Much of the innovations that RChain brings to the world of blockchain and driven by fundamental breakthroughs in distributed systems programming, with the development of the Rho-calculus. Below, find an overview of the most relevant papers and sources underpinning the RChain technology.

See Intro to Design of Computational Calculi 4.1: Injecting Names into Rho-Calculus and more in the Learn category of our blog.


the RChain execution model is derived from the syntax and semantics of rho-calculus. The rho-calculus is a variant of the π-calculus that was introduced in 2004 to provide the first model of concurrent computation with reflection. “Rho” stands for reflective, higher-order.

Those unfamiliar with the π-calculus are strongly encouraged to explore it. The π-calculus is the first formal system to successfully model networks where nodes may regularly join and drop from the network. It assumes fine-grained concurrency and process communication i.e. two processes may be introduced by a third process. The rho-calculus extension inherits all of those features and adds reflection.

Casper CBC

Casper is a family of Proof of Stake consensus protocols, developed in collaboration with Vlad Zamfir.

RChain Platform Architecture

Abstract: The RChain Platform Architecture description provides a high-level blueprint of the RChain decentralized, economically sustainable public compute infrastructure. While the RChain design is inspired by that of earlier blockchains, it also realizes decades of research across the fields of concurrent and distributed computation, mathematics, and programming language design. The platform includes a modular, end-to-end design that commits to correct-by-construction software and industrial extensibility.

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