Surae's End of March Report.
Hi everyone! Surae here, describing my work from March 2018. Thanks for your patience in the delay.
Papers in preparation
Multisig RingCT: If you recall, in February, multisig had undergone a big revision, getting it closer to the point of submission for publication. After seeking feedback from several folks, the paper is undergoing yet more revisions, making this creation much more compact and clearly written. So far, we've identified a few non-security-critical issues with our description and with the code implementation, and we have identified a few conceptual ways to make the presentation more clear. Some simplifications suggested in the musig paper, are going to be suggested. The month of March was filled with discussions with several contributors about these issues.
Analyzing churn: Sarang and I are jointly working on a churn paper. The contents may end up being too sensitive for this report to be made available outside of the core team. This is very high priority and very high urgency; we wish to make a statement on best practices as soon as possible.
Technical note on network efficiency: MRL is currently writing a technical note on the general efficiency requirements for a PoW-based cryptocurrency to scale. Specifically, this paper will explore sublinear one-time ring signatures for use in a cryptocurrency as used in Monero, bounds on the speed and efficiency of these schemes required for either reasonable low-level use like what we see today or high volume use like what we might see in the coming years. This has been lowered in priority until multisig is out the door.
Difficulty adjustment algorithm: I have a draft of a document that has some handwritten notes of mine from a few weeks ago I just got typed up. Essentially, this is going to boil down to "estimating hashrate as a statistical inference problem" paper. I'll be using my (currently working?) Poisson-process Graph cryptocurrency network simulator to show how various statistical techniques perform at estimating hashrate. This is the same set of simulations we'll be using to investigate SPECTRE, the consensus paper. I didn't want my handwritten notes on this to stay un-recorded for much longer (high urgency but low priority)
Monero Standards: I no longer have an ASCII adaptation and compression of the multisig paper for ready for the Standards, because we are undergoing some changes to that paper. Stay tuned. This is high priority but not high urgency.
A new signature scheme: I think I developed a novel signature scheme based on a structure that I know for certain exists... I "just" haven't come up with a way to implement with cryptographic levels of security. But I'm going to seek publication on this in a peer reviewed journal soon, in case someone else comes up with an implementation. See here. This is very low priority.
What happened to the roadmap? Sarang kicked a draft of the roadmap to me more than a month ago and I am working on it presently, but multisig and analyzing churn are two high priority items.
MAGIC is an educational non-profit dedicated to improving the pipeline between the education world and the cryptocurrency world and to improving education worldwide in general. We'll be providing scholarships to help students attend university in disciplines related to cryptocurrencies, providing research grants to help graduate students and principal investigators look into questions related to e-cash and cryptocurrencies, hosting educational events like research conferences and educational workshops, and providing general infrastructure grants to under-privileged schools in the US and abroad. We don't really know exactly what sort of neighborhood of budget we'll be aiming for, and the donations from the community will entirely determine how effective this organization will be.
I've spent a portion of my time this month organizing the upcoming "FIRST BOARD MEETING" of the MAGIC board of directors in Denver on April 27. We'll be outlining our expectations from this non-profit and making our statements about our mission shortly after. We've gotten verbal confirmation from Globee about setting up an account for receiving donations. So far, the board members include myself, my wife, Sarang, rehrar, sgp, the operations manager from Globee; we may also have a board member from Clemson University join us, but we are holding off on making formal announcements.
The first MAGIC board meeting is at one of a handful of locations we are thinking of using for the first Monero conference. While some folks are in town for that, we may go scope out some locations and post some photos and estimates.
Thanks everyone! Y'all have enabled the most amazing opportunity to work on this project, and I am very thankful. I hope everyone is satisfied with the work that Sarang and I have put into Monero, and I hope that you guys think your funds are being well-spent.