Scalability is a major issue in most blockchains. For example, Bitcoin can process around 7 transactions/seconds whereas Visa processes 1700 transactions/second. A popular way is to perform the transactions off-chains and write the summary on-chain. These solutions are called layer-2 solutions, layer 1 being the original blockchain and layer 2 being the off-chain transactions. Examples of layer-2 solutions include Bitcoin's Lightning network and Ethereum's Raiden network. There is an enormous amount of research and development going on to enhance the efficiency of these protocols.

One such effort is called ZK-Rollup (ZK for Zero-Knowledge). The idea of Rollups is to bundle multiple transactions into one batch and write only a single transaction on the blockchain. This means that instead of verifying all the transactions, Ethereum smart contract verifies a single transaction. ZK-rollups reduce computing and storage resources for validating the block. Verification is done without knowing the data (that is why zero-knowledge). The main challenge with roll-ups is the involvement of operators who process the roll-up transactions, which raises the question of trust. Specialized storage nodes hold the transaction data and might compromise the privacy of users. The aim of this project is to develop and implement an efficient algorithm for batching transactions while maintaining security of the blockchain.


Computer Science and Engineering

Research Area

Blockchains | Cybersecurity | Algorithms | Theory

The supervisor is supportive and has excellent understanding of the topic. The selected student will work closely with a PhD/Honours student. She has worked with many undergraduate students, some of whom went on to pursue a career in Security and Cryptography, including higher degrees like Phd. Some of the students even published their first research papers with her. The student will be mentored and nurtured to appreciate the beauty and power of cryptography. The student will also interact with other members of the cybersecurity and theory research groups.

The project involves both theory and implementation. The project involves excellent understanding of data structures, algorithms and discrete mathematics. The student will understand how foundational problems are buried in practical problems. Mathematical thinking and proof techniques will be explored. The batching algorithm can be implemented in any language, C/C++/Rust. The aim is to experience the joys of research.

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