Algorand: A Better Distributed Ledger


Title: Algorand: A Better Distributed Ledger
Date: 10/13/17
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Duration: 1 Hour

Silvio Micali
Faculty at MIT, ACM A.M.Turing Award Winner

Registration Link
"Bitcoins Maybe; Blockchains Likely," by Peter J. Denning and Ted G. Lewis


Hi, I have a question for tomorrow. I hope this is the right place for asking them.
I hope Silvio address it during his talk, otherwise here it goes:

How sensitive is Algorand to spontaneous coordination? How sensitive it is to manipulations that relies on spontaneous coordination?
For example, in retail selling, small players when see there is an event in their city can increase their prices in sync, without communicating, because they believe that others small players will do so. With the right stimulus, a power player could induce a critical mass of players going into one direction, like using suggesting them the event is going to be big. Negative results in computational social choice suggest cost in money or time as barriers against such manipulations.


Can the slides of the 13Oct17 Micali talk shared here (without ledger or bitcoin ;-))?


Did you receive a response, or was it clear from the presentation? My understanding from the presentation is ALGORAND is not about blockchain currencies but a general distributed-ledger (that could be used for many kinds of transactions). It’s been a while but my sense is that it does not rely on proof-of-work, but does use Micali’s improvements to consensus resolution, based on Lamport’s work.


I see that the sides are now visible and synchronized with the presentation. As someone who attended the original webcast, I would much rather have the slides and not watch through it and make my own notes. The slides now appear in synchronization with the presentation but there is no offer of a download. I don’t know if this is an interoperability/browser capability matter or simply that the slides are not available in downloadable form.


Unfortunately we cannot post the slides for this one due to the speaker’s wishes. We do typically offer the slides for download with our other talks, so this is a special case. Thank you for watching!


There is another technology that is worth exploring for anyone interested in Blockchains. Ethereum can be used for much more than currency, and it can run independently on a private network.


Very well. I rewatched all 72 minutes of it and updated my notes.

For background material, I recommend Micali’s web page.
The ALGORAND paper on arXiv reports that there are a number of patent applications related to Algorand’s technologies. [12-22 Look under Selected Papers, Distributed Computation. Two Byzantine Agreement (BA) papers are there.]

There is also an SOSP 2017 paper about proof-of-concept work that was to be presented at the end of October. This is freely available at the link for Session 2 of There is an extensive bibliography with links to other material.

I recommend viewing the presentation. I am reluctant to provide my notes, since the combination of slides and narrative are the most valuable.