Our mission is to build resilient public infrastructure for the world’s data.

The theme of our work is decentralization: Inspired by peer-to-peer networks and cryptocurrencies, we build distributed systems for broad applications, that resist attacks while minimizing their reliance on trusted external parties. Our approach is multidisciplinary, combining methods from distributed computing, cryptography, programming languages, network measurement, and mechanism design.

We support and learn from cutting-edge cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and more)


We create Blockchain technology. Many industries, including finance, healthcare, and more, would benefit from more automation and more information sharing, but security concerns remain an obstacle. The “Blockchain” movement is an industry-wide effort to solve this problem by building new platforms for shared data, with security designed-in from the start. We contribute by making fundamental advances that combine techniques from fault tolerant and dependable/reliable systems, cryptography, and programming languages.

  • HoneyBadgerBFT: an improved fault tolerant consensus protocol
  • Hawk: Privacy Preserving Smart Contracts
  • SmartCast: Incentive compatible consensus protocols (coming soon)



  • Surya Bakshi (M.S., ECE)
  • Abhiram Kothapalli (Undergrad, CS)
  • Kevin Lee (Undergrad, ECE)
  • Haris Mughees (Ph.D., CS)
  • Niraj Pant (Undergrad, CS)
  • Xiaoyao Qian (Undergrad, CS)
  • Deepak Kumar (Ph.D., CS)
  • Simon Kim (Ph.D., CS)
  • Siddharth Murali (Ph.D., CS)

Decentralized Systems Lab is part of Security and Privacy Research @ Illinois (SPRI).