The advent of blockchain protocols brought to light a number of applications that could benefit from a large scale Byzantine resilient consensus system. At the same time a number of significant challenges were put forth in terms of scalability, energy efficiency, privacy, and the relevant threat model that such protocols may be proven secure for. In this talk I will give an overview of recent and ongoing research in the area of designing distributed ledgers based on blockchain protocols focusing on results such as the Ouroboros proof of stake blockchain protocols (Crypto'17, Eurocrypt'18, ACM-CCS'18, IEEE S&P'19) as well as other related constructions aiming to improve the interoperability and the incentive structure of distributed ledgers.
Aggelos Kiayias is chair in Cyber Security and Privacy and director of the Blockchain Technology Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh. He is also the Chief Scientist at blockchain technology company IOHK. His research interests are in computer security, information security, applied cryptography and foundations of cryptography with a particular emphasis in blockchain technologies and distributed systems, e-voting and secure multiparty protocols as well as privacy and identity management. His research has been funded by the Horizon 2020 programme (EU), the European Research Council (EU), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK), the Secretariat of Research and Technology (Greece), the National Science Foundation (USA), the Department of Homeland Security (USA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA). He has received an ERC Starting Grant, a Marie Curie fellowship, an NSF Career Award, and a Fulbright Fellowship. He holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York and he is a graduate of the Mathematics department of the University of Athens. He has over 100 publications in journals and conference proceedings in the area. He has served as the program chair of the Cryptographers’ Track of the RSA conference in 2011 and the Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference in 2017, as well as the general chair of Eurocrypt 2013.