A blockchain initiative to make the U.S. Dollar more like Bitcoin has been funded by the National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the United States federal government.
The NSF-funded protocol, KRNC, could eliminate the need for private cryptocurrencies. It allows existing electronic dollars to be retrofitted with new cryptographic features, including digital scarcity and smart contracts.
“KRNC takes the positives of Bitcoin and adds them to money the public already owns,” said Clint Ehrlich, the project’s chief scientist. “It’s the virtual equivalent of taping gold to everyone’s dollar bills.”
To receive NSF support, KRNC was required to undergo anonymous peer review by a panel of outside experts. Based on their evaluation of the protocol’s intellectual merit and commercial potential, NSF awarded a phase-one R&D grant to create the KRNC blockchain.
The blockchain employs a new technology, Proof-of-Balance, which was inspired by formal mathematical models of animal communication. Today’s protocols use older technologies, Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake, which require an “honest majority” for security. Proof-of-Balance eliminates that requirement, allowing a blockchain to remain secure even if an adversary outspends all honest protocol participants.
“This is the first blockchain protocol with asymmetric resistance to Sybil attacks,” said Anna Guzova, KRNC’s lead mathematician. “It’s a paradigm shift – one that unlocks thousands of times more reliability and performance.”
KRNC is being funded through America’s Seed Fund, an NSF program that awards $200 million a year to startups commercializing high-impact scientific discoveries. Small businesses in almost any area of science or technology can receive up to $1.75 in non-dilutive funding for research and development.
KRNC is an NSF-funded blockchain for upgrading fiat money using Proof-of-Balance technology. The blockchain is being developed by a private company, Krnc Inc., for release as a fully decentralized protocol. To learn more, visit krnc.io.
NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds research in all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. To learn more, visit nsf.gov.