Blockchain: Magic (Probably) Doesn’t Happen — How to sell a hash tree as a tech revolution — Royal Holloway, Thursday 4 October 2018

This is a talk I did for the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, out in Egham. It’s intended as a basic overview of the engineering and computer science problems of blockchain and smart contract promises.

You’ll see the blockchain and Bitcoin bits at the start are a compressed version of my April talk to the Berenberg blockchain conference. I figured I could speed it up for a comp sci audience — though one questioner asked what git was.

We got video! Starting from the microphone on the camera and the voice recorder on my phone, I’ve compressed and equalised it a bit in Audacity to make the sound usable.

We had twenty minutes of questions! Some of these aren’t clear at all, even after tweaking. But at least you can hear my answers. (Though listening back, in some cases I couldn’t hear the question properly, so answered something that wasn’t quite the question. Sorry about that.)



Here are the slides. (PDF, 1.6MB.)

Examples in the talk:

Also, there appear to be 22 XRP master (UNL) nodes as I write this.

Tremendous thanks to Martin Albrecht for organising this, and Bertram Poettering for organising the camera.

Shirt: One Fox Moon by Rose Gerard.


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