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Surae: Dec 2018 - Mar 2019

XMR620.03

funded of XMR620.00 target

49 individual contributions
100.00%
100.00413279661% Funded
2 payouts
XMR0.03 balance available
99.99586737418% Paid Out

Milestones 4/4

  • December

    Funds awarded: 14.29% (~XMR88.60)

  • January

    Funds awarded: 28.57% (~XMR177.14)

  • February

    Funds awarded: 28.57% (~XMR177.14)

  • March

    Funds awarded: 28.57% (~XMR177.14)

Payouts 2

  • 266 XMR (Monday 18 February 2019)
  • 354 XMR (Thursday 11 April 2019)

WHO My name is Brandon Goodell. I am Monero Research Lab’s first postdoctoral researcher into cryptocurrency. I have a Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University, a M.Sc. in Mathematics from North Dakota State University, and a B.S. in Mathematics from Colorado State University. I taught as a graduate student for 9 years at the university level, and I have participated in the Monero community under the pseudonym Surae Noether on-and-off 2014-2016, and I have worked at MRL full-time since June 2017.

WHAT I am requesting a continuation of funding for January-March and half of December (see below). The overall lab-wide goals for MRL in the 2018/2019 year are described here. In my last funding request, I told donors that they could expect a draft of a document describing cross-chain atomic swaps with ring confidential transactions, more literature review components, a draft of a document describing our churn/linkability results, and a draft of recommended best practices for Monero. - Other researchers contacted MRL regarding second layer solutions for Monero in January, leading (in part) to Sarang's DLSAG technical note. Their work is quite complete and so as a professional courtesy, rather than attempting to scoop them, we have decided to put off documenting these ideas until after those authors have published. In the meantime, the MRL document being drafted is still useful: it is now morphing into to one of recommendations MRL wishes to make to the core team regarding which of those second layer solutions should be supported and how. - Literature review is ongoing on both my github and Sarang's. Moreover, we are working on some repo management and organization behind the scenes. Stay tuned. - The churn/linkability draft document is still in preparation; I just recently finished writing the bulk of it, running timing and simulation code for including hard data in that paper, and I handed the paper off to Sarang for further edits. It's not quite ready for public view yet, but it's extremely close (and, to be quite honest, I think it's a pretty cool paper). - Recommended best practices are going to be informed by the linkability paper I just described, so this, too, has been delayed.

WHY Monero Research Lab has communicated with researchers all over the cryptocurrency industry, cryptographers, computer scientists, and computer engineers. In the past year, we have traveled internationally to conferences to learn and participate in the dissemination of results, contributed to several published technical notes on the technology underlying Monero, helped read and review papers for other researchers, participated in the cryptocurrency community more broadly, and learned quite a bit about decentralized payment infrastructures. We are submitting a paper for peer review and we have published a handful of whitepapers. Our work into multisig revealed a lot of dangerous territory in the multi-signature world, and our work into bipartite weighted matching approaches has a chance of being rather foundational in assessing anonymity in cryptocurrencies like Monero.

Okay, but why only half of December? I'm dealing with some personal business this month. I will be contributing throughout all of December, I merely need some additional flexibility in my personal life this month.

RATES AND AMOUNTS - Dec 31: 89 XMR - Jan 31: 177 XMR - Feb 28: 177 XMR - Mar 31: 177 XMR

This payment period I am requesting 620 XMR. This corresponds to 3.5 months worth of salary to cover half of December. Sarang and I have mutually agreed upon a request of 10415 USD each month and agreed to request these funds at a rate of 58.69 USD/XMR based on the 14-day EMA at the time of Sarang's posting yesterday. The amount requested in USD reflects our assessment of fair market compensation for Ph.D. researchers in this field with our track records working from the United States (taking into account that choosing to work for the Monero project on a community funded basis brings costs such as health insurance and taxes that would be handled by a traditional employer).

Thank you, Monero Community! We at MRL strongly value community input into the funding process, and welcome discussions regarding my funding proposal. Thank you again to the entire community, whether you've donated to me or not... you guys are absolutely running the show, and you all kick some major butt. I strongly believe that projects like Monero enable every-day people to protect themselves from predatory, prying eyes.

