Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have been polarizing. Supporters claim that they will fundamentally alter payments, economics, and even politics around the world. Skeptics claim that they are inherently broken and will suffer an inevitable and spectacular collapse. In this talk I will present the key technical ideas behind the new generation of cryptocurrencies --- ideas that are novel, deep, and interesting, and span many subfields of computer science, including security, cryptography, distributed systems, game theory, and programming languages. Yet much remains unknown, and I will lay out the key research challenges.


Arvind Narayanan is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Princeton. He leads a research team investigating the security, anonymity, and stability of cryptocurrencies as well as novel applications of block chains. He co-created an online course and textbook on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies. He also leads the Princeton Web Transparency and Accountability Project to uncover how companies collect and use our personal information. His doctoral research showed the fundamental limits of anonymization, for which he received the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Award.


About the WATCH series:

Transforming today's trusted but untrustworthy cyberinfrastructure into one that can meet society's growing demands requires both technical advances and improved understanding of how people and organizations of many backgrounds perceive, decide to adopt, and actually use technology; WATCH aims to provide thought-provoking talks by innovative thinkers with ideas that illuminate these challenges and provide signposts toward solutions; The series is jointly organized by NSF's Computer Science and Engineering (CISE) and Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) Directorates and sponsored by the CISE Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) Program; Talks will be recorded and made available over the Internet;