Keynote speakers

Christian Cachin

(IBM Research - Zurich)

Title: Blockchains and consensus protocols

Abstract: A blockchain is a public ledger for recording transactions, maintained by many nodes without central authority through a distributed cryptographic protocol. All nodes validate the information to be appended to the blockchain, and a consensus protocol ensures that the nodes agree on a unique order in which entries are appended. Consensus protocols for tolerating Byzantine faults have received renewed attention because they also address blockchain systems. However, amid the current hype around blockchains, cryptocurrencies, fintech startups, and novel consensus mechanisms, it is sometimes overlooked that assessing and gaining confidence in the resilience of a protocol is a difficult task. We argue that developing consensus protocols is similar to engineering cryptographic systems, and that blockchain developers should look towards the established experience in cryptography and security with building trustworthy systems. Otherwise, it might be dangerous to entrust financial value to new protocols. Public discussion, expert reviews, broad validation, and standards recommendations should be employed, following the established practice in cryptography and security.

Bio: Christian Cachin is a cryptographer and computer scientist interested in distributed computing, cryptographic protocols, and security, working at IBM Research - Zurich. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from ETH Zurich and has held visiting positions at MIT and at EPFL. An IEEE Fellow, ACM Distinguished Scientist, and recipient of multiple IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards, he has co-authored a textbook on distributed computing titled "Introduction to Reliable and Secure Distributed Programming". Currently he serves as the President of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). In addition to many cryptographic protocols that he has developed, particularly for achieving consensus and for executing distributed cryptographic operations over the Internet, he has also contributed to standards in storage security and key management. His current research addresses blockchains, the security of cloud computing, secure protocols for distributed systems, and cryptography.


Andreas Eckel


Title: It is a Disruptive World with Exponential Development: Expected Trends in Embedded Systems, with a Special Focus on the Automotive Industry and its likely Effects on Industry and Society

Abstract: In this talk, I’ll argue that we need to change our way of thinking drastically and Europe needs to catch up urgently those in the world who have already started to do their homework outside Europe in order to preserve employment and the standard of living in Europe. We have already missed the absolute leadership in the nano-electronics world. It is in the hands of US and Far East owned/based companies. Europe is lacking behind with a market share in the area of 30% or less. In some of the areas of the chip business we do not have something to offer at all (i.e., high performance computing and many cores). We do have a small chance to remain in the lead of embedded systems and they also have the potential to pull behind some of the nano-electronics business areas. We need to stay in the lead for security design. We need to pull these services together to form artificial intelligence for embedded systems. Concerning future technologies I personally strongly believe - and I encourage everybody involved in the area to follow - that every effort possible needs to be invested in embedded systems, artificial intelligence and security technologies as mentioned above in order to ensure Europe’s future to stay sustainably bright in a challenging world-wide competition and globalization and making living in Europe worth it with a high employment rate, wealthy, healthy society and economy.

Bio: Mr. Andreas ECKEL graduated in “communication engineering” at the Vienna University of Technology in 1991 and received an Executive MBA from California State University Hayward in 2004. Mr. Eckel also holds an MLE- (2011) and a LL.M.- (2012) degree from the IMADEC University, Vienna. He worked for space industry for 10 years in technical and managerial assignments before he joined TTTech as a business development- and project manager in the area of aerospace contracts at TTTech in 2002. In 2009 Mr. Eckel changed to the Grants department and worked exclusively in the field of funded R&D projects where he currently holds the position “Teamlead Grants”.