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Department of Computer Science and Technology

Research Projects

The Centre for ReDecentralisation (CRDC)

The Centre for Redecentralisation (CRDC) pursues research projects for creating new technological primitives that expand the types of computational systems that can be built and explores the economic, social, legal and political implications of these new types of systems. Our intent is to push the frontier of decentralised systems and technologies, providing developers in both research and industry with powerful building materials for creating tools that provide people and their communities with the power to solve their own problems, and create systems that protect the needs of everyone in a digital world.

Redecentralisation is not just about bypassing existing gatekeepers, but solving the difficult problem of providing a foundation for rich interaction in the digital domain without extractive intermediaries.

History

The CRDC started as a seed in March of 2019 from a series of meetings and conversations between the four founders of the CRDC (Jon Crowcroft, Carlos Molina-Jimenez, Dann Toliver and Hazem Danny Nakib) to create a new research centre as a home for a series of research initiatives into the redecentralisation of systems, computational and otherwise.

Projects

The focus on redecentralisation has lead to a number of research projects including:

A re-examination of the problem of fair exchange and a new fair exchange protocol called FEWD. Attestables, a minimal interface for trust across computational boundaries, were introduced as part of the FEWD project. A book version of this work is scheduled to be published by World Scientific in early 2023.

The CAMB project is funded by a UKRI grant and will run from spring 2022 to late 2024. This work extends the development of attestables, building on the fair exchange work in FEWD. Constructing attestables in new settings yields more opportunities for redecentralisation by building Cloud Attestables on Morello Boards (CAMB).

CoGMa, an annual conference and workshop bringing together really interesting people from industry, academia, and all walks of life to explore the problem of majoritarianism in systems and their social, economic, legal and political implications. First held in 2021, with all proceeds being published in the University of Cambridge Data and Policy journal.

The Cambridge Decentralisation Prize, a biannual prize for affiliates of the University of Cambridge conducting research or commercial opportunities leveraging decentralised technologies and supporting new cutting edge research and commercial spin-outs in the area of redecentralisation.

Publications

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