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SnT Team Wins Big at Hackathon

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Publié le lundi, 15 mai 2017

A team of researchers from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security Reliability and Trust (SnT) has come away with joint first prize at the inaugural LuxBlockHackathon. They share the award of 1.5 million Stellar Lumens (a digital currency) with a team from the Distributed Lab in Kiev.

The 36-hour event, which took place on 8 and 9 May, challenged competitors to create a blockchain-solution enhancing the Asset Management industry. Over 50 specialists, in ten teams from across the world, worked through the night to come up with solutions that were trustworthy, safe, compliant, cost-effective and efficient.

The SnT team, made up of five researchers from the CryptoLUX Research Group, implemented an asset management solution that improves privacy for lenders but remains compliant with KYC regulations (Know Your Customer – the condition that borrowers must be verified as real people). In the team’s innovative solution, KYC is achieved through a separate smart contract, from which the contract dealing with the exchange only takes the required information. Further, the solution incorporates a system for private exchange, through which parties can trade with one another without revealing the detail of their orders to the market in advance.

 

Speaking after the event, PhD Candidate Sergei Tikhomirov emphasised the benefits of working in such an intense environment, and the inspiration the project has given him: ‘It’s exciting to work with a well-defined objective in a very limited amount of time – you get to see how far you can go. For me personally, the experience of creating a working prototype is particularly important and encouraging. The hackathon showed that cryptography and blockchain have a lot to offer KYC, a topic of great practical relevance.’

Professor Alex Biryukov, who encouraged members of his CryptoLUX Research Group to compete, highlighted the importance of participating in hackathons: ‘They test all aspects of research: from the design on the drawing board to implementation and to public presentation (aka marketing). This hackathon in particular was guided by real-world problems from the industry, but was also close to my student's Ph.D. research topics.’

The hackathon was organized by Melufina, a blockchain think-tank created by Evan Schwartz (Ripple), Frank Roessig (Telindus) and SnT’s Dr. Radu State. State was impressed both by the number and strength of the participants: ‘I was delighted to see the breadth of proposed solutions, which used a large variety of blockchain architectures and infrastructures, and the winning teams came up with software that was of almost commercial-grade quality. The panel of expert judges had a difficult time choosing the winners.’

Congratulations to The Cryptolux team: Daniel Feher, Dmitry Khovratovich, Aleksei Udovenko, Sergei Tikhomirov (all members of the CryptoLUX Research Group) and Maciej Żurad (Information and Computer Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology). You can watch their winning presentation here.

Read more about SnT’s CryptoLUX Research Group.