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Blockchain Decentralisation – a Stratified Approach


Decentralisation has been the main distinguishing characteristic and supposed advantage of blockchain technology, at least in theory. Nevertheless in practice, it remains a highly ambiguous and contested notion. To address this we put forward a stratified approach for measuring decentralisation and we present a set of results and observations regarding the decentralisation of a number of popular Blockchain projects. We conclude with lessons learned and directions for future research.


Prof. Aggelos Kiayias

Aggelos Kiayias FRSE is the chair in Cyber Security and Privacy and director of the Blockchain Technology Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh. He is also the Chief Scientist at blockchain technology company IOG. His research interests are in computer security, information security, applied cryptography and foundations of cryptography with a particular emphasis in blockchain technologies and distributed systems, e-voting and secure multiparty protocols as well as privacy and identity management. He has received an ERC Starting Grant, a Marie Curie fellowship, an NSF Career Award, and a Fulbright Fellowship. He holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York and he is a graduate of the Mathematics department of the University of Athens. He has served as the program chair of the Cryptographers’ Track of the RSA conference in 2011 and the Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference in 2017, as well as the general chair of Eurocrypt 2013. He also served as the program chair of Real World Crypto Symposium 2020 and the Public-Key Cryptography Conference 2020. In 2021 he was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.