Decrypto is inviting senior undergraduate and graduate students to conduct their Bachelor or Master theses with us. Our thesis internships are full-time semester-long research positions in which you will work closely with a PhD, post-doc, or professor supervisor to conduct a challenging and impactful research-level project. The goal of the internship is to complete your thesis, while at the same time delivering research results in the form of a published paper in a ranked peer-reviewed conference or in the form of production software.

If you are an aspiring researcher, Decrypto is a great place to learn to perform research and publish your first paper which will help you towards a research-oriented career. We stand between theory and practice, so you will also deliver rigorous theoretical results or write production-grade software. We are at the forefront of research related to blockchains, anonymity and the political applications of cryptography, and our team comprises of scholars with strong theoretical foundations, as well as partners in the industry and open source communities who will make sure your results are impactful and used in practice.

Available Theses

Implementation of Recursive Virtual Channels for Bitcoin

Supervisor: Orfeas Stefanos Thyfronitis Litos

Bitcoin and other blockchains suffer from severe scalability limitations. Layer-2 protocols (a.k.a. Payment Channel Networks - PCNs) alleviate this issue by enabling off-chain payments, where only the involved parties need to interact, therefore completely bypassing the slow process of mining. Recursive Virtual Channels enable opening "virtual" payment channels on top of existing channels, avoiding the expensive on-chain funding transaction and facilitating direct payments without implicating intermediaries. This construction builds on top of the Lightning Network, but offers a different set of tradeoffs on various dimensions (on-chain cost, network/time/space complexity, privacy, etc.)

Your task will be to build a Proof-of-Concept implementation that showcases practicality, highlights potential issues and explores which optimisations are easily attainable.


Level: Master
Location: Remote
Contact: orfeas@decrypto.org

Formal verification of the Lightning Network Security Treatment

Supervisor: Orfeas Stefanos Thyfronitis Litos

The Lightning Network promises to solve the scalability issues of Bitcoin by moving the vast majority of transactions off-chain, in a "Layer-2" network. In "A Composable Security Treatment of the Lightning Network" the specification of Lightning is implemented in the Universal Composition execution model and its UC security is formally proven. However, the proof itself is not formally verified as it is written by hand in natural language.

There exist various formal verification tools (e.g. Coq, F*, Agda, Tamarin Prover, ProVerif, Cryptoverif, EasyCrypt, EasyUC, FCVJP (code), matita), some of which are specifically designed for checking cryptographic implementations, each with is own set of tradeoffs. Your task will be to develop a formally verified version of the proof using one (or more) verifier to further improve our confidence that Lightning is secure.


Level: Master
Location: Remote
Contact: orfeas@decrypto.org

Working as a researcher at Decrypto, you will conduct research in an independent manner but also working closely with your Decrypto supervisor. We accept students from universities worldwide. We will guide you in your day-to-day research working together with a professor from your university who will be your thesis host and function as your official supervisor.

To apply for a thesis internship, please send an email to the contact person of your topic of interest. Please include your CV and transcript, as well as a contact to your thesis host professor from your university. If you have a concrete proposal that is not listed, contact us to discuss your proposal by reaching out to the contact person with a related topic of interest.