IC3: Advancing the science and applications of blockchains

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by James Austgen, Kushal Babel, Phil Daian, Ari Juels, adn Mahimna Kelkar on September 30, 2022
Atomic NFTs introduce new cryptographic techniques in order to enable NFT creators to prevent fractionalization of their NFTs. Our work promises to give creators stronger control over how their NFTs are bought and sold. We stress that Atomic NFTs are a preliminary research concept. More research needs to be done to make them truly practical. We believe, however, that practicality is on the horizon and that Atomic NFTs could someday become a standard option in NFT creation.
by Ari Juels on September 26, 2022
Museums exist not just to house original works of art, but as shrines to be visited by art lovers. Physical works of art — oil paintings, for instance — look very different in person than in posters or digital images. I've spent twenty minutes staring at this Vermeer in person. I can assure you that the sacred hush magically rendered by the artist in the original painting is all but obliterated in reproduction. There’s another facet to appreciation of art, though, one that’s not just about brushstrokes or esthetic nuance. Why, after all, do people flock to see the Mona Lisa when they can barely make it out through the ten-foot thick protective barrier of tourists?
by Florian Suri-Payer and Natacha Crooks on August 27, 2022
Applications want to retain database functionality when decentralizing their systems. Unfortunately, straightforward designs atop today's blockchain system fall short of this task. The current separation between the ordering layer and the application materialization layer in blockchain based designs precludes the design of expressive, and high performance transactional systems. In our recent work Basil - Breaking up BFT with ACID (transactions) we explore how to merge these layers for improved scalability and usability.
by Ari Juels on July 20, 2022
Bitcoin and blockchains - the technology that makes cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin possible - have become inescapable phenomena in finance and even popular culture. Despite their rise in popularity, though, there is considerable bewilderment around blockchains and their capabilities. In this talk, Ari Juels, the Weill Family Foundation and Joan and Stanford I. Weill Professor at Cornell Tech and Co-Director of the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (IC3), will aim to demistify this intriguing technology. He will explain how blockchains mean much more than Bitcoin and indeed how blockchain-based digital apes may be harbingers of our future in leisure and the arts. We hope to see you at this virtual event.
by Youer Pu, Lorenzo Alvisi and Ittay Eyal on June 21, 2022
The Nakamoto consensus protocol works in a permissionless model, where nodes can join and leave without notice. However, it guarantees agreement only probabilistically. Is this weaker guarantee a necessary concession to the severe demands of supporting a permissionless model? We show that, at least in a benign failure model, it is not. We present Sandglass, the first permissionless consensus algorithm that guarantees deterministic agreement and termination with probability 1 under general omission failures. Like Nakamoto, Sandglass adopts a hybrid synchronous communication model, where, at all times, a majority of nodes (though their number is unknown) are correct and synchronously connected, and allows nodes to join and leave at any time.
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January 15-18, 2023
Join us for the 2023 IC3 Winter Retreat which will be hosted in-person at the Eurotel Victoria in Les Diablerets, Switzerland! Our technical committee of Surya Bakshi, Lorenz Breidenbach, Patrick McCorry, and Haaroon Yousaf is preparing another immersive learning experience.
Monday October 3, 2022
Thank you all for joining us for an evening of art and research talks to celebrate the opening of the NFT Art Gallery at Cornell Tech in New York City.
August 29-31, 2022
This conference focuses on technical innovations in the blockchain ecosystem, and brings together researchers and practioners working in the space. We are interested in the application of cryptography, decentralized protocols, formal methods, and empirical analysis, to improving the security and scalability of blockchain deployments. We aim to foster collaboration among practitioners and researchers working on blockchain protocol development, cryptography, distributed systems, secure computing, crypto-economics, and economic risk analysis.
Tuesday August 30, 2022
IC3 will host a dinner at SBC 2022 on Tuesday, August 30th in Palo Alto, CA. The event will run from 5:30-9:30 pm with a cocktail hour followed by a catered dinner and selected talks.
August 1-7, 2022
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 7th Annual IC3 Blockchain Camp! This 7-day experience was hosted in-person on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, NY. Our Camp technical committee of Surya Bakshi, Tyler Kell and Patrick McCorry prepared an immersive coding and learning experience with talks, panels, whiteboard sessions, and a week-long hackathon.
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Featured Projects

The IC3 NFT License

The IC3 NFT license is a copyright license specifically designed for use with NFTs. This document describes the technical, conceptual, and doctrinal challenges posed by NFT licensing and explains the design decisions made in drafting a license to solve them. The license itself, which is designed to be used in conjunction with a technical process (such as the one described in Ethereum Improvement Proposal 5218), links a creative work to an NFT so that when the NFT is transferred, so is the license. For further details, please check out our Projects Page.


More projects:

  • Money: A New ERA
  • Metaverse: Going Incognito
  • SPARG: Parallelizable Delegation from LWE
  • SHORTSTACK: Distributed, Fault-tolerant, Oblivious Data Access
  • SoK: Hardware-supported Trusted Execution Environments
Even more projects...