Distributed Trust: Is “Blockchain” the answer?

Radia Perlman, Dell Technologies


How can we design systems that will be reliable despite misbehaving participants? This talk will discuss several examples with very different solutions. People often assume that blockchain has “Byzantine robustness,” so adding it to any system will make that system super robust against any calamity. We will look at various problems and approaches, and for each, see if blockchain would help.

Radia Perlman, Dell Technologies

Radia Perlman is a Fellow at Dell Technologies. Her specialties include network routing protocols and network security. She developed the technology for making network routing self-stabilizing, largely self-managing, and scalable. She also invented the spanning tree algorithm, which transformed Ethernet from a technology that supported a few hundred nodes, to something that can support large networks. She also has made contributions in network security, including scalable data expiration, distributed algorithms despite malicious participants, and DDOS prevention techniques. She is the author of the textbook Interconnections (about network layers 2 and 3) and coauthor of Network Security. She has been recognized with many industry honors including induction into the National Academy of Engineering, the Inventor Hall of Fame, The Internet Hall of Fame, Washington State Academy of Science, and lifetime achievement awards from USENIX and SIGCOMM. She has a PhD in computer science from MIT.

@conference {273988,
author = {Radia Perlman},
title = {Distributed Trust: Is {\textquotedblleft}Blockchain{\textquotedblright} the answer?},
year = {2021},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jul,