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TUCS Blockchain seminar series

TUCS is organising a new seminar series on the novel rapidly emerging field called Blockchain, and on its applications.

Researchers and technologists alike are talking about how blockchain technology is "the next big thing" across industries from finance to retail to even healthcare. No doubt, with such big businesses around blockchain as by IBM and Microsoft, a significant number of startups, high interest and long-term commitment from state financial institutions, central banks and welfare services in a number of countries, the blockchain technology is one of the hottest topics nowadays. Finland is neither an exception here. Many Finnish startups and incumbents are trying to utilize blockchain technology to enhance market efficiency.

The greatest advantage of a blockchain technology is that it allows to implement applications with no need of central authorities and middle man in matters related, for instance, to such things as financial processes, notary, logistics, the Internet of Things, etc. Blockchain employs cryptography and technology to create immutable secure ledger, were the authentity and validity of all the records in the ledger can be easily verified by anyone and practically cannot to be forged or deleted by an unauthorized entity. The blockchain technology was invented in the context of the digital currency, Bitcoin. The idea behind blockchain is fairly simple, thousands of computers around the world can be connected to a blockchain network, each holding a copy of the blockchain history record. There is no official copy and no computer is seen as more valid than another - they each mutually verify the ledger and there is no centralised authority (such as a government or a bank). This decentralisation is one of the revolutionary aspects of the technology. Unlike conventional centralized systems based on a trusted central authority, the security and trust of the blockchain technology is based purely on cryptography, removing in this way human factor from the security- and stability- related aspects.

In our seminars, we focus both on theoretical as well as on practical aspects of blockchain technology. Our agenda includes reviewing the major principles and concepts underlying the Blockchain technology as well as considering a number of popular blockchain-based systems, implementations and use cases. We are organizing a number of hands-on sessions where we are experimenting and learning how to use blockchain-based tools in practice. Our goal is to enrich our understanding of this new emerging field and phenomena in cryptography, economy, and sociology.

The format of our seminars includes presentations by the participants, discussion/journal club, and practical sessions, where we will be interacting with a number of public Blockchains as well as creating our own in-house blockchains systems with a number of available free open-source tools.

This seminar series is meant primarily for PhD students and researchers, however everyone interested is highly welcome. Also, students can gain study points by actively participating in the seminars.

The seminar is organized in the form of weekly 2-hour meetings.

To register for the seminar, please send an email to the seminar coordinator, Vladimir Rogojin vrogojin at abo.fi, by August 31, however, the seminar can be also joined later on.

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