Oxford University sets up blockchain research centre
August 30, 2018
Oxford University’s oldest college has established a centre for blockchain research under the leadership of its fellow professor Bill Roscoe.
University College Oxford, founded in 1249, lays claim to being the oldest college of Oxford University. Its renowned alumni include former US president Bill Clinton, Stephen Hawking, and former British prime minister Clement Attlee.
"The new centre focuses on bringing the blockchain to the mainstream,” said Roscoe. “This vision will be achieved by using green mining technology and embracing regulation through appropriate know your client (KYC) guidelines."
Roscoe first arrived at the college in 1975, and became a fellow in 1983 and a full professor in 1997. He held a number of significant leadership positions at Oxford University including head of the university's computer science department between 2003 and 2014.
Roscoe's background of over 30 years of research in concurrency, automated verification, applied cryptography and payment protocols places him in a unique position to research blockchain. He is also joined at the research centre by a group of experts in similar areas. The group is working to improve the efficiency of blockchain mining and trust models, to build models of privacy and escrow in the blockchain, and to create models of fair exchange to support secure blockchain-based exchanges.
The group has also found new approaches to solving the cryptographic problem that blockchains pose: to establish long-term secure cryptography for a continuously evolving industry. One such example is the threat posed by quantum computers to the blockchain industry.
University College Oxford’s blockchain research centre will be interdisciplinary in nature, researching economic, business, technological and legal aspects of blockchain. The research will be carried out in collaboration with several institutions around the world.