WELCOME TO THE UCL CENTRE FOR BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGIES

“Blockchain is a new disruptive information technology that allows anonymous partners to operate safely without intermediation of a third party. This enables the creation of peer-to-peer distributed economies and paves the way to a range of applications from commerce to management”

 

  • Blockchain technologies present alternative solutions to highly centralised data management systems which present a high cost single point of failure, they may be vulnerable to cyberattack and the data is often out of sync, out of date or simply inaccurate.
  • The UCL CBT aims at becoming the leading European research hub focused on the impact of blockchain technologies on socio-economic system and the promotion of a safe and organic development and adoption of blockchain-based platforms
  • Although ledgers have been at the hearth of business and finance since ancient times, for the first time blockchain technologies enable the collaborative creation of digital distributed ledgers with properties and capabilities that go far beyond traditional paper-based ledgers
  • Located in the heart of London, the UCL CBT greatly benefits both from the UK world-class digital capability and from the city that has shaped technological progress and financial innovation for centuries
  • Blockchain technologies find a vast range of disrupting business applications in financial services, insurance, logistic and transportation, media and communications, consumer electronic, industrial, automation and robotic, energy industry, healthcare and in the public sector

News

The Journal of Risk Finance : Special Issue on Digital Currencies

The Journal of Risk Finance
Special Issue on Digital Currencies 
You are invited to submit your manuscripts to the Special Issue “Digital Currencies” of The Journal of Risk Finance at the following link http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/news_story.htm?id=6893 by 31st December 2016.
General Information 
Submission Deadline
  • 31st December 2016

 

Planning Your Content
  • A special issue for JRF would normally consist of 6 articles, plus an optional guest editorial.
  • Each article needs to be approximately between 3000 and 8000 words long.
Getting to Know the ScholarOne System
  • For transparency and ease of administration, it is essential that all of Emerald’s journal content is submitted, reviewed and accepted through the ScholarOne online system. You’ll find a link to the appropriate site for this journal  here.
  • General submission guidelines for authors can also be found here.

 

For queries including the special issue, please contact the Guest Editor:
Paolo Tasca

 

Smart Contract Templates: foundations, design landscape and research directions

Christopher D. Clack Centre for Blockchain Technologies Department of Computer Science University College London

Vikram A. Bakshi Investment Bank CTO Office Barclays

August 4, 2016

Abstract

Lee Braine Investment Bank CTO Office Barclays

In this position paper, we consider some foundational topics regarding smart contracts (such as terminology, automation, enforceability, and semantics) and define a smart contract as an agreement whose execution is both automatable and enforceable. We explore a simple semantic framework for smart contracts, covering both operational and non-operational aspects. We describe templates and agreements for legally-enforceable smart contracts, based on legal documents. Building upon the Ricardian Contract triple, we identify operational parameters in the legal documents and use these to connect legal agreements to standardised code. We also explore the design landscape, including increasing sophistication of parameters, increasing use of common standardised code, and long-term academic research. We conclude by identifying further work and sketching an initial set of requirements for a common language to support Smart Contract Templates.

1 Introduction

The aim of Smart Contract Templates [1] is to support the management of the complete lifecycle of “smart” legal contracts. This includes the creation of legal document templates by standards bodies and the subsequent use of those templates in the negotiation and agreement of contracts by counterparties. They also facilitate automated execution of the contract and, in the event of dispute, provide a direct link to the relevant legal documentation.

The templates and agreements may (or may not) be agnostic to the method by which a contract is executed – that is a design choice for the template issuer, counterparties, network, etc. The intention is to interface with a wide range of execution platforms. Smart legal contracts could potentially be executed as software agents operating on distributed ledgers (such as Corda [2], Ethereum [5], Hyperledger [12], etc.).

Here we aim to make a practical contribution of relevance to financial institutions. We consider how contracts are written, how they are executed, how they are enforced, and how to ensure that the execution of a contract is faithful to the meaning of the legal documentation. We discuss these issues using reasonably straightforward language, so that it is accessible not only to financial institutions but also to lawyers, regulators, standards bodies, and policy makers. We hope that the issues and views raised in this paper will stimulate debate and we look forward to receiving feedback.

