Kolloq. Ralph Holz, topic: Consensus and the network - research directions in blockchain
Friday, 3rd of March 2017, 2:00 pm FMI 03.07.023 (MI-Building, Campus Garching)
Over the last six years, blockchains have developed into a 'mainstream' technology that entire industry sectors are talking about. The latest generation even supports smart contracts - programs that are executed by all participants and that may govern everything from simple transactions to the setup of organisations. Taking a closer look, however, we find that there is very little deployment beyond the two most prominent examples, Bitcoin and Ethereum. In this talk, we are going to look at some of the reasons: the problem of dependability and abortion of transactions, which is crucial for enterprises; the influence of the underlying network structure on transaction execution; and the problem of exploitable smart contracts. Correspondingly, we discuss some research directions that could prove fruitful in a number of systems, blockchains or beyond.
Ralph Holz is Lecturer in Networks and Security at the School of IT at the University of Sydney, where he leads the Node for Cybersecurity and Usable Security inside the Human-Centred Technologies cluster. He works closely with Data61|CSIRO, Australia's prime innovation body, and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales. Ralph's research interest is empirical security, in particular measuring the deployment properties of critical infrastructure (including blockchains) and the effects and causes of network and routing incidents. He led the research efforts that culminated in the world's first large-scale, long- term analysis of the deployment of the Web Public Key Infrastructure. Most recently, he has turned his attention to analysing the security and dependability of blockchain networks. Ralph received his PhD from Technical University of Munich (TUM) in May 2014.