Berkeley Blockchain Event Hosts Say Security of Blockchain Solutions Is Paid Too Little Attention

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Berkeley Blockchain Event Hosts Say Security of Blockchain Solutions Is Paid Too Little Attention

On October 2 and 3, 2017, Berkeley (CA) will host Crypto Economics Security Conference 2017, an event hosted by Blockchain at Berkeley in the University of California. The conference will focus on the issues of security in various blockchain systems.

According to the hosting organization, the blockchain community today lacks academic presence, which results in poor development of respective protocols.

“Much of the industry has been focused on adoption when the underlying blockchain protocols still have a long journey to go. We’re hoping that by creating this event, we’ll inspire others to follow,” the event’s website says.

ForkLog contacted Vlad Makarov, one of the conference’s organizers, to find out more about blockchain initiatives at the University of California.

ForkLog: What Crypto Economics Security Conference is about?

Vlad Makarov: We understand that blockchain is a fundamental technology that reshapes the way we do many things. However, the feasibility of public and private blockchains heavily relies on their security, architecture, and economic incentives. For that reason, we decided to hold a technical conference titled Crypto-Economics Security Conference (CESC) in February 2017.

The agenda committee of the conference consists of eight people, which includes both developers and university people. The industry is represented by Joseph Poon, co-creator of Lightning Network and Plasma, Vlad Zamfir of Ethereum, among others. The committee also includes people from the University of Tokyo, the University of California, the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and the University College of London.

Aside from security, the conference will discuss improvements in miner rewarding systems and general architecture of various projects. We plan to invite 20 to 25 speakers who have their own ideas. All of them have sent us their works anonymously.

FL: What’s the history behind Blockchain at Berkeley?

V. M.: The organization came from the Bitcoin Association at Berkeley that has been existing for a while. However, its manpower was steadily reducing as the price of bitcoin went down, until there were only eight of us.

One of guest scientists from Netherlands named Tobias came up with the idea of creating a consulting blockchain club. He and Max Feng, a student of Berkeley who currently presides at Blockchain at Berkeley (B@B) started working on rebranding the Bitcoin association at Berkeley and recruiting new members. In fact, it was a slight change of direction that resulted in the Bitcoin Association becoming B@B. Currently there are 80 active members.

Our main goal is to educate and unite community members who are interested in blockchain and bitcoin. We also support and develop blockchain-related projects.

FL: How do you fund your activity?

V. M.: There are three main directions at B@B today: R&D, consulting, and education. It’s hard to say which one has greater priority. R&D and consulting are profitable, but the thing isn’t about just money. Education is also an important component of our activity. Initially B@B was conceived as a consulting club, however a course on blockchain technology that we teach to the same students as we are, is quite popular at Berkeley.

R&D and consulting make up our revenue. Initially, there was only the consulting division. Back then, our advice and clarifications could suffice to our customers. However, there were more and more people coming to us over time. They knew enough about use cases, and blockchain’s strengths and weaknesses. They wanted ready-made solutions for their businesses. That’s how the R&D department came to be. We work with some famous brands like Airbus, for whom we develop a supplies management system. Of course, some names of our customers can’t be disclosed.

FL: What about education projects then?

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