DeCenter Seminar: An Overview of Mechanism Design for Blockchain Applications

September 20, 2023 4:30 pm

Friend Center, 113 (Convocation Room)

Speaker: Matt Weinberg, Princeton University

Blockchains rely on an underlying consensus protocol to ensure consistency of their ledger. Classically, these protocols are proven secure assuming that an attacker controls at most (say) 33% of the network, and the remaining portion of the network honestly follows the protocol. This analysis is necessary but overlooks an important aspect: participants earn rewards by participating, and all participants, honest or not, will happily deviate from the protocol if it yields greater rewards. In this talk, I’ll overview several challenges to designing consensus protocols that correctly incentivize participants to follow them. This talk will not assume any particular technical background, although it will have technical content.

Matt Weinberg is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. His primary research interest is in algorithmic mechanism design: algorithm design in settings where users have their own incentives. He is also interested more broadly in algorithmic game theory, algorithms under uncertainty, and theoretical computer science in general. Before joining the faculty at Princeton, Weinberg spent two years as a postdoc in Princeton’s CS theory group and was a research fellow at the Simons Institute during the Fall 2015 (economics and computation) and Fall 2016 (algorithms and uncertainty) semesters. He completed his PhD in 2014 at MIT, where he was advised by Costis Daskalakis. Prior to that, he graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Math in 2010, where he worked with Bobby Kleinberg.

If you need an accommodation for a disability, please contact at least one week before the event.