(1) Are Blockchain-based Smart Contracts the Building Blocks of a New Global Financial System
Envision a world with an efficient global financial system. One in which banking is improving with Moore's Law and money sending and spending is as free as sending a Whatsapp message; finally allowing us to connect the 4 billion un-banked to the global economy. In this talk we present the idea to use blockchain derivative smart contracts as the building blocks for such a financial system. These smart contracts allow us to increase Bitcoin's usefulness by removing volatility, but retaining its advantages of being decentralized and truly peer-2-peer. This system would massively reduce friction and bring down the costs for offering financial services to finally reach those that are not able to afford them today.
About the Speaker
Toby Hoenisch is the CEO of OnePay. An up-coming and award winning startup in the Blockchain space. OnePay’s mobile app uses blockchain based smart contracts to offer fx-fee free contact-less spending world-wide at any Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay terminal.
Toby’s academic background is in security and artificial intelligence. He has been involved in the blockchain space since late 2012. In his presentation, Toby will present a new research topic about using smart contract based blockchain derivatives to bring Bitcoin mainstream by removing its volatility while retaining the decentralization.
(2) MicroBTC: Efficient, Flexible and Fair Micropayment for Bitcoin Using Hash Chains
Although Bitcoin has very low transaction fee for each transaction, it becomes unbearable for micropayments. As micropayments are expected to be used widely in future, e.g.WiFi access fee and mobile phone charging, it is crucial for a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to support fair and efficient micropayments. Recently, a set of micropayment schemes have been proposed by Pass and Shelat, but they are computationally expensive and unfair for both participants, making them undesirable for real applications. More important, they are not flexible as they cannot deal with micropayments where the amount of payment cannot be pre-determined. In this paper, inspired by PayWord due to Rivest and Shamir, we propose a new micropayment scheme for Bitcoin based on the hash chain technique. The micropayment scheme, called MicroBTC, not only enjoys great efficiency in computation and flexibility in micropayments, but also achieves fairness for both the payer and payee. We further enhance MicroBTC by adding a refund mechanism so as to make MicroBTC free of indefinite waiting, and propose another enhancement to reduce two transactions in the basic MicroBTC into one. We analyze complexity and security of our scheme, and discuss possible extensions with hash tree and multi-dimensional hash chains. Finally, we implement our scheme using the Bitcoin script language and conduct extensive experiments to evaluate its performance on the Bitcoin system.
About the Speaker
Zhiguo Wan is a research fellow in Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics, Singapore Management University. He received his Ph.D. degree from School of Computing, National University of Singapore in 2007, and B.S. degree in computer science from Tsinghua University in 2002. His research interests include security and privacy in cryptocurrency, cloud computing and big data. He has published more than 30 papers in referred conferences and journals. He is a member of IEEE and ACM, and has been committee members for over 10 international academic conferences.
Presentation by Toby Hoenisch
Presentation by Zhiguo Wan
Discussion chaired by Professor David Lee (Professor of Quantitative Finance, SMU LKCSB)