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Clive Ansell (ISDA), Ian Grigg (R3) and Darren Jones (Barclays) for their helpful feedback.

Full article: smart-contract-templates-foundations-design-landscape-and-research-directions

Deadline Extended to 31 Oct. 2016: Student Thesis/Paper Competition 2016

Blockchain Security, Risk and Financial Cryptography

Call for participation: We encourage submissions of student research thesis and research papers in areas of blockchain, bitcoin or other financial cryptography research. Language should be English. We seek [primarily] submissions from students which have already been graded by a university. Independent researchers and participants from start-ups are also welcome. However, blockchain professionals and well-funded professional researchers will not qualify for cash research prizes unless the jury decides otherwise.

Ethics: This is a grass-roots independent academic effort to crowd-source blockchain security, risk and financial cryptography research for the benefit of a broader community which intends to better understand blockchain systems and their vulnerabilities. This is primarily a game which is declared of public interest. To researchers able to highlight security failures, risks, privacy and other critical issues in bitcoin and blockchain systems, we provide research prizes of moderate size in order to encourage their honest intellectual effort.

Organizer: Dr. Nicolas Courtois, Department of Computer Science, UCL

Partners: Blockchain.info, Finyear, Clearmatics, Tramonex

Prize Jury:

  • Jan Aldert Bergstra, Institute of Informatics, University of Amsterdam
  • Alex Biryukov, University of Luxembourg
  • Nicolas T. Courtois, Senior Lecturer, University College London
  • Prof. Stefan Dziembowski, University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Jean-Paul Delahaye, Lille University of Science and Technology, France
  • Aggelos Kiayias, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • David Naccache, Ecole Normale Supérieure and Ingenico Labs, France
  • Vassilis Zikas, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US
  • Paolo Tasca, UCL Centre for Blokchain Technologies, UK

Deadline: 31 October 2016

Info: http://blog.bettercrypto.com/?p=2711

Submissions:   https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=studblocseccomp16

Prizes: Several prizes will be awarded for master thesis and other research work

  • 5 BTC for a study on criticalities, economic distortions and pathologies in the bitcoin economy or other blockchain systems.
  • 5 BTC for a study on risk security and vulnerabilites in crypto currency and blockchains.
  • 5 BTC for discovery of attacks bugs or flaws in ZK proofs, ring signatures, ECCs, key management and other advanced cryptographic techniques relevant to blockchain tech.

 

DOWNLOAD THE CALL  > > > blockchain_master_thesis_prize_2016 < < <

Call for papers – JCS Journal of Frontier of Computer Science

JCS (Journal of Frontier of Computer Science), published by Springer, an SCI-indexed journal (http://www.springer.com/computer/journal/11704) has a special issue on Blockchains and Smart Contracts.

Important Dates

• Deadline for submissions: July 1st 2016

• Response to authors: October 1st 2016

• Deadline for revision: October 15th

• Final review result: November 1st

• Final submission due: November 15th

Latest Publications

Smart Contract Templates: foundations, design landscape and research directions

@article{clack2016smart,
title={Smart Contract Templates: foundations, design landscape and research directions},
author={Clack, Christopher D and Bakshi, Vikram A and Braine, Lee},
journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1608.00771},
year={2016}
}

In this position paper, we consider some foundational topics regarding smart contracts (such as terminology, automation, enforceability, and semantics) and define a smart contract as an agreement whose execution is both automatable and enforceable. We explore a simple semantic framework for smart contracts, covering both operational and non-operational aspects. We describe templates and agreements for legally-enforceable smart contracts, based on legal documents. Building upon the Ricardian Contract triple, we identify operational parameters in the legal documents and use these to connect legal agreements to standardised code. We also explore the design landscape, including increasing sophistication of parameters, increasing use of common standardised code, and long-term academic research. We conclude by identifying further work and sketching an initial set of requirements for a common language to support Smart Contract Templates.

Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states

@article{liu2015plasticity,
title={Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states},
author={Liu, Kang KL and Bartsch, Ronny P and Lin, Aijing and Mantegna, Rosario N and Ivanov, Plamen Ch},
journal={Frontiers in neural circuits},
volume={9},
year={2015},
publisher={Frontiers Media SA}
}

Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of network connectivity and link strength, while at the same time each frequency-specific network is characterized by a different signature pattern of sleep-stage stratification, reflecting a remarkable flexibility in response to change in physiologic state. These new aspects of neural plasticity demonstrate that in addition to dominant brain waves, the network of brain wave interactions is a previously unrecognized hallmark of physiologic state and function.

Influence of the peripheral alkyl chains length on the mesomorphic properties of electron acceptor π-extended HAT derivatives

@article{juarez2014influence,
title={Influence of the peripheral alkyl chains length on the mesomorphic properties of electron acceptor $pi$-extended HAT derivatives},
author={Ju{‘a}rez, Rafael and Ramos, Mar and Lehmann, Matthias and Segura, Jos{‘e} L},
journal={Synthetic Metals},
volume={195},
pages={222–227},
year={2014},
publisher={Elsevier}
}

Two 2D pi-extended hexaazatriphenylene (HAT) derivatives with different alkyl chain peripheries are synthesized and electrochemically characterized showing their good electron acceptor ability. We highlight the influence of the peripheral alkyl chains in the liquid crystal properties of both HAT derivatives.

Solid-state assisted synthesis of oligobenzoates

@article{lehmann2015solid,
title={Solid-state assisted synthesis of oligobenzoates},
author={Lehmann, Matthias and Bahndorf, Katrin and Ohnemus, Michael and Roth, Sabine and Gloza, Steffi},
journal={Liquid Crystals},
volume={42},
number={10},
pages={1444–1449},
year={2015},
publisher={Taylor & Francis}
}

The solid-state assisted synthesis opens an easy access to oligobenzoates end-capped with gallic acid, protocatechuic acid or 4-hydroxybenzoic acid etherified with long flexible chains – which are important precursors for liquid crystalline materials. The latter may consist of aliphatic, oligoethyleneoxy and semiperfluorinated chains. The rapid preparation of oligoesters with different peripheries is demonstrated.

Identifying Multi-Level Emergent Behaviors in Agent-Directed Simulations using Complex Event Type Specifications

@article{chen2010identifying,
title={Identifying multi-level emergent behaviors in agent-directed simulations using complex event type specifications},
author={Chen, Chih-Chun and Clack, Christopher D and Nagl, Sylvia B},
journal={Simulation},
volume={86},
number={1},
pages={41–51},
year={2010},
publisher={Sage Publications}
}

Agent-directed simulations (ADS) are used in many domains to study complex systems. These are systems where non-linear effects can result from these emergent behaviors, making them difficult to analyze and predict. Correspondingly, in ADS, as well as explicitly specified behaviors of individual agents, higher level behaviors can emerge spontaneously from agent action sequences and agent—agent interactions. We have previously introduced the complex event formalism for specifying emergent behaviors in dynamically executing ADS [1, 2]. Based on the formalism, we also described a method for detecting and analyzing emergent behaviors in multi-agent simulations, giving us an effective means of studying, and a more reliably way of predicting, these systems. Complex event types define sets of multi-dimensional structures of interrelated events arising from the actions of one or more agents. They are therefore directly related to the agent specifications, which determine the behavior of individual agents. Although the abstract constructs of the formalism have already been introduced in [1] and [2], they have not yet been related to a specific agent-based specification language. Here, we define the constructs in terms of the X-machine formalism, which is widely used to specify multi-agent systems. This extends the existing X-machine framework to model higher level emergent behaviors as well as agent-level state transitions. Thus, emergent behaviors at any level of abstraction can be specified for detection and analysis in a dynamically executing ADS.

