philipp Jovanovic
Kogias Eleftherios Kokoris
Linus Gasser
Zhijie Ren
Delft University of Technology
Chris Carr
Sergi Delgado Segura
Mingchao Yu
Dolby Laboratories
Vasily Kharin
Research Institute
Ren Zhang
Nervos Network
Roman Olyinikov
Yoad Lewenberg
Alex Manuskin
Kazim Rifat Ozyilmaz
Bogazici University Istanbul
Greg Scullard
Hashgraph Hedera
Yue Guo
Cornell University
Pierre-Louis Roman
University of Rennes
Luciana Kiffer
Northeastern University

Throughout the year, in collaboration with Binary District, the Research Institute hosted a number of blockchain-themed events. The key objective of these events was to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and practitioners to discuss the most recent innovations, trends, approaches, and challenges. Event topics reflected research areas specified in the Research Institute’s general research agenda - network throughput, Consensus protocols, formal scripting languages, zero-knowledge proofs, anonymisation and data privacy, economic incentives in decentralised systems, voting mechanisms and micropayment systems. All events helped us to significantly advance in establishing a pro-research ecosystem, as well as navigating through the research currently being done in the field of blockchain technologies and further shaping our general research agenda.

for E-governance
London · 16 January, 2018
Patrick McCorry, a Research Associate at University College London (UCL) and Daniel Gasteiger, the co-founder of Procivis, discussed how blockchain revolutionises the Government and delved into its impact on elections, land registration and digital identification.
Security and Stability
of Blockchains
Amsterdam · 31 January, 2018
Peter Todd, one of the chief architects of Bitcoin, discussed the security and scalability issues impacting blockchain during the Amsterdam meetup.
proof protocols
Moscow · 6 February, 2018
Zooko Wilcox and Alexander Chepurnoy discussed ways to increase privacy on public blockchains and develop a new class of blockchain applications.
Blockchain for
Payment Processing
London · 15 February, 2018
Philipp Jovanovic, a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, and Lewis Tuff, the lead engineer at Revolut, delved into the issue of secure payment processing via distributed permissionless ledgers.
Bitcoin channels
Berlin · 17 May, 2018
Joshua Lind from Imperial College London tackled issues related to off-chain payment protocols.
Cross-chain transfers
in PoW Blockchains
Berlin · 5 July, 2018
Dionysis Zindros, PhD candidate in Computer Science at the University of Athens, introduced ‘Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof-of-Work’ to illustrate the conditions required to make sidechains and explain how they can be enacted.
Enhancing Bitcoin Security
Berlin · 17 July, 2018
Prof. Bryan Ford, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology provided an outline of ByzCoin and led discussion on the model as a solution to Bitcoin scalability.
PoS Blockchain protocols
Amsterdam · 19 July, 2018
Bernardo David, Assistant Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, took the audience through Ouroboros at last week's 'PoS blockchain protocols.

The Research Institute has been actively involved in research in areas related to DLT, especially in cryptographic algorithms for the financial market. Many conferences which are listed below were organized with the direct Research Institute participation and currently respected in the industry.

Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2018


February 26 - March 2, 2018

Public Key Cryptography

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

March 26 - 29, 2018


Tel Aviv, Israel

April 29 - May 3, 2018


Fairmont, The Queen Elizabeth Montreal, Canada

June 26 - 28, 2018

International Workshop on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

Barcelona, Catalonia

September 6-7, 2018

Scaling Bitcoin

Tokio, Japan

October 6 - 7, 2018

Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2019

St. Kitts

February 26 - March 2, 2019


The Research Institute supported a number of educational activities, including a cross-university blockchain research seminar (UCL, KCL, Imperial, Portsmouth, Cambridge) and a free blockchain developer workshop in London, organised by Blockchain Connector.


Applied research is another pillar on which the Research Institute was founded. Our researchers have actively worked on many important DLT issues, with significant achievements in several of them. In addition, the Research Institute established its own grant program, which has become a tool to support promising research groups around the world. As a result of such networking, which is valuable on its own, we were able to improve the quality of the events in which we were involved.


The Research Institute 2018 Grant Programme aimed to support academic projects looking into issues around achieving liquid democracy, increasing transaction throughput of blockchains, and achieving higher levels of security of smart contracts.

Grants were allocated to the following research projects:

  • “Statement voting and liquid democracy” – Bingsheng Zhang, Assistant Professor at Lancaster University.
  • “Stateless Cryptocurrency Transaction validation” – Charalampos Papamanthou, Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland.
  • “Reactionary Security and Development of in-built recovery functionality for smart contracts” – Patrick McCorry, Assistant Professor at King’s College London.

In addition, the Research Institute has contributed to the Zcash Foundation’s Grant Programme. Selection of successful projects was carried out by the Zcash Foundation’s Grant Programme Committee, which included Research Institute members. The Committee has received 41 initial proposals, covering a range of topics: analysis and improvement of Zcash security, wallet-building, community outreach, proof-of-work algorithms, online services, second-layer technologies, financial integration, user-experience improvement, and novel research.


Our research agenda did not claim to cover all aspects of DLT, but it was nonetheless very diverse.

Much attention was paid to the consensus mechanisms and computational trust study. The unification issues and theoretical justification of some non-trivial algorithms of federalised consensus, and problems of optimising distributed ledgers (in particular, the problem of the best block time in blockchain-type systems and the problem of determining the optimal balance between reliability and redundant duplication of information) were considered. The socio-economic aspects of the work of decentralised systems were also within the range of our interests.

Another group of research problems was related to the problem of scaling distributed solutions. Thus, the off-chain protocols based on paired state channels and their generalisation to the case of multi-side state channels were studied thoroughly. Original algorithms were proposed to reproduce computational work outside state channels, which made it possible to achieve a level of abstraction sufficient for arbitrarily large nesting of channels into each other.

Finally, we managed to make progress in the field of zero-knowledge proofs and symmetric cryptographic primitives adapted for them. The results obtained went far beyond the scope of distributed ledgers and were related across the field of applied cryptography.


The Research Institute was not just a research centre - it became the foundation of a full-fledged ecosystem that brought together engineers, business representatives, government regulators, traditional academic researchers, individual enthusiasts, and established teams. Although the Research Institute itself has ceased to exist, its team members continue to actively work in the field of new disruptive technologies, using their unique experience.

Many events, organised for the first time with the direct participation of the Research Institute, are still ongoing and are considered the most important in the industry. We sincerely hope that our example of how the initiative, commitment to open discussion, as well as effective event management, can unite the efforts of thousands of professionals around the world to achieve their goals, and will inspire those who still strive to use the latest technologies to make our life better.