1st Annual Lecture on Computer Science and Society
Co-hosted by the School of Computer Science and Carleton Computer Science Society
Speaker: Jeremy Clark, Concordia University
Abstract: In this talk, I will introduce you to the blockchain — the technology underlying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While I will not dispense any investment advice :-), I will explain the basics like: what problem does it solve, how is it different from a database, why does it use so much hydro? I will also provide a brief tour of the world of decentralized finance (DeFi) where entrepreneurs have been, somewhat quietly, reinventing financial services on the public blockchain Ethereum. These services are open to anyone in the world with little to no regulation. Finally, I will showcase the main research directions being pursued by the community (including our research group and others), which includes scalability, privacy enhancements, new technologies, and consumer protection.
About the speaker
Dr. Clark obtained his PhD from the University of Waterloo, where his gold medal dissertation was on designing and deploying secure voting systems including Scantegrity—the first cryptographically verifiable system used in a public sector election. He wrote one of the earliest academic papers on Bitcoin, has completed dozens of research projects in the area, and contributed to the first textbook. Beyond research, he has worked with several municipalities on voting technology and testified to both the Canadian Senate and House finance committees on Bitcoin. He has given 30+ presentations on blockchain to government agencies, companies, investment funds, and audiences other.
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