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. You can find some of our photos here.


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.

  • SaUCy and ILC: Programming language for composable cryptography
  • HoneyBadgerMPC: Confidentiality for Consortium Blockchains
  • HoneyBadgerBFT: an improved fault tolerant consensus protocol
  • Off-chain smart contracts: Sprites and PISA (https://www.pisa.watch/)



  • Surya Bakshi (Ph.D., ECE)
  • Tom Yurek (Ph.D., CS)
  • Yunqi Li (Ph.D., ECE)
  • Nerla Jean-Louis (Ph.D., CS)
  • Luke Myers (Ph.D., CS)
  • Amit Agarwal (Ph.D. CS)
  • Sanket Kanjalkar (M.S. CS)
  • Shreyas Gandlur (Undergrad, ECE)


  • Kevin Liao (Masters, CS)
  • Rahul Mahadev (Masters, CS)  Now at Databricks
  • Samarth Kulshreshtha (Masters, CS)   Now at Google
  • Xiaoyao Qian (Masters, CS)    Now at Twitter
  • Chris Cordi (Masters, CS)    Now at Sandia
  • Drake Eidukas (Undergrad, CS)  Now at Citadel
  • Kevin Lee (Undergrad, ECE)   Now a Ph.D. student at Princeton
  • Abhiram Kothapalli (Undergrad, CS)   Now a Ph.D. student at CMU
  • Sergi Delgado Segura (visitor)   PISA research
  • Patrick McCorry (visitor)   PISA research

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