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Colin Boyd
Professor in Information Security
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)



Cryptocurrencies and blockchains are the most widely publicized applications of cryptography today. Using the example of Bitcoin, we will aim to understand the cryptographic building blocks of cryptocurrencies and how they fit together to enable a distributed payment system. We will then explore why newer cryptocurrencies built on Bitcoin employ more advanced cryptography. In particular we will examine the contentious issue of anonymous payments. Finally we will discuss the concept of smart contracts, how they can be achieved using blockchains, and what kinds of applications they may be useful for.



Colin Boyd completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1995 from the University of Warwick, UK. After 5 years at British Telecom Research Laboratories, where he first became interested in cryptography and information security, he started an academic career at University of Manchester. In 1995 he emigrated to Australia and spent 18 years at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). During this time he became Research Director at the QUT Information Security Institute. In 2013 he returned to Europe, taking up a position as Professor in Information Security at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His main research interests are in cryptographic protocols, including key exchange, payment systems and voting.