Why participate on SCRF?

I came to the meta category to gain an overall understanding of this forum, its purpose, and the intended outcome of participating here. I didn’t find much in the way of explaining this forum, except for the following post from @Rich in a separate meta thread:

I didn’t want to take away from that topic, but I do want to begin a discussion based upon this post. Consider:

I agree with this paragraph. Yet, it seems from the first part of the quote that this forum focuses only on a subset of people, ie industry/researchers or engineers/academia. Consider from the perspective of an “outsider” who has insight into the uncertain area uniting the flexibility of subjective human collaboration and the rigidity of machine rule sets:

  • Why should such a person engage in discussion here?
  • What safeguards are there to ensure that a participant is given full credit for an idea?
  • What protections are there in place to proportionately reward the originator of an idea according to the measure of its objective impact?
  • Does building a bridge between academia and industry solve the problem of sourcing people with scarce, unique insight?

To be clear, my ultimate fear would be that this place is a hub for academics/engineers/professionals to farm good ideas from people who place their trust in the brand name of Chainlink and its affiliated research institutions. In my experience, the brand name of prolific institutions does not offer the aforementioned safeguards/protections, and in my most cynical point of view, I actually think it’s the point of institutions to abuse brand name trust in exchange for disproportionate contributions compared to the rewards that contributors receive (if any at all). I think it’s crucial to understand this dynamic, because I think it hinders effective grassroots collaboration.


Hi @ilikearbitrum. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I’ll comment inline.

That is our primary focus. The mandate of the team is that the forum becomes the venue "where academics, researchers, and industry leaders from all over the world come together to discuss research, solicit thoughtful peer review, and find new projects on which to collaborate.

Supporting blockchain research takes global coordination, carefully balanced incentives, a stream of novel research, strong editorial independence, and a critical mass of dedicated and professional forum moderators.

We believe the forum will pay dividends for academia, industry, and emerging blockchain technologies. Concentrating unbiased blockchain research into a single, chain-agnostic, civil, and trustworthy space accelerates existing work in the field. It sparks the kind of collaborations between academia and industry that created the modern Internet."

It’s my belief that “industry, academia, researchers, and industry leaders” covers a pretty big demographic. It’s a forum though, so the assumption should be that anyone can join.

Ultimately for the same reason anyone would I suppose, an interest in sharing or receiving insight into blockchain tech or adjacent activities.

None I don’t think. I’m not sure I’m familiar with any venue that makes those assurances. We have had some discussions about how citations might work in largely ephemeral venues like forums, social media, or chatrooms. It’s an interesting problem and I’d love to know of anyone in the space who might be working to solve it.

None, if you mean what value would a person receive if they offered a suggestion or additional insight to a person who’s asked a question or posed a problem. We are working on some projects that are specifically focused on solving for X, building out proofs of concept, mechanism design challenges, etc. that take the standard bounty/grant model. Any research or code generated by our grants programs would have be open-sourced to qualify though.

We also have an open contributor grants program that allocates funds to independent reseachers.

We hope so. There is an enormous amount of information being generated by academia that goes unremarked by industry. One of our primary missions is to summarize and communicate this information in a way that can help system architects, developers, and general ecosystem participants find solutions to problems they have on their whiteboards. And in turn, show academia where the space is headed and allow them to focus on areas of interest they might not have been aware of.

I’m not sure I agree with the premise. Blockchain is an open-source ecosystem, built on the shoulders of other open-source ecosystems. Anecdotally, we speak to authors of academic papers all the time and their concern has almost always been in trying to find out how to get their papers in front of anyone who can possibly use them. The notion that there is a demographic of individuals trying to ‘find’ ideas isn’t one I’ve experienced.

We were provided very generous funding by Chainlink to pursue the above-quoted mission to connect industry and academia who are working to solve the biggest challenges in blockchain. I’m personally grateful for their vision in supporting an initiative like SCRF’s; but beyond that support, they have no editorial or operational control of any of our activities, nor have they ever asked for it.

I’m not sure I agree but I am a fan of grassroots collaboration though so I’m hoping you’ll stick around ;)