Yann Vonlanthen



I am a Ph.D. student at the Distributed Computing Group of ETH Zurich, where I am supervised by Prof. Roger Wattenhofer. My interests include the theoretical and practical aspects of distributed systems, blockchains and governance.

Currently my research focuses on scaling State Machine Replication protocols by reducing their use of consensus and enabling parallelization at all protocol levels.

Next to building scalable decentralized systems, I am also interested in Digital Democracy. I believe that through the careful use of new advancements (LLMs, VAAs, Liquid Democracy, Quadratic Voting, …) decision-making can be significantly improved. Changes to governance processes also come with dangers, which I would like to quantify in my research. Within the blockchain space, I see DAOs as an indication of what is to come, and believe that important lessons can be learned from them.

Finally, I am excited about the potential of Proof-of-Personhood and extending one-person-one vote into the digital realm. By re-designing decentralized systems from the ground up to include Sybil resistance, one could empower communities with potentially far-reaching economic and political consequences.

In my free time, I like to tend to my garden and do a variety of sports.


Jan 24, 2024 Our paper “Short Paper: The PoW Landscape in the Aftermath of The Merge” was accepted at the CoDecFin workshop at FC 2024.
Jan 15, 2024 Our talk proposal “Attacks on DAOs” was accepted at the DeFi workshop at FC 2024.
Dec 10, 2023 Our paper “Short Paper: Dissecting the EIP-2930 Optional Access Lists” was accepted at FC 2024.
Oct 5, 2023 In light of the up-coming swiss elections, we looked at potential dangers of Voting Advice Applications. Preliminary results were featured in Tages-Anzeiger today (online and print). Other newspaper have picked up the story too (20 min).

selected publications

  1. Fast Internet Computer Consensus
    Massimo Albarello, Jakub Sliwinski, Yann Vonlanthen, and 1 more author
  2. Consensus on Demand
    Jakub Sliwinski, Yann Vonlanthen, and Roger Wattenhofer
    In 24th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems, Clermont-Ferrand, France, 2022
  3. The Hidden Shortcomings of (D)AOs - An Empirical Study of On-Chain Governance
    Rainer Feichtinger, Robin Fritsch, Yann Vonlanthen, and 1 more author
    In The 4th Workshop on Coordination of Decentralized Finance (CoDecFin) 2023, Bol, Brač, Croatia, 2023