Background and activities
My current research interests are very broadly focused on the area of secure distributed ledgers, blockchains, and modern cryptocurrencies.
I am very interested in ideas that look to tackle the major areas of difficulty that blockchained systems face. I have worked on improving scalability, true-decentralisation and throughput. My latest work is targeted at the energy consumption issue.
One recent work within this area focuses on some of the major issues in the current Bitcoin implementation and relevant to all ‘blockchained’ cryptocurrencies. The work develops a framework, onto which cryptocurrencies can be built, that comes with some considerable advantages over the standard models. We specifically target the issues of mining pools (true-decentralisation) and transaction delays (scalability and throughput). This has the potential to offer considerable advantages over Blockchained constructions.
Blockchain-Free Cryptocurrencies. A Rational Framework for Truly Decentralised Fast Transactions.
http://eprint.iacr.org/2016/871 – under review. Co-authors: X. Boyen, T Haines
I also have a previous paper on the area of Client Puzzles and their potential within Bitcoin, and the more general Blockchain framework, to help prevent DDoS style attacked by partially reusing some of the computational work expended.
Fair Client Puzzles from the Bitcoin Blockchain
https://eprint.iacr.org/2016/680 – ACISP 2016. Co-author: C. Boyd
I have some experience in Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE), where we looked at FHE and tried to formalise the early notions that emerged in this area, presenting a clear and holistic guide for understanding FHE:
A Guide to Fully Homomorphic Encryption
https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/1192 – The paper can be found on the eprint archive here, and is currently under review. Co-authors: F. Armknecht, C. Boyd, K. Gjøsteen, A. Jäschke, C. A. Reuter, M Strand
As well as interest in FHE, I have also worked on Identity Based Encryption (IBE), focusing on practical proposals for IBE in a multi-layered scenario under distinct private key generators (PKGs):
CARIBE: Adapting Traditional IBE for the Modern Key-Covetous Appetite.
https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/1035 – Mycrypt 2016. Co-authors: D. Gligoroski and B. Hale
Master Level Projects
I am willing to consider project proposals in the areas related to my current work, such as blockchained systems and decentralised/semi-decentralised cash. If you have a suggestion you feel I would be interested in, please email me and we can discuss it. Alternatively, please take a look at the department website for suggested project work.