IOHK’s research team has yet another gem, an area leader in multiparty computation [MPC] displaying a powerful, diverse, and highly professional team. Vassilis Zikas is the Senior Lecturer in security and privacy who is also serving as the vice-director of blockchain technology lab at the University of Edinburgh.
As a part of the research team at IOHK, his focus is, particularly on security and privacy. His position is mainly on cryptography with a highlight on multi-party computation, provable security, particular composable security, security models that can be used to capture assumptions that are made in the cryptographic proof and then prove the security of protocols. He has also worked on blockchain primarily on the foundation side of blockchains and basic research.
According to him, there is something which is kind of a folklore in the crypto community and blockchain can actually be seen as an application of MPC. People usually think MPC as something that needs to enforce privacy but in general, security has many aspects. Authenticity is one of them being able to maintain something in a distributed way and that is what MPC is about.
MPC allows a set of parties, each having its own data, and permits them to perform a joint computation on this data. This is why blockchain is a special case and is an actual application of MPC.
He expressed about his integration with IOHK and his work:
“It is not only an interesting topic but an interesting process on the whole, with IOHK because although they are in the industry, they are keen on basic research. That is something that interests me too and what I want to do. The seed for technology lab was planted by IOHK and is funded by IOHK, their other partners Huawei and research grants.”
This lab focussing on Blockchain and the process of creating such a big core of people working on blockchain is instrumental for the future of ecosystem. Hence, highly trained researchers and engineers are very essential for this technology.
“I am personally very, very excited to be part of this lab and to see the lab working with industrial partners who direct us in doing basic research that has applications, along with funding obviously.”
What is unique in this area is they can see the problems from their foundations, from their goals to their security modeling, and security proof application product, he concluded.
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