Rustie Lin UC Berkeley CS, Distributed Systems, Blockchain

Advanced Protocols in Taipei

Introduction

I’m writing this four hours into my fourteen hour flight from San Francisco to Taipei. The base of my 17” laptop fits snugly against the seat in font of me, and as their seat is leaned back, I have to view my screen from a 60 degree angle. It’s too dark to read my algorithms book, and I don’t want to disturb my neighbors with a bright light, so I’m writing another blog post instead.

I’m traveling to Taiwan mainly for vacation and visiting family. But spreading quality blockchain education is also pretty important, so I’ve been working with some Taiwan blockchain community members to host some events. I’ll be delivering talks on two separate occasions: once at a small community meet-up at a large cafe (with a stage!) and once at Taipei’s National Chengchi University. I am delivering the talk with one other teammate, who will be covering fundamental Bitcoin mechanics before I move more in depth into advaced protocols. The layout of our talk

Bitcoin Fundamentals:

  • Motivations
  • Identity (Cryptography introduction)
  • UTXO model
  • Hash functions
  • Record Keeping Model
  • Proof-of-Work

Advanced Protocols:

  • Distributed Systems
  • Consensus overview (Byzantine Generals, etc.)
  • Proof-of-Stake
  • Alternative Consensus

My Interests

I’m deeply interested in the literature that supports the underlying mechanics of computer systems motivates me to understand the design and implementation of distributed systems and the consensus protocols that are used to align incentive among public systems. What I spent the most time reading up on specifically:

  • Properties of Distributed Systems
    • Formal definitions, safety, liveness, correctness
    • Consensus mechanics
  • Various Proof-of-Stake Implementation Tendermint and the two Caspers
    • Casper the Friendly Ghost
    • Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget

Update

The events were a huge success! Thank you NCCU and Rayca Cafe!

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