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Sikoba Research

We are working on cryptography, blockchain and distributed systems

We're currently looking for interns and partners [ click for details ]

About

Our purpose is to conduct fundamental and applied research in the areas of cryptography, blockchain and distributed systems. The goal is not just to write academic papers and file patents, but also to develop software, offer consultancy services, produce didactic material and participate in setting blockchain standards.

Incorporated in Luxembourg, Sikoba Research Sàrl is a sister company of
Sikoba Ltd which is developing a peer-to-peer IOU platform based on blockchain technology. 

ZK Proof Consultancy Services

We can help you determine whether ZK proof techniques can be applied to your use case, given the current state of research and existing software implementations. If yes, we help evaluate suitable approaches and work with you to set up a complete end-to-end proof system.

If you are a student or academic researcher,  we are happy to provide our consultancy services free of charge.

Research Topics

  • Verifiable Computing and Privacy-Preserving Smart Contracts -  We are developing a framework that allows to delegate execution of smart contracts away from the blockchain while keeping proof-of-correct execution on-chain, thereby preserving the fundamental principles of decentralised ledger technology.
  • Consensus Protocols - We are working on methods to optimise and speed up consensus protocols for consortium blockchains, in particular one-step consensus and self-pruning networks. We are also developing an approach for non-deterministic state machine replication.
  • Token Economics - As the blockchain hype is receding, we need new approaches to how tokens are used on smart contract platforms. We are exploring models in which transaction prices are naturally linked to costs of cloud  computing and cloud storage.
  • Blockchain Governance - In order to avoid forks, governance in distributed systems must focus on building a wide consensus among all stakeholders. Our research focuses on consensus models suitable for blockchains.

ZKLux - Luxembourg Zero Knowledge Days

On 26-27 June 2019 we hosted ZKLux#1 and we are already looking ahead to next year's edition. If you are interested to speak at ZKLux#2 in June 2020, or to participate as a sponsor or partner, please get in touch with us!

Presentation slides and videos are now available on the ZKLux website.
Thank you to all our speakers, sponsors and everyone who attended.

Mobirise

Publications

Zero knowledge for computations with RAM - Dmitry Khovratovich - Jul 2019

This paper provides a complete model for dynamic memory and code access used in TinyRAM.
The model can be viewed as modelling the internal logic of a RISC CPU with extra logic that
verifi es the consistency of memory and code retrievals.

Bulletproofs - Dmitry Khovratovich - May 2019

We provide the first succinct and complete description of the Bulletproofs zero-knowledge proof system, as well as instructions how to create such proofs using public libraries.

Fast / Timeout-Resistant Consensus in Weakly Byzantine Environments - Aleksander Kampa - Mar 2019 (early draft, feedback requested)

By spawning multiple Single-Sender consensus processes, and introducing the concept of proof to prevent premature timeout messages from Byzantine nodes, the MPC protocol achieves efficient consensus that is very fast under favourable circumstances.

J-R1CS, a JSON Lines format for R1CS - Guillaume Drevon - Apr 2019

R1CS (rank-1 constraint systems) define a set of bi-linear equations which serve as constraints suitable for ZK proofs. This paper presents J-R1CS, a simple and lightweight JSON Lines format dedicated to R1CS. It was proposed at the 2nd ZKProof workshop as a community standard (presentation in pdf)

One-Step Consensus in Weakly Byzantine Environments - Aleksander Kampa - revised and expanded version Mar 2019 (original version was Dec 2018)

Under some conditions, binary asynchronous Byzantine consensus can be reached in a single communication step. This paper show how these conditions can be relaxed when only a subset of faulty nodes is Byzantine.

Verifiable Databases - Dmitry Khovratovich - Dec 2018

An overview of current approaches for verifiable database interactions. When only queries are involved, the solutions only need to prove authenticity. With updates, computations integrity must be proven.

State of the Art in Verifiable Computation - Dmitry Khovratovich - Dec 2018

This paper presents a detailed overview of current approaches used: Interactive Proofs, Homomorphic public-key cryptosystems, Discrete logarithm problem, MPC derivative and Incrementally Verifiable Computation. The properties of existing implementations are discussed and their performances compared based on available benchmarks.

Exploring Pairing-Based Cryptography - Stéphane Vincent - Dec 2018

One of the key cryptographic primitives behind various constructions, including privacy-preserving authentication, short signature schemes, and zero-knowledge proofs is the bilinear mapping technique that uses pairings over elliptic curves. Initially used in cryptography to break the discrete logarithm problem in a group of points of some elliptic curves, pairings are now considered to be one of the most suitable mathematical tools to design secure and efficient cryptographic protocols. 

A Primer on NIZK Proofs for Secure Computation - Stéphane Vincent - Dec 2018

Non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs (NIZKPs) are an essential element for providing security, confidentiality and privacy on public smart contract platforms. After introducing the necessary background on circuit representation, a description of a C-to-arithmetic-circuit compiler is provided. Finally, two NIZP systems based on different cryptographic assumptions are presented.

Software

Mobirise

Our verifiable computation software project is called Isekai. The first module that is being developed parses C programs and outputs the arithmetic and/or boolean circuit representing of the expression equivalent to the input program. Isekai uses libclang to parse the C program, so most of the preprocessor (including the includes) is available. Isekai is written using the Crystal programming language allowing for strong type safety and is compiled to a native executable, ensuring maximum efficiency in parsing.

Main Sponsor

Fantom Foundation

Based in South Korea, Fantom is the world’s first DAG-based smart contract platform that solves the scalability issue that has long plagued existing public distributed ledger technology. Built on Fantom’s OPERA Chain, the Fantom platform will replace existing payment methods and supply chain management infrastructures using a dApp that will handle hundreds of thousands of transactions per second across all industries, including food, telecommunications, finance, electricity, electronics, real estate, and autonomous vehicles, saving costs and providing transparency.
Mobirise

Partner with Us

Partnership and Internship Opportunities

We are looking to partner with researchers and dev teams who work on ZK proof systems, with the aim of integrating such systems with isekai.

On the software side, we are looking to cooperate with talented developers who are interested in topics such as programming language design and parsing, cryptography and distributed systems. Our language of choice is Crystal.

We are also looking for interns who are interested in researching and/or doing development work on topics related to distributed computing, blockchain and cryptography. Check our out call for interns 2019.

Address

Sikoba Research is a project of Sikoba Ltd. For more information visit sikoba.com

Contact

Email: info@sikoba.com