Grants & Funding

Academic Research Grants

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is soliciting proposals for basic technical, economic, and legal research advancing the foundation’s goals of financial inclusion, fast and inexpensive cross-border payments, efficient decentralized markets, and other beneficial applications of distributed ledger technology.

Research Topics

So Many Choices

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Decentralized global consensus without mining, including improvements to or analysis of the Stellar Consensus Protocol.
  • Incentive design for improving financial responsibility, civic engagement, or other behaviors promoting financial security and democracy.
  • Byzantine fault tolerant, Sybil-resistant, open peer-to-peer multicast, particularly solutions leveraging quorum slices.
  • Adaptations of traditional market mechanisms (such as short selling and derivatives) to the Stellar network or other distributed ledgers.
  • Scalability improvements, including techniques for deterministically parallelizing transactions on order books or extending on-chain order books to work with off-chain payment channels.
  • 2-way pegged side chains across ledgers employing quorum slices
  • Privacy, including improvements to both efficiency and regulatory compliance of private payments.
  • Empirical studies of the Stellar network or lumen distribution programs.
  • Legal theories and implications surrounding usage of distributed ledgers or decentralized exchanges for physical property and securities.
  • Studies on governance of distributed systems.
  • Smart contracts languages that enable safe development of fintech applications. Safety by construction, amenability to static analysis, and runtime performance on large ledgers are of particular interest.

SDF hopes to see results incorporated into open-source financial technology, and thus wants to avoid supporting research that leads to patented technologies.

Research Grant

Apply For a Research Grant

Proposals should be no longer than 3 pages in at least 11-point type, and should use the following outline:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • One paragraph biography of principal investigator, highlighting relevant research results and/or former students
  • Technical proposal body
  • Budget not to exceed $150,000.
  • When known, please name the student or post-doc interested in participating in the research.
  • Statement of intent not to patent the results, including a brief description of the principal investigator’s track record in patenting or not patenting research
  • References

If you have any questions, please e-mail [email protected].

Awards will be provided as unrestricted gifts intended for an individual with PI status at an academic institution. The funds are intended to support the cost of one graduate student or one post-doc for 12 months, plus reasonable expenses such as conference travel.

Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly cadence. This year's deadlines are:

  • September 30, 2023
  • December 31, 2023

Funded Papers

hinTS: Threshold Signatures with Silent Setup

Sanjam Garg, Abhishek Jain, Pratyay Mukherjee, ROhit Sinha, Mingyuan Wang, and Yinuo Zhang

2023 IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive

Threshold Signatures in the Multiverse

Leemon Baird, Sanjam Garg, Abhishek Jain, Pratyay Mukherjee, Rohit Sinha, Mingyuan Wang, and Yinuo Zhang

2023 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P)

Bolt-Dumbo Transformer: Asynchronous Consensus As Fast As the Pipelined BFT

Yuan Lu, Zhenliang Lu, and Qiang Tang

2022 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS)

Quorum Systems in Permissionless Networks

Christian Cachin, Giuliano Losa, and Luca Zanolini

2022 Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS)

Semitopology: A New Topological Model of Heterogeneous Consensus

Murdoch James Gabbay and Giuliano Losa

2022 arXiv

Dumbo-NG: Fast Asynchronous BFT Consensus with Throughput-Oblivious Latency

Yingzi Gao, Yuan Lu, Zhenliang Lu, Qiang Tang, Jing Xu, and Zhenfeng Zhang

2022 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS)

On the Formal Verification of the Stellar Consensus Protocol

Giuliano Losa and Mike Dodds

2020 Workshop on Formal Methods for Blockchains (FMBC)

Centrality of Nodes in Federated Byzantine Agreement Systems

André Gaul, Jörg Liesen

2020 arXiv

Fast and Secure Global Payments with Stellar

Marta Lokhava, Giuliano Losa, David Mazières, Graydon Hoare, Nicolas Barry, Eli Gafni, Jonathan Jove, Rafał Malinowsky, and Jed McCaleb

2019 ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP)

Stellar Consensus by Instantiation

Giuliano Losa, Eli Gafni, and David Mazières

2019 International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC)

Mathematical Analysis and Algorithms for Federated Byzantine Agreement Systems

André Gaul, Ismail Khoffi, Jörg Liesen, and Torsten Stüber

2018 arXiv