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1. Making Synchronous Consensus Protocols Practical: A Journey 2.Key Management and Zero Knowledge Credentials for Decentralized Identity Ecosystem3.Technical Deep Dive on Hyperledger Fabric4.Ent

Series: Seminar on Blockchain and Decentralization

Speaker: 1. Dr. Kartik Nayak (talk start at 09:00 to 10:00 AM)Department of Computer ScienceDuke University2. Dr. Esha Ghosh (talk start at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)Senior Researcher Cryptography and

Date/Time: Feb 26 09:00:00

Location: Zoom Link

Faculty Advisor:

1. Byzantine Fault Tolerant protocols in the synchronous setting have often been considered impractical due to the strong synchrony assumption. On the flip side, synchronous protocols can be used to tolerate up to one-half Byzantine faults. In this talk, I will explain my journey towards improving synchronous protocols, both in theory and practice.
2. Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) is a collection of international organizations that focuses on building an open ecosystem for self-owned decentralized identity (DID). Microsoft is an important member of DIF and is working on building protocols, infrastructure and open source libraries for the DID ecosystem. As a part of this effort, I worked on building a self owned cryptographic key management scheme and a zero-knowledge credentials scheme. The key management library has already been open sourced. For this talk, I will spend most of time discussing the key management scheme and the wonderful collaborative effort in it that brought together developers, cryptography and security researchers and standards people. Then I will briefly talk about the zero knowledge credentials project highlighting the new requirements and challenges that the DID ecosystem brings out in using traditional zero-knowledge credential schemes.
3. Blockchain is a shared, replicated, immutable transaction ledger which is maintained by a distributed network of nodes. The transactions in the ledger are grouped into blocks that includes a hash that binds the block to its preceding block, thus creating an immutable chain of blocks. Blockchain networks can be primarily categorized into Permissionless and Permissioned networks. In a Permissionless blockchain all the participants are anonymous and hence do not have trust in each other. The only source of trust is that the state of the blockchain, prior to a certain depth, is immutable. On the other hand Permissioned blockchain operates amongst a set of known and identified participants operating under a governance model, which provides a certain degree of trust. This talk will provide a technical deep dive on Hyperledger Fabric, which is an enterprise grade permissioned distributed ledger framework for developing solutions and applications. Hyperledger Fabric has a highly modular and configurable architecture, enabling innovation, versatility and optimization for a broad range of industry use cases including banking, finance, insurance, health care etc. Hyperledger Fabric is the first distributed ledger platform to support smart contracts authored in general-purpose programming languages such as Java, Go and Node.js, rather than constrained domain-specific languages (DSL). Hyperledger Fabric introduces a new architecture for transactions i.e. execute-order-validate, which addresses the resiliency, flexibility, scalability, performance and confidentiality challenges faced by the order-execute model. Hyperledger fabric takes a unique approach to consensus which enables performance and scalability while preserving privacy.
4. Blockchain technology provides greater transparency and security in carrying out business transactions by maintaining immutable transaction records within a distributed network of mutually untrusting entities. A secure distributed consensus protocol is used for maintaining the ledger and blockchain has a framework for automatically executing smart contracts based on the state of the distributed ledger. Blockchaintechnology has been seen as a very promising technology in supply chain as well as financial services industry. Applications related to product traceability, international trade finance, paperless trade, etc. are the initial ones that have gone into production. This talk will provide an overview of blockchain solutions we have developed for various industries. We will also discuss some of the recent trends and interesting research problems in this space.

Speaker Bio:
1. Kartik Nayak is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Duke University. He works in the areas of security, applied cryptography, distributed computing, and blockchains. Before joining Duke University, he spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at VMware Research. Before that, he graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has served on program committees of several top-tier conferences such as ACM CCS, PODC, Asiacrypt, and PoPETS. Kartik is a recipient of the 2016 Google Ph.D. fellowship in Security.
2. Esha Ghosh is a Senior Researcher in the Cryptography and Privacy group at Microsoft Research, Redmond. Her research interests include end-to-end encrypted systems, decentralized identity management, secure computation and authenticated data structures. More recently, she has been interested in information leakage in ML deployment. Before joining MSR, Esha graduated from Brown University in 2018.
3. Akshar Kaul is an Advisory Research Software Engineer at IBM Research, Bangalore, India. He received Masters Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) Bangalore. His research focus is on “Computation on Encrypted Data” especially in the context of outsourced databases. He has also worked on various projects related to permissioned blockchain networks (Hyperledger Fabric).
4. Dr. Pankaj Dayama is a Senior Technical Staff Member and Master Inventor at IBM Research India. He is currently leading Blockchain Solutions group at IRL. His current work spans different aspects of Blockchain technology including building innovative solutions in supply chain space working directly with clients, and enabling privacy preserving network collaboration on Blockchain. He has published about 20 papers in peer reviewed conferences and has more than 50 filed patents in the USPTO to his credit.

The workshop on Blockchain and decentralization ( will resume with four talks on Friday, 26th February.
Zoom link for the workshop talk:

Host Faculty: Dr. Chaya Ganesh