Doctoral thesis at Cornell University was a milestone for the crypto industry

The Turkish doctoral supervisor Emin Gün Sirer reveals juicy details about a doctoral thesis on the topic of blockchain.

A doctoral thesis called „On the scalability of block chain technologies“ has become the most downloaded dissertation of the renowned American Cornell University in the last eight years. The thesis was written in 2017 by Adem Efe Gencer, with Emin Gün Sirer and Robbert van Renesse as the supervisors.

Recently asked about the dissertation, Gün Sirer, who is of Turkish origin, found words of praise:

„Dr. Gencer’s doctoral thesis is an outstanding achievement in the burgeoning field of block chains and cryptocurrencies. It has produced a completely new consensus method that further improves the very successful protocol of Satoshi Nakamoto, on which Bitcoin is based“.
Moreover, the timing was perfect, he said, because at the time of publication there was „a debate about the scalability of Bitcoin“. In this respect, Sirer refers to the debate about the block size of Bitcoin, which ultimately led to a spin-off from the leading crypto currency in 2017, called Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

In his doctoral thesis, Gencer presented a new consensus method called Aspen. The associated algorithm uses a method now known as sharding to distribute the workload evenly across the block chain network. In addition, it enables improved usability without compromising security, and optimises scalability. Sirer states that at least four crypto-projects have now used the method developed by Gencer, but the supervisor did not want to disclose which projects were involved.

Meanwhile, Gencer has been employed by the large career network LinkedIn since 2017, but no longer has any contact with the block chain technology.

IT professor Sirer, who teaches at Cornell University, has now launched his own block chain project under the name Avalance. Similar to Gencer’s dissertation, he focuses on scalability using a novel consensus method he developed. Sirer concludes from this that Cornell has developed „a clear dominance in this young field“.