Monetary prizes have long been used to incentivize research into unsolved problems in mathematics. While most prizes have been created by a single institution or individual, it can be difficult for a decentralized community to offer such prizes. In particular, it is challenging to provide assurances to donors that their contribution will be properly distributed to the individual or group that solves a given problem.
The Sesame protocol aims to address these limitations by allowing the creation of decentralized prizes for unsolved mathematical problems in cases where verification of a correct solution is computationally efficient. This system provides guarantees that the prize can only be withdrawn to someone who solves a given problem. The Sesame protocol also provides a public interface to allow additional contracts and applications to be built on top of it. The Decentralized Factoring Challenge, inspired by the RSA Factoring Challenge, is the first challenge built on the Sesame protocol.