There’s a (supposed) problem with blockchain: it’s too resource-intensive, so Amazon Web Services (AWS) has backed a $100,000 maths competition to “forever change” the technology.
Given 1024-bit input x, compute the verifiable delay function ‘h=x^(2^t) mod N’ as fast as possible.
If it helps, the puzzle above relates specifically to Verifiable Delay Functions (VDFs), which AWS describes as “low-level building blocks” for cryptography.
Once properly developed, ADFs are thought to remove some of the trust problems associated with Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains, particularly when working with pseudorandom numbers (which are neither trustless or truly random).
“The Ethereum ecosystem alone currently uses on the order of 850 megawatts to extend blocks. That’s about $460 million in running costs per year,” said Tim Boeckmann of AWS. “With VDFs in Ethereum, there is an opportunity to bring down that cost to less than $0.13 million for the 0.25 megawatts of energy to power the hardware random beacons.”
Anyone that completes the puzzle is promised a share of the $100,000 prize, but exactly how much will depend on how fast their algorithm computes it.
A maths competition to save Ethereum’s PoS plans?
With this in mind, it begins to make sense that AWS, along with startups…