Distributed Ledger Technologies
Computer Science Departmental and SCCS Joint Seminar Series
- Wednesday 1 March 2017, 2pm to 5pm
- 39 BB 02
- Open to:
- Public, Staff, Students, Alumni, Teachers & Careers Advisors, Surrey Schools Consortium, Schools & Colleges
- Dr Sarah Mieklejohn, Lecturer, Department of Computer Science & Department of Security and Crime Science, UCL; Dr Christian Cachin, IBM Research - Zurich; Dr Mark Manulis, Senior Lecture of Department of Computer Science and Deputy Director of Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS), University of Surrey
The Department of Computer Science and Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS) will co-organise a joint mini-workshop on Distributed Ledger Technologies on 1st March 2017 2-5pm.
Two invited speakers and a Surrey academic will give talks at the mini-workshop:
2-3pm: Centrally Banked Cryptocurrencies
Current cryptocurrencies, starting with Bitcoin, build a decentralized blockchain-based transaction ledger, maintained through proofs-of-work that also serve to generate a monetary supply. Such decentralization has benefits, such as independence from national political control, but also significant limitations in terms of computational costs and scalability. We introduce RSCoin, a cryptocurrency framework in which central banks maintain complete control over the monetary supply, but rely on a distributed set of authorities, or mintettes, to prevent double-spending. While monetary policy is centralized, RSCoin still provides strong transparency and auditability guarantees. We demonstrate, both theoretically and experimentally, the benefits of a modest degree of centralization, such as the elimination of wasteful hashing and a scalable system for avoiding double-spending attacks. (Joint work with George Danezis.)
3-3:30pm: Coffee Break
3:30-4:30pm: Blockchain, Cryptography, and Consensus
A blockchain is a public ledger for recording transactions, maintained by many nodes without central authority through a distributed cryptographic protocol. All nodes validate the information to be appended to the blockchain, and a consensus protocol ensures that the nodes agree on a unique order in which entries are appended. Distributed protocols tolerating faults and adversarial attacks, coupled with cryptographic tools are needed for this. The recent interest in blockchains has revived research on consensus protocols, ranging from the proof-of-work method in Bitcoin's "mining" protocol to classical Byzantine agreement.
Going far beyond its use in cryptocurrencies, blockchain is today viewed as a promising technology to simplify trusted exchanges of data and goods among companies. In this context, the Hyperledger Project has been established in early 2016 as an industry-wide collaborative effort to develop an open-source blockchain.
This talk will present an overview of blockchain concepts, cryptographic building blocks and consensus mechanisms. It will also introduce Hyperledger Fabric, an implementation of blockchain technology intended for enterprise applications. Being one of the key partners in the Hyperledger Project, IBM is actively involved in the development of this blockchain platform.
4:30-5pm: DLT Research at Surrey: Identity, Governance, and Formal Verification
Distributed Ledger Technologies, including blockchain and the smart contracts it supports, are increasingly applied in domains that are outside of their initial range of applications, cryptocurrencies. We will briefly present some recent and upcoming research projects on applications of DLT to identity management and governance--including archival, share management, voting and online trust establishment; as well as on the formal verification of Distributed Ledger Technologies in stronger adversary models better suited to the modelling of threats in these new application domains.