A Ph.D. dissertation On Scalability of Blockchain Technologies has become the most downloaded dissertation at Cornell University in the past eight years. The paper was penned by Adem Efe Gencer in 2017, under the direction of computer scientists Emin Gün Sirer and Robbert van Renesse.
When the university asked Sirer about the paper, he praised the work:
“Dr. Gencer’s thesis represents a tour de force in the burgeoning area of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. It unveiled a brand new consensus protocol, improving upon Satoshi Nakamoto’s highly successful protocol that powers Bitcoin.”
He also believes that the timing could not have been better as it arrived during “the scalability debate in Bitcoin”, referencing arguments over Bitcoin’s block size which eventually led to the formation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in 2017.
In his dissertation, Gencer proposed a new consensus method called Aspen — an algorithm that uses a process known as sharding to spread the workload involved in maintaining a blockchain