Blockchain technology promises to revolutionize how modern society deals with trust. Although cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are in the news, the impact of this technology is likely to extend far beyond such speculative bubbles, encompassing topics ranging from identity management, to market making, to IOT security, and also CryptoKitties
The goal of this course is to take a snapshot of current research topics in blockchains and related areas. We will start with a few tutorials by the instructor, but most of the course will consist of presentations by students.
Progress at the forefront of research is often incremental: one researcher publishes a paper posing a question or claiming a result, and a sequence of follow-on papers improve the result or alter the question. For this reason, we will organize our approach around the idea of clusters of papers. A cluster consists of one primary paper, the one to read if you can read only one, together with two or three secondary papers. The primary paper may have been the first to formulate the problem or technique, or it may have provided the best solution to the problem, or perhaps it is simply the most readable.