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HAIC Talks: Colin Boyd, NTNU "Bitcoin, Blockchains and Smart Contracts: Understanding the Crypto in Cryptocurrencies"

HAIC Talks are open to everyone and free of charge. The lecture will be approximately 45 minutes, after which there will be time for questions. Coffee and buns served from 16:30.
Colin Boyd

Bitcoin, Blockchains and Smart Contracts: Understanding the Crypto in Cryptocurrencies

Colin Boyd
Professor in Information Security
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Abstract:

Cryptocurrencies and blockchains are the most widely publicized applications of cryptography today. Using the example of Bitcoin, we will aim to understand the cryptographic building blocks of cryptocurrencies and how they fit together to enable a distributed payment system. We will then explore why newer cryptocurrencies built on Bitcoin employ more advanced cryptography. In particular we will examine the contentious issue of anonymous payments. Finally we will discuss the concept of smart contracts, how they can be achieved using blockchains, and what kinds of applications they may be useful for.

Bio:

Colin Boyd completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1995 from the University of Warwick, UK. After 5 years at British Telecom Research Laboratories, where he first became interested in cryptography and information security, he started an academic career at University of Manchester. In 1995 he emigrated to Australia and spent 18 years at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). During this time he became Research Director at the QUT Information Security Institute. In 2013 he returned to Europe, taking up a position as Professor in Information Security at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His main research interests are in cryptographic protocols, including key exchange, payment systems and voting.

The HAIC public outreach initiative aims to make information security more accessible to a broader audience. As part of this initiative, are organizing HAIC Talksa series of public lectures on contemporary topics in information security. In the style of studia generalia, these lectures are free and open to everyone. No background knowledge in information security is required. HAIC Talks are made possible through the generous support of the Aalto University School of Science.

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