We introduce the fundamentals of blockchain systems, focusing on Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. We discuss important design choice that affect performance of these systems for data processing tasks. Finally, we showcase, with demonstration, our framework for analyzing private blockchain systems.
We discuss state-of-the-art research that aims to improve scalability of existing blockchain systems. We cover two general approaches: on-chain and off-chain scaling. The former improve consensus protocols, with help of trusted hardware. The latter relies on off-chain channels.
Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are capturing public attention. They are also driving research on the underlying technology, i.e. blockchain. State-of-the-art research seeks to understand the design landscape, to address scalability problems, and to explore innovative use of the technology.
In this talk, we will cover some novel blockchain research and applications. First, we discuss BLOCKBENCH, the first framework for evaluating private blockchain performance. The framework is open source, and we will show a demonstration of how to use it. Next, we discuss a novel approach to scale the throughput of blockchain systems, using commodity trusted hardware (Intel SGX). Finally, we describe a novel application of blockchain to solve the challenging problem of data sharing in the medical domains.
2017 was the year of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), a wild west landscape which allowed incredible projects to be funded but which also opened the door for some fraudulent behaviour. Despite ICO fundraising surging to $6.8 billion in 2017 and companies raising substantial capital, many have failed to deliver on their promises and their tokens have plummeted in value post-listing. In the final part of the day’s workshop, the panel will evaluate funding options for blockchain companies and review regulatory considerations for token sales and listing. Perspectives on what makes a promising blockchain company worth investing and a successful fundraise would also be shared.