High frequency trading – bugs, glitches, false liquidity and open warfare

@article{clack2011high,
title={High frequency trading-bugs, glitches, false liquidity and open warfare},
author={CLACK, C},
year={2011},
publisher={Euromoney Trading Limited}
}

High Frequency trading (HFT) – love it or hate it? Does it provide much-needed liquidity to the markets, or distort the markets and remove investment opportunities for lower-frequency traders? Financial markets are becoming increasingly unstable, but is HFT helping to smooth the effects of market instability or is it the root cause of some of these instabilities? The Flash Crash of May 6, 2010 was not the first time the financial markets have displayed aberrant behaviour, and it won’t be the last, but it has sparked a fierce debate about the effects of HFT and its role in ameliorating or creating market instability.

Smart Contract Templates: foundations, design landscape and research directions

@article{atzeisurvey,
title={A survey of attacks on Ethereum smart contracts},
author={Atzei, Nicola and Bartoletti, Massimo and Cimoli, Tiziana}
}

In this position paper, we consider some foundational topics regarding smart contracts (such as terminology, automation, enforceability, and semantics) and define a smart contract as an agreement whose execution is both automatable and enforceable. We explore a simple semantic framework for smart contracts, covering both operational and non-operational aspects. We describe templates and agreements for legally-enforceable smart contracts, based on legal documents. Building upon the Ricardian Contract triple, we identify operational parameters in the legal documents and use these to connect legal agreements to standardised code. We also explore the design landscape, including increasing sophistication of parameters, increasing use of common standardised code, and long-term academic research. We conclude by identifying further work and sketching an initial set of requirements for a common language to support Smart Contract Templates.

Left-Ideals, Dirac Fermions and SU(2)-Flavour

@article{witte2006left,
title={Left-Ideals, Dirac fermions and SU (2)-Flavour},
author={Witte, FMC},
journal={arXiv preprint math-ph/0612081},
year={2006}
}

In this paper I reconsider the use of the left ideals of the even-grade subalgebra of spacetime algebra to describe fermionic excitations. When interpreted as rotors the general elements of an even-grade left-ideal describe massless particles in chiral flavour doublets. To study the application of these ideas to the standard Dirac formalism I construct a 2×2-matrix representation with bivector insertions for the Dirac algebra. This algebra has four ideals, and this approach clarifies how the identification of Dirac $\g_{\mu}$-matrices with orthonormal basisvectors eν annihilates half of the ideals. For one possible choice of this mapping the remaining ideals the chiral left- and righthanded components of the fermion coincide with the even- and odd elements of spacetime algebra.

Upcoming Events

OCT
11
2015

P2P Financial Systems 2016 @ UCL – day 2

Announce conference:
P2P Financial Systems 2016 will be held at UCL on September 8-9 2016.
OCT
11
2015

P2P Financial Systems 2016 @ UCL – day 1

Announce conference:
P2P Financial Systems 2016 will be held at UCL on September 8-9 2016.
OCT
11
2015

Dutch Blockchain Conference, June 20th 2016.

88745e31-fefd-4dbb-adb0-86f7f43e3ff2

In the last two years, we’ve discussed the (potential) impact and opportunities of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology with business and government leaders as well as start-ups. Our goal is to bridge the worlds of today and tomorrow and see how startups can work together with corporates and governments to innovate and create new solutions. We learn best by doing, so this year’s focus will be on the most practical examples and tangible projects using blockchain technology. 

Our conference has its roots in FinTech, and the disruptive power of bitcoin keeps us sharp and inspired. But in 2016, with all sectors getting on board the blocktrain, ehh… chain en masse, we’ll move our scope beyond finance and welcome speakers and attendees from government agencies, healthcare, energy, logistics, water, real estate and chemical sectors. Because the network of professionals working with blockchain technology is expanding rapidly and the interest in the Dutch Ecosystem is growing internationally, this conference will be in English. 

