HomeEtherumEF-Funded Teams: Research and Development Roundup

EF-Funded Teams: Research and Development Roundup

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Friends, as the year of the Merge comes to an end, we would like to provide updates from various Ethereum gardeners and EF-supported teams on their accomplishments in 2022. We are grateful for the new communities we have encountered and for having each other throughout this journey. This edition highlights EF-supported teams that are dedicated to the growth and improvement of Ethereum as a whole. Enjoy!

Consensus R&D (aka EF Research Team)
Written by Danny Ryan and Hsiao-Wei Wang
This has been an exceptional year for us. With the collaboration of client teams, DevOps experts, testers, stakers, and the community, we successfully completed the Merge! We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed to The Merge, which has significantly reduced energy consumption and made Ethereum a more secure and sustainable protocol. The Consensus R&D team has been working on various other research topics, including MEV (Miner Extractable Value) domain problems, security enhancements to the beacon chain, and other consensus research such as multi-dimensional EIP-1559, improved aggregation techniques, optimized applied cryptography, and more. In the coming year, our team will continue to work on protocol upgrades, withdrawals functionality, and post-merge research topics.

Cryptography Research
Written by Dankrad Feist
Our cryptography team has taken the initiative to make Ethereum secure against quantum computers. We have contributed to the development of a post-quantum signature scheme that will be standardized by NIST. We are continuing our work in this direction and aiming to build a signature scheme that scales better through aggregations. We may also explore other methods to improve scalability in the future.

Fe-lang
Written by Grant Wuerker
The Fe team’s goal is to provide the Ethereum community with a safe and efficient smart contract programming language. We are responsible for the design and development of Fe-lang, including the compiler, standard library, and tooling. In the past year, we have focused on adding language features and preparing for our first beta release. Some notable features include low-level intrinsic functions, nested structs in memory and storage, and various improvements to the standard library. Moving forward, our priorities include the first beta release, better generic and constant support, and further improvements to the standard library.

Formal Verification
Written by FV team
hevm: We have spent most of this year rewriting the symbolic execution engine in hevm to gain more control over SMT encoding and simplify custom simplification and static analysis stages.

SMTChecker: We have focused on bug fixing and UX improvements. We have also added support for using the Horn solver Eldarica with the CLI or JSON interface from solc.

Yools: We have started testing the idea of verifying Yul instead of both Solidity and EVM bytecode, and the initial results are promising. We will continue working on this in 2023.

PolySolver: We have started researching the verification of properties of polynomials from ZK apps/circuits and have recently applied it to R1CS circuits.

Geth
Written by Péter Szilágyi
In 2022, our focus has been on testing, tweaking, and ensuring the successful implementation of the Ethereum Merge. However, we have also been working on several other features. One notable upcoming feature is the path-based trie storage, which allows for real-time historical state pruning and improves full sync speed. We have also been working on fixing light clients in the post-merge world and collaborating with consensus client teams to enable full nodes to follow the chain without a consensus client attached. Additionally, we are working on the Shanghai hard fork, which will bring features such as withdrawals and the Ethereum Object Format. We are also developing support for blob transactions to make layer 2 solutions more cost-effective.

These are just a few updates from the various teams working tirelessly to improve Ethereum. We are excited about the progress made in 2022 and look forward to what 2023 will bring. Thank you all for your contributions!

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