Browserbook was a credited research project at the University of Zurich that investigated the feasibility of a completely in-browser cryptocurrency exchange. Together with two other researchers we successfully prototyped a completely decentralized in-browser trading protocol that facilitated token trading without any centralized ledger.

As the name suggests, Browserbook was completely run in the user's browser, there was no server component used to run any of the interactions. Orders were exchanged between peers over WebRTC; special validator nodes would combine orders and send them to the blockchain for fulfillment and persistence. A full pdf report with more information is available here.

Tech Stack


Intuitive Dashboard

Browserbook boasted a smooth, intuitive, and professional UI not typically demonstrated by academic projects.

The modern and clean Browserbook dashboard

Token Creation

Browserbook allowed users to create and exchange their own tokens on the decentralized internet.

The Browserbook token creation interface

Token Trading

Browserbook orders were routed between peers using a special gossip protocol offered by libp2p.js. The trading interface offered immediate feedback to order status.

The Browserbook token trading interface

Token Dividends

Token administrators could also issue dividends to token holders directly via the application.

The Browserbook token dividend interface

Delegated Signing

To validate orders in a decentralized manner, special peers could elect to match orders and communicate those matches further. Peers were reward for providing their compute power, and measures were put in place to prevent validtor peers gaining an unfair trading advantage. Here our novel technique delegated signing played a key role in providing an excellent UX. See below for more details on this technique.

An exmaple of a Browserbook validator peer validating orders

System Architecture

Browserbook boasted a completely decentralized architecture. Peers communicated amongst themselves in the browser via WebRTC. Orders were settled on the blockchain via special validator nodes. Even the client code itself was not stored on a centralized server but rather IPFS.

The overall Browserbook architecture

Front-End State Flow and Blockchain Communication

Our front-end state flow followed the "Elm" or "Redux" model, with middleware handling the communication with the Ethereum blockchain.

The Browserbook front-end state flow

Delegated Signing

Browserbook also pioneeered a completely novel signature technique in blockchain applications which we termed delegated signing. In essence, delegated signing is a method for performing transactions on a user's behalf without the need for them to manually approve transactions. The process works in the following way:

The above concepts were discovered prior to the Beacon chain merge in late 2022. Nonetheless, the concepts map to the PoS nature of Ethereum today.

My Responsibilities

I was project lead on the entire project. I led all front-end interface work as well as the development of the smart contract backend and its testing harness. Many of the key concepts and breakthroughs, especially delegated signing were my innovations.

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