Sui Foundation Supports University Research on Blockchain Scalability, Privacy, and AI Tools

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The Sui Foundation has announced the recipients of its fourth cohort of Sui Academic Research Awards, providing funding to 20 research teams from prestigious universities such as UC Berkeley, Yale, NYU, EPFL, and the National University of Singapore. This initiative aims to advance blockchain technology, smart contract programming, and products built on the Sui platform, according to The Sui Blog.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs and AI-Based Tools

Among the funded projects is Fan Zhang’s research at Yale University, which focuses on enhancing zero-knowledge proof (zk-proof) generation through caching techniques. This method aims to store intermediate results of repetitive calculations, significantly speeding up zk-proof generation and improving efficiency in real-world applications.

Vijay Ganesh from Georgia Tech is working on AIChain, a tool that utilizes large language models (LLMs) for static analysis and fuzzing of smart contracts. AIChain aims to automate the detection of security vulnerabilities, thereby enhancing smart contract security.

Innovative Approaches to Key Custody and Consensus Protocols

Research by Tushar Jois from The Research Foundation of CUNY explores using existing internet of things (IoT) devices in smart homes for key custody. This approach leverages the collective security of multiple fixed-in-place devices, offering a cost-effective and secure method for Web3 key custody.

Natacha Crooks from UC Berkeley is developing Autobahn, a new consensus protocol that combines Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)-based data dissemination with a traditional partially synchronous consensus mechanism. This aims to maintain low latency during normal operation and robustness during network disruptions.

Risk Management and Smart Contract Auditing

Lukasz Szpruch and David Siska from the University of Edinburgh are creating automated risk management systems for Sui’s DeFi ecosystem. Their project aims to develop a verifiable, real-time, data-driven risk management framework, automating protocol parameter settings and stress testing with agent-based simulations.

Diego Garbervetsky from Universidad de Buenos Aires is working on tools that use predicate abstraction to help auditors explore and validate smart contract behavior. This aims to improve audit efficiency and the overall security of smart contracts.

Blockchain Scalability and Privacy Enhancements

Ooi Beng Chin from the National University of Singapore is addressing the execution engine bottleneck in modern blockchains by designing Web3-native workloads for parallel execution. This research aims to benchmark popular apps like DEXes, NFT marketplaces, and games, providing valuable insights into the scalability and performance of modern blockchains.

Yevgeniy Dodis from NYU is exploring “encryption on chain” for private storage, aiming to ensure data privacy and availability on blockchains. This research draws on expertise from developing secure messaging protocols like Signal and Zoom.

Future Research and Applications

Other notable projects include efforts to develop post-quantum secure Multi-Party Computation (MPC) protocols by Aniket Kate from Purdue University, and the creation of a decentralized zkLogin solution using biometric identification methods by Jieliang Yin from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The Sui Foundation’s commitment to funding groundbreaking research is set to significantly advance blockchain technology, making it more scalable, secure, and efficient. The next call for proposals closes on July 5, 2024.

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