Derek Sorensen

Mathematician | Researcher | Blockchain & Crypto

I am in the latter stages of my PhD at the University of Cambridge in theoretical computer science, where I am a member of the Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits.

My research focuses on fundamentally—mathematically—understanding blockchain-related phenomena, in order to rigorously specify desired smart contract behavior within a formal system. Form a high level, my research aims to distill in the most rigorous terms possible what exactly is interesting about blockchains, what is novel, and what smart contract behavior is "desirable."
I work mostly with verification pipelines embedded in proof assistants.

While my research is highly theoretical, for me it is critical be actively engaged with institutions, businesses, and governments in how we conceptualize and relate to blockchains and cryptocurrencies. Fundamentally, despite all of its mathematical properties, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies are human coordination technology and I am deeply interested in understanding the consequences of that, from both a technical and a human perspective. It is for this reason that I tend to work with industry partners, and moving forward I will likely continue to be heavily involved in industry in step with my theoretical research.

I am published in peer-reviewed journals of blockchains and cryptocurrencies, distributed systems, and pure mathematics.

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Erdös number: 4