ThunderCore scientist wants to deliver high performance and decentralized trust
Cointime sat down with Thunder’s chief scientist, Elaine Shi, at the Blockchain Connect Conference in San Jose to get the scoop on what ThunderCore has to offer.
Shi is a professor at Cornell university and co-founder of IC3-initiative for cryptocurrency and contracts and is currently leading Thunder Research (the research group at Thunder). Her interest in crypto came in 2011 but three years ago, really began to pay attention to the scalability issues within blockchain. It was technologically challenging and became, “a new playground where everything I loved, such as cryptography, distributed systems, game theory, and programming languages, really came together.”
Shi is also the first to co-author peer-reviewed papers on Bitcoin and decentralized smart contracts and the first to teach smart contract programming at a university. The initial reasoning behind writing these papers was to re-explain this newly developed technology to the academic community, but what came from the paper was much more; Shi was able to create the first fair exchange protocol using bitcoin scripts within this work.
ThunderCore is an EVM compatible public blockchain that supports Ethereum smart contracts and serves to build a faster cryptocurrency. Shi states that the “core technology that enables this is a new consensus protocol,” a joint project with long-time colleague Rafael Pass (who now co-leads Thunder Research). This protocol consists of a simple fast path that is one round of voting, on top of a standard blockchain, what they call the “slow chain.” The fast path confirms transactions all the time without needing to wait for a single block interval allowing for instant confirmation with high throughput.
She states, “What I like best about the protocol is the extreme simplicity.”
Scalability has been the biggest challenge for blockchain technology as a whole because there are exciting DApps and a lot of publicity in this area, but today’s blockchains can sometimes lack in delivering the performance these DApps need. Shi says,
“there are a lot of projects also trying to tackle this problem but we believe we have the best technology and an extremely strong engineering team, so we believe we will be among the first to deliver this goal.”
Author： Sarah Reyes
Executive editor： Sarah