In Algorand, participants selectively run a verifiable random function (VRF) every round to determine if they are a member of a “committee” comprised of validators and proposers. This cryptographic technique creates a rotating validator set, allowing individuals to know (and prove) that they are a validator in a round without releasing that knowledge to the rest of the network a priori. In a round, proposers (of which there might be multiple) propose blocks and the validators vote on the inclusion of these blocks, with voting power in proportion to the funds they have in the network. Consensus is achieved when the a prespecified threshold of validators agree on accepting the new block.

Alexis Gauba and Zubin Koticha are working on Cryptoeconomics Research at Blockchain at Berkeley. The team has written a working paper on 33% Attack Vectors in Proof of Stake and is actively working on many open problems in this space.