Replies: 7
suraeNoether posted 1 month ago Weight: 406 | Link [ - ]

I am combining my February and March reports for convenience. Before I jump into that: if you are interested in sponsoring the Konferenco, there is also information on that available at MoneroKon.com.

February: In February, my time was split this way, roughly: I spent about a quarter of my time on Konferenco organization (including signing a contract for the location) and three quarters of my time on research. Of my research time, I spent about a third of my time on output selection methods, a third of my time writing security proofs for an upcoming paper on DLSAG and return addresses for use in swaps and other protocols, and about a third of my time formalizing my simulations of random blockchains for use in the matching paper MRL11; deep dive into graph theory literature is finished, coding of simulations have begun, some of the work for that can be found here. The DLSAG stuff had a deadline of March 1, which ended up being pushed back. I also spent several hours working on dynamic block sizes, which included some complicated work on an oscillator model that didn't pan out, and MRL had several discussions on payment IDs and deprecation. Moreover, I attended the latest MRL workshop in Nashville, which is essentially a chance to get together and encourage the face-to-face end of MRL.
Meeting dates in February: 4 Feb, 11 Feb, 18 Feb, 25 Feb. March: In March, I got my github organized a bit. I'm stopping using my fork of monero-research-lab because it implies that work on my fork will be merged upstream eventutally. I started a new repo called mrl-skunkworks where I'm putting most of my work until it's time to start tracking that work for merging into the monero-project/monero-research-lab repo. This is due to a suggestion from Sarang. I'm still working on cleaning up my fork of -monero-research-lab. At the end of this month, a new proposal for compact LSAG-based RingCT was proposed by RandomRun. I was able to prove this scheme and a related scheme secure, and show that this scheme removes some scaling problems associated with confidentially coloring coins in Monero. So a new paper is coming out on the so-called CLSAG scheme, it's security, and its applications. Other than github management, loosely speaking, I spent about 25% of my time catching up on reading papers on the theory end of things (including but not limited to Parazoa and background reading on algebraic curves over finite fields) and on random tasks like investigating the input/output distribution for our matching simulations (see here), 25% of my time on my matching simulations, 15% of my time on konferenco organization, 15% of my time finishing DLSAG security proofs, 10% on CLSAG and coloring monero, around 10% of my time on Spectre. Meeting dates in March: 4 Mar, 11 Mar, 18 Mar, 25 Mar.

Upcoming stuff: DLSAG paper will be published soon^TM, a technical note on CLSAG and confidentially colored RingCT will be published soon^TM, my matching simulations will be presenting results soon^TM, and a new project related to permutations and parazoa will be starting next month. I was thinking I was going to call it slyhash because I think it's clever and I was listening to Sly and the Family Stone when I came up with the idea, but I'm beginning to think "Loofa" is a better variant of sponges to describe the project.

I want to once again thank The Monero Community. You have been fantastically good to me, and every time I meet one of you in real life, I'm grateful for the experience. I'm excited to play host during the Konferenco in June. The abstract deadline has technically passed, but we haven't finished organizing the schedule and we are willing to look at abstracts; we have a lot of fantastic abstracts that I haven't responded to yet, and that's my big task this week in regards to the Konferenco. I really want to encourage everyone to submit an abstract who has an interesting talk about privacy technology, or cryptocurrencies more specifically, or Monero in particular. Bringing researchers from across the world to share their ideas and to discuss privacy technology is a valuable contribution to the overall research development environment, and the Konferenco is a sign of the health of our research community. Every research community thrives on healthy disagreement and argumentation! I am extremely proud of being a member of a community who can see the value in technical and scholarly meetings, and I'm honored to be entrusted by the community to carry out this conference with care and attention so that we can have many of these in the future.

Thanks,

surae

suraeNoether posted 3 months ago Weight: 306 | Link [ - ]

I am combining my December and January reports for convenience.

