Sebastian Faust - University of Darmstadt, Germany

Sebastian Faust is a professor at the Computer Science Department of the Technical University of Darmstadt. He heads the group on Applied Cryptography, where his team is developing new solutions for securing cryptographic implementations and building scalable and secure Blockchain technology. Sebastian is a recipient of the Emmy Noether grant from the DFG, the EUROCRYPT 2014 Best paper award and a Marie-Curie IE Fellowship. He is a co-designer of the Perun protocols, which are currently implemented as part of a BMBF-funded university spin-off.

Abstract: One of the most fundamental problems of blockchains is scalability. Current transaction throughput is limited and processing individual transactions is slow. In this talk, we will overview the Perun state channel network and how it addresses these challenges. Perun offers full support for the off-chain execution of complex smart contracts, thereby enabling to take arbitrary dApps off-chain. Moreover, with its virtual channels, transactions can be executed nearly instantaneously at low costs. Perun is a blockchain agnostic framework and is developed as an open source project within the hyperledger foundation. 

Ghassan Karame - NEC Labs, Germany

Ghassan Karame leads the Security research group of NEC Labs in Germany. He joined NEC Labs in April 2012 as a research staff member. Before then, he was working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Institute of Information Security of ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He holds a Master of Science degree in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and a PhD degree in Computer Science from ETH Zurich. He is interested in all aspects of security and privacy with a focus on cloud security, IoT security, network security, and Blockchain security. He is the author of the Bitcoin and Blockhain security book and many other relevant scientific publications in the security and privacy area.

Abstract: In this talk, I plan to overview a number of security challenges pertaining to existing blockchains—effectively capturing almost 8 years of research in this area of work. Moreover, I plan to discuss the performance limitations of existing blockchain-based consensus algorithms and present a novel consensus protocol that achieves low latency and high throughput even for large-scale networks without compromising the security of the system.

Lauren Weymouth - Ripple

Lauren Weymouth is a Senior Manager at Ripple, where she leads its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), a university partnership program that funds financial technology curriculum development, research, technical projects, entrepreneurship and student activities. Since the program's inception, she has activated more than 40 global university partnerships such that 120+ research projects have been engaged to tackle real-world issues in blockchain, cryptocurrency, cryptography and digital assets. Before joining Ripple, Lauren held leadership roles in education, private equity and at technology startups, pioneering ventures that grew record-setting profits. 

Abstract: Top universities around the world recognize blockchain technology is critical to the next generation of technology talent. What do we need to make that happen? Lauren Weymouth, head of Ripple’s university partnerships program, covers the importance of accelerating blockchain and cryptocurrency understanding at the curriculum level, and how doing so has the power to advance the biggest technological innovation since the internet.


Victor van der Hulst - Windesheim University of Applied Sciences

Victor van der Hulst is programme manager of the Spark! Living Lab and works in the research group Supply Chain Finance of Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. He combines experience in project management with innovation and information management and has been professionally active in the blockchain space since 2016.

Abstract: Spark! Living Lab explores the application of blockchain technology in supply chain and logistics (SCL) to support and advance the circular economy. The project builds a virtual repository for blockchain knowledge to support SME’s in developing use-cases and experiments with blockchain applications in SCL. In this talk we will discuss the current state of the project and its use cases, lessons learned so far, and expectations for the near future.