The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

BFT—From the “Saddest Moment” to the Era of Blockchains

Haibin Zhang, CSEE, UMBC

12:00–1:00pm, Friday, 20 October 2017, ITE 231

Blockchains can generally be divided into two categories: permissionless blockchains (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum), and permissioned blockchains (e.g., Hyperledger Fabric). In permissionless blockchains, anyone can participate in the protocol. In permissioned blockchains, participants know the IDs of all other participants but do not need to trust them, a particularly useful scenario for business applications. As an emerging technology transforming business models, permissioned blockchains inspired a large number of industrial implementations. The Hyperledger Project (under the Linux Foundation) became a global collaborative project, now with 150+ industry members. Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) protocols regained prominence because they can support permissioned blockchain systems. For building permissioned blockchains, BFT is widely regarded as the most appropriate primitive, one accepted by academe and industry. In this talk, I will describe a number of efficient BFT blockchain systems that I helped invent, including BChain, ByzID, CBFT, and secure causal BFT. In addition, I will share my vision for blockchains and associated research opportunities.

Haibin Zhang is an assistant professor in the CSEE Department at UMBC. He is interested in cloud computing, cryptography, security, privacy, and distributed systems. He received the best paper candidate award at the 33rd IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems and proved the security of a NIST standard on ciphertext stealing.  Zhang is one of the main inventors of Norton Zone, Symantec’s scalable cloud storage, and BChain, a highly efficient BFT protocol fully implemented within Hyperledger blockchain framework.

Host: Alan T. Sherman, 

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays.  All meetings are open to the public

In spring 2018, Sherman will teach a CMSC-491/691 special topics class on blockchains and digital currencies.