Before I jump into that: if you want to come give a talk at the first annual Monero Konferenco in Denver, Colorado, on June 22 and 23, please shuffle on over to MoneroKon.com to submit an abstract as soon as possible. The deadline is 25 March 2019, but we want to arrange for travel for our speakers sooner rather than later. On the other hand, if you are interested in sponsoring the Konferenco, there is also information on that available at MoneroKon.com.

December: I worked half time this month (as specified in my FFS). My time this month was split this way, roughly: 40% of my time was spent working on the matching paper MRL11. About 30% of my time was spent working on reading about accumulators in particular and general cryptography papers more broadly. About 15% of my time was spent working on Konferenco organization, and the remaining 15% of my time was spent discussing key strcutures, block size adjustment, and payment ids.

Meeting dates in December: We had three meetings this month, but I only attended the meetings on the 3rd and the 17th.

  1. 2018-12-03
  2. 2018-12-10
  3. 2018-12-17
  4. 2018-12-31

My work included:

  1. Continued work on Monero Konferenco organization and planning.
  2. Continued work on writing the matching paper MRL11; deep dive into graph theory literature.
  3. Continued discussion on accumulator as replacements for ring signatures, and module-theoretic cryptography.
  4. Continued discussion with Ilya Aldanov about various key structure tricks, tiny addresses, etc.
  5. Began blocksize blowup/big bang discussions. Proposed five different solutions.
  6. Began discussions on payment IDs.
  7. Began discussion on selecting smaller range proof masks.

Extracurricular: attended Coincenter workshop on privacy leading in part to this paper. I represented myself as a private individual and paid to attend this event out of my own pocket. This activity is in line with my opinions on the social contract we are expected to uphold as contributors to the Monero community at broad and the Monero Research Lab in particular.

January: I worked full time this month (as specified in my FFS). My time this month was split this way, roughly: 20% of my time was spent working on the matching paper MRL11 and related issues, such as heuristics for multi-input transactions, power spectra analyses for timing attacks, and a few other things. About 20% of my time was spent working on verification simulations for the matching paper. 20% of my time was spent on Konferenco planning... and the remainder of my time was split evenly between block size adjustment, reading more cryptography papers, nonce density graph analysis, prepping for and attending the Stanford Blockchain conference. I spent a bit of time working on some security proofs for a soon-to-be-announced paper at the very end of the month, also.

Meeting dates: We had four meetings this month.

  1. 2019-01-07
  2. 2018-01-14
  3. 2018-01-21
  4. 2018-01-28

My work included:

  1. Began and continued work on matching paper MRL11; verification simulations.
  2. Continued work on Monero Konferenco organization and planning.
  3. Continued work on accumulator as replacements for ring signatures.
  4. Continued discussion on block size and fee structures.
  5. Continued community discussion on payment IDs.
  6. Began discussions on nonce density graph analysis with Isthmus.
  7. Attended Stanford Blockchain Conference to meet with other researchers and contributors.
  8. Began and continued work on proofs for a soon-to-be-announced paper with a rapidly approaching deadline; news to come on this.

The Monero community has been fantastically good to me. I am excited to meet those of you who are coming to the Konferenco in June, and I really want to encourage everyone to submit an abstract who has an interesting talk about privacy technology, or cryptocurrencies more specifically, or Monero in particular. This is going to be a good year for Monero. Bringing researchers from across the world to share their ideas and to discuss privacy technology is a valuable contribution to the overall research development environment, and the Konferenco is a sign of health of our research community. Especially if we invite healthy disagreement and argumentation! I am extremely proud of being a member of a community who can see the value in technical and scholarly meetings. I'm also honored to be entrusted by the community to carry out this conference with care and attention so that we can have many of these in the future.

Thanks,

surae

Alex058 posted 5 months ago Weight: 192 | Link [ + ]

Donated

MoneroGermany posted 5 months ago Weight: 187 | Link [ + ]

Donated!

binaryFate posted 5 months ago Weight: 187 | Link [ + ]

+20 XMR on behalf of XMR.to

anhdres posted 5 months ago Weight: 182 | Link [ + ]

Donated!

antw081 posted 5 months ago Weight: 174 | Link [ + ]

Donated.