Marko Vukolić

ConsensusLab Lead

Email: vukolic (a t) acm ( d0t ) org

[ Highlights ] [ Short bio ] [ Research Interests] [ Activities ] [ Publications ]


Short bio

Since mid-2021, I am an independent computer scientist. I am spending most of my time leading ConsensusLab at Protocol Labs, a decentralized research organization. Read about ConsensusLab goals and vision here, or watch my talk given during the ConsensusDays21 workshop.

Prior to this I was a Principal Research Staff Member in IBM Research Zurich, where I worked from 2015-2021 and earlier as a PostDoc (2008-2010). In the meantime, I was a tenured faculty at EURECOM (2010-2014), and a visiting professor at Systems Group @ ETH Zurich (2014).

I obtained a Doctor of Science (PhD) degree in Distributed Systems from EPFL in the Distributed Programming Laboratory (LPD) in 2008, with my PhD thesis being on Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) consensus, state-machine replication and data storage. Before PhD, I graduated from EPFL Doctoral School in Computer and Communication Sciences in 2003 and obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications) from School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, in 2001.

Research interests

My main research interest is in decentralized systems, that is in distributed systems that span multiple administrative and trust domains (e.g., permissionless and permissioned blockchain systems). This fascinating area of computer and communication sciences blends (Byzantine) fault-tolerant distributed systems, planet-scale computer networking, security, data privacy, applied cryptography, game theory and economics. I am basically interested in ``decentralizing everything'', including payment and financial systems, cloud computing and machine learning/AI. My recent focus has been on building highly scalable and efficient consensus protocols to help improve throughput of decentralized systems.

My motivation for doing research in decentralized systems, beyond pure intelectual and engineering challenges, is that I believe this technology can help bring more good to life on planet Earth. The link might not be immediately evident, but it is enlightening to realize.

Current and Recent Professional Activities