Papamanthou Gives Keynote at FAB 2018

Tue Mar 13, 2018

Charalampos (Babis) Papamanthou, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering with an appointment in UMIACS, gave a keynote talk on “Applications of Verifiable Computation in Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies” at the Symposium on Foundations and Applications of Blockchain (FAB '18), which was held March 9 in Los Angeles, California.

Blockchain—the technology behind Bitcoin—is flourishing into an impressive spectrum of research projects and initiatives, corporate alliances, and startup companies, and FAB '18 strives to bring researchers and practitioners of blockchain together to share and exchange results.

Decentralized cryptocurrencies and smart contracts (e.g., Bitcoin and Ethereum) promise to revolutionize financial industries, forever changing the way money is transferred. They support monetary transactions based on programmable logic between users without requiring to trust a central authority (e.g., a government or a bank). At the heart of their design lies the blockchain, a distributed data structure that is stored and agreed upon by the participating parties and which is readily accessible to anyone in the world. However, due to its size and public nature, several scalability, security and privacy concerns have emerged.

Papamanthou’s talk revealed how protocols for verifiable computation (cryptographic techniques that enable an untrusted party to efficiently prove the validity of a statement to a verifier), can be used to address these problems.

Papamanthou's research focuses on applied cryptography and computer security, with an emphasis on technologies, systems, and theory for secure and private cloud computing.

—Story by Kara Stamets