Opening speech by Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem

The Dutch Blockchain Conference team is currently working on the full lineup of top keynote speakers, startup pitches and an incentive awards ceremony. We are honored to announce that the opening speech will be delivered by the Dutch Minister of Finance and Eurogroup chairman Mr Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
 

Confirmed speakers



Date and time:

June 20th, 2016 
9:00 till 18:00 
 

Location:

KPMG Headquarters
Laan van Langerhuize 1 
1186 DS  Amstelveen
Google Maps
 

Early Bird tickets and info: 

  

Full tickets: € 495,00 ex VAT
Early Bird tickets until May 1st. : € 349,00 ex VAT
Early Bird tickets 2-for-1 pack until May 1st. : € 495,00 ex VAT
Order your tickets at Dutchblockchainconference.com 

Startup tickets: € 249,00 ex VAT – apply at startup@dutchblockchainconference.com with motivation
Student tickets: € 49,00 inc VAT – apply at student@dutchblockchainconference.com with motivation and student enrolment number.

Announcement:

Watch Rutger van Zuidam and Vincent Everts announce the Dutch Blockchain Conference on YouTube:


 

The Dutch National Blockchain Conference is sponsored by: 

Come and join us!

Rutger van Zuidam & Vincent Everts
Founders and organizers of the Dutch Blockchain Conference

OCT
11
2015

Blockchain: the next financial Revolution? – Principles, Opportunities & Risks

blockchain_the_next

Blockchain technology – including bitcoin crypto currency – is a topic that spurs controversial discussions. Some say it
is going to revolutionize the financial industry. Some say it is evil. A consortium of international companies, including
such heavy weights as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, UBS and Credit Suisse invest millions in research and development
of blockchain usage in the financial system (“R3”). Our speakers, Dr. Paolo Tasca (ex- Deutsche Bundesbank) & Prof. Tomaso
Aste, both Co-Directors from University College London – Centre for Blockchain Technologies in London, say, “in
10 years nobody can think without blockchain technology”.

What is behind blockchain and bitcoin? How does blockchain provide means of payment? What`s the role of so-called
miners? What do self-executing contracts (“smart contracts”) mean? What is the impact on clearing and settlement? How
can the “chain” document e.g. mortgage payments and deadlines? What`s in it for stock exchanges? What risks arise? How
about regulation & tax? Why invest in blockchain venture capital companies? How can asset managers diversify with
digital currencies? What opportunities arise for banks as custodians and forex providers? Is blockchain important only
for the financial services industry or does it expand also into other sectors? Case studies are utilized to exemplify economic
relevance as well as chances and risks. Regulation & Tax: Dr. Alexander Lindemann. Moderation: Raoul Würgler. In the
end of the seminar, there is the opportunity of individual 1:1 Sessions with Dr. Paolo Tasca & Prof. Tomaso Aste to discuss
your questions confidentially. Will Switzerland become a blockchain hub…?

Who should attend?
Banks & Financial Institutions, Payment Systems, Commercial Banks, Mortgage Industry, Insurers, Trade Finance
Industry, Investors, Custodians and Asset Managers, IT Consultants, Regulators, Tax Authorities, Industrials,
Media and Communications, Logistic and Transportation, Automation and Robotics, Internet of Things, CMOs,
CCOs, CTOs, COOs, CIOs, CROs, Chief Digital Officers (CDOs), Chief Customer Experience Officers (CCEO), Chief
Strategy Officers (CSO), Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Managing Directors, Executive Directors, Branch
Directors, IT and Innovation Directors, R&D Directors and Managers, Retail Banking and Business Analytics, Retail
Banking Experts, CFOs, Members of the Board, CEOs

Date: Thursday, 16 June 2016, Start 10:00 am

Venue: Kapitalmarktforum Schweiz, Dufourstrasse 22 (Next to the Opera), 8008 Zurich

Fee: CHF 520.- (50% off for Members of Kapitalmarktforum Schweiz, 10% off for Members of Association of Foreign Banks Switzerland , 10% off for Members of Zürcher Bankenverband)

Program and Registration: LINK

Registration: info@kapitalmarktforum-schweiz.ch

http://www.kapitalmarktforum-schweiz.ch/#!events/c1vt

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