Victor Luchangco, Algorand
Theory Meeting Practice in the Algorand Blockchain
Robust and effective distributed systems require good theory and good engineering, not separately but in concert: user requirements and system constraints are not merely implementation details but often must inform the design of algorithms for such systems. Blockchains are an excellent example. The heart of a blockchain is its (Byzantine) consensus protocol, and consensus protocols have been extensively studied in the theory community for decades. But traditional consensus protocols are not directly applicable to blockchains, which have, or hope to have, millions of participants. Furthermore, public blockchains, which allow anyone to participate, must have some mechanism to guarantee the security of the protocol, and traditional fault models do not adequately capture the assumptions of such mechanisms. In this talk, I will discuss these and other ways in which theory and practice meet in the context of the Algorand blockchain, and how Algorand is able to achieve high transaction throughput with low latency.
Victor Luchangco is a Principal Algorithms Researcher at Algorand, where he works on protocols and languages for blockchains. He is a co-author of The Art of Multiprocessor Programming, and is a recipient of the 2022 Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing. Before joining Algorand, he worked at Oracle Labs and Sun Labs on concurrent algorithms and data structures for shared-memory multiprocessors and the Fortress programming language. He has authored over 50 papers and holds more than 50 patents. He received an Sc.D. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a dissertation on models for weakly consistent memories.