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Distinguished Seminar:  Blockchain Privacy - Challenges, Solutions, and Unresolved Issues

Date:October 9, 2017 
Talk Title:Blockchain Privacy - Challenges, Solutions, and Unresolved Issues
Speaker:Aniket Kate, Assistant Professor at Purdue University
Time & Location:12:00pm - 1:00pm
CIC Building, Pittsburgh


The hope that cryptography and decentralization together might ensure robust user privacy was among the strongest drivers of early success of Bitcoin's blockchain technology. A desire for privacy still permeates the growing blockchain user base today. Nevertheless, thanks to the inherent public nature of most blockchain ledgers, users' privacy is severely restricted, and a few deanonymization attacks have been reported so far. Several privacy-enhancing technologies have been proposed to solve this issues, and a few also have been implemented; however, some important challenges still remain to be resolved.

In this talk, we discuss privacy challenges, promising solutions, and unresolved privacy issues with the blockchain technology. In particular, we study prominent privacy attacks on Bitcoin and other blockchain solutions, analyze the existing privacy solution, and finally describe important unresolved challenges associated with the blockchain transaction privacy.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Aniket Kate is an Assistant Professor in the computer science department at Purdue University. His research integrates applied cryptography, distributed computing and statistics towards designing, implementing and analyzing privacy and transparency enhancing technologies. Before joining Purdue in 2015, he was a faculty member and an independent research group leader at Saarland University in Germany, where he was heading the Cryptographic Systems Research Group. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS), Germany in 2012, and received his PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 2010.