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Bitcoin Researcher Drums Up Academic Interest in Erlay Protocol

In November 2019, Gleb Naumenko, co-author of the Erlay protocol and Bitcoin researcher at Chaincode Labs, came to London to present at the ACM conference 2019. The ACM conference is one of the premier conferences on computer and communications security. It brings together “security researchers, practitioners, developers and users from all over the world.” Naumenko’s appearance was a rare recent example of Bitcoin research being covered at a conference focused on broader topics than exclusively cryptocurrency (or “blockchain”). As Naumenko himself has said, there are numerous benefits to getting individuals from other fields of research engaged in reviewing and providing feedback to the Bitcoin ecosystem. These benefits include strengthening existing Bitcoin research and also attracting new talent to address the multitude of challenges and real world research that need advancing. Naumenko is seeking to encourage current and future graduate students to focus on the peer-to-peer challenges of Bitcoin such as future botnet attacks on the Bitcoin network.Erlay: Reducing Bitcoin’s Bandwidth RequirementsNaumenko describes his research as “analyzing, protecting and optimizing the way these nodes communicate.” He is perhaps best known for his work on Erlay. Aaron van Wirdum and Omar Faridi previously covered Erlay in Bitcoin Magazine. As they write, “Erlay is a new proposal that could help reduce bandwidth requirements.” It outlines an approach that reduces the number of messages between nodes and the size of some of those messages. Erlay could reduce the amount of bandwidth required by approximately 40 percent. Reducing bandwidth requirements is not only important for lowering the bar for an individual to start running a full node but also allows existing nodes to increase their number of connections making eclipse attacks harder to execute.Just as a lunar eclipse shields your view of the moon, an eclipse attack shields your view of the rest of the network’s blocks and tr...
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