Filecoin has announced a new collaboration. Last week, the project revealed that its parent company, Protocol Labs, will work with the Ethereum Foundation to research Verifiable Delay Functions (VDFs). This will improve on existing cryptography, and the collaboration will produce applications for Filecoin, Ethereum, and beyond.
What Are VDFs?
VDFs provide cryptographic outputs that must be generated slowly, but which can be verified quickly. This could, generally speaking, prevent attackers from intercepting blockchain processes for profit. However, since VDFs are a new technology—just under a year old—research must be done to prove they are secure.
This new collaboration will largely investigate the viability of specialized ASIC devices, which could generate VDF outputs “more quickly than desired.” Since VDFs must be generated slowly, fast ASICs could compromise security. As such, Protocol Labs and the Ethereum Foundation are co-funding research to see if this is a real risk.
As for applications, Filecoin may use VDFs…