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EE 374: Internet-Scale Consensus in the Blockchain Era

Consensus protocols are at the core of distributed systems to enable nodes to agree on a common record of history. Traditional consensus protocols are designed for the closed setting where nodes are permissioned and fixed. Blockchains were invented by Nakamoto in 2008 to achieve consensus in the open permissionless setting at Internet-scale, where nodes can freely join and leave the network. Existing blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum have an excellent track record in operating securely in such a challenging environment but suffer from several significant drawbacks. This course studies recently proposed solutions to resolve these drawbacks and achieve: 1) throughput scalability; 2) fast confirmation; 3) finality and accountability; 4) energy efficiency and decentralization. It can be taken on a stand alone basis or as a follow-up to CS 251. Prerequisite: EE 178, CS 109 or equivalent. http://web.stanford.edu/class/ee374
Terms: Win | Units: 3
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