May 2018 Newsletter

Blockchain@UBC unites academia, commerce, government, and communities into a research and education-focused ecosystem which leverages the potential of the blockchain and distributed ledger technology to empower individuals and groups in measurably solving human, social and technical problems, starting with the people of Vancouver and expanding out globally. 
What’s coming in June and July?

Blockchain@UBC Monthly Research Talk


 Monthly Research Talk: Scalability of Proof of Work - The Principle and Challenge of Payment Channel

Date: June 19th 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Speaker: Dr. Davi
d Z.H. Wang

Topic: There will be a brief overview of the different consensus algorithms being used. Then Dr. Wang will talk about micropayment channel technology and the use case of integrating micropayment channels in the RightMesh Project to form a payment network to circumvent the performance limitation in Ethereum.

For more information, and to register for the event, please click here

Workshop: Blockchain 101 - Fundamentals, Applications and Opportunities

When: July 11th

Lecturer: Dr. Chris Rowell

Topic: This is a one-day workshop aimed at executives looking for a non-technical introduction to blockchain and how it could impact their industry. The workshop is split into two parts. First, participants will get an overview of blockchain technology and its current applications. Thereafter, they will analyze an industry of their choosing to understand how this could be impacted by blockchain technologies in both the short and longer-terms.
More information can be found here


What happened in May?
Monthly Research Talk: Forks in Time - Algorithms and New Spaces of Capital on Bitcoin and Ethereum's Blockchain

Date: April 24th 2018

Speaker: Maral Sotoudehnia

Topic: How we can examine algorithmic governance through the two hard fork events that occurred on the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks.

UBC Cyber-Security Summit

Date: May 11th 2018

Blockchain@UBC was represented at the Cyber-Security Summit, with three conference papers being showcased.

Darra Hofman, Danielle Batista, Alysha Joo and Victoria L. Lemieux, “Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers as Trusted Recordkeeping Systems: An Archival Theoretic Evaluation Framework”

Danielle Batista and Victoria L. Lemieux, “A Million Ways to DAO: Identifying and Preventing Smart Contract Security Risks”

Yuwei Guo, Jinfeng Tong, Chen Feng, and Victoria L. Lemieux,
“Battle Testing Layer 2 of the Bitcoin Blockchain”


Date: May 15th 2018

Yes, Blockchain@UBC was present at the BC Tech Summit! We are proud to announce that our presence at the event was a massive success.

Professor Victoria Lemieux gave a talk at the tech summit, “Beyond Bitcoin: Seizing the Potential of Blockchain.”

HyperVote, the first company to be created through the Blockchain@UBC.Student club, was also present at the BC Tech Summit. The HyperVote team was demoing their blockchain-voting platform, built on Hyperledger Fabric, allowing tech summit visitors to vote on their favorite BC Tech Summit sponsor. You can follow HyperVote on their LinkedIn or Twitter pages. 

Open Knowledge Learning Blockchain Summer Initiative

Date: May 14th – May 24th

We had over 60 students come and learn from some of the brightest minds working in the blockchain eco-system right now, and with the completion of the summer initiative UBC has taken a stride in becoming a hub for student talent in blockchain technology.

We would like to give a huge thank you to all the speakers that came and explained complex concepts to our students, and an even bigger thank you to the individuals who led our afternoon workshops over the two weeks, and helped students gain development experience in a wide array of blockchain technologies.

Finally, we would like to thank all the students who attended this year’s initiative. Your commitment and enthusiasm towards learning was inspiring, and we look forward to building a bigger and better summer institute next year! 

Stay posted for pictures and videos from the event!

Mini-Conference on The Future of Blockchain and Talent & Innovation Showcase

Date: May 25th

The final day of the summer initiative was designed as a mini-conference so students could hear about a variety of perspectives on blockchain technologies, from leaders in the space. Internationally recognized presenters came to speak about the Future of Blockchain.

Students were also exposed to projects that their fellow peers had created such as HyperVote and Fostrum.

The event also allowed students to network with all our sponsors, and build strong industry relationships for future employment or internship opportunities. We would like to express our appreciation to our platinum sponsors Blockchain Intelligence Group and IBM, our Gold sponsors, Vanbex and GIV, our Silver sponsors NSERC and iComply, our Bronze sponsors, Deloitte and Superstore, and our TALENT+INNOVATION sponsors Victory Square, Blockstream, Blockchain Assembly, DMG, Arweave and Bluzelle.

For more information regarding the event, click here.

Blockathon for Social Good

Date: May 26th – 27th

The Summer Institute was capped off with a two-day blockathon in which students formed teams, and put the knowledge they learnt to good use.

The challenge this year was to design as a decentralized identity solution, with a retrieve function using any blockchain platform, for the homeless population in Vancouver. Participants were given extra points if they attempted to build a decentralized App (dApp) to showcase their solution.

We would like to congratulate the winners:

1st prize: “Nomadic Solutions” who created “Veri-ID”: Danielle Batista, Joshua Di, Andrew Lui, Rob McDougall, & Simran Sethi

2nd prize: “BCID”: Aaron Basi, Wen Xing Pan, Amir Fard Bahreini , Yuwei Guo, and Jianyu Niu

3rd prize: “Hashcats”: Cinnie Hsiung, Ahmed Sigiuk, Xuan Luo, Alysha Joo, and Godot Bian

Congratulations as well to all the other teams that participated. The quality of solutions displayed this year astounded the judges, and we would like to thank all of you for the hard work you put in.

We would also like to give a huge thank you to the mentors who helped guide our teams through the grueling two-day event, and to all our sponsors whose support made the entire event possible, especially the GIV Society and The Great Canadian Superstore who kept the teams fed and hydrated. For more information regarding the event, click here.
New Team Members
We are proud to announce some additions to the Blockchain@UBC Team. 

Karthik Pattabiraman

Professor Pattabiraman is an associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he worked with Ravi Iyer and Zbigniew Kalbarczyk in the DEPEND research group from 2004 to 2009. He has also been a post-doctoral researcher at Microsoft Research (Redmond) working with Ben Zorn in the Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group (in 2009).

Atefeh Taghavi

Atefeh Taghavi started her PhD program in Business
Administration in Management Information Systems in 2015. Her research mainly focuses on the relationship between information systems and
organizations. More particularly, she is interested in studying how we can improve the design and development of information systems in order to generate systems that can more properly meet the business and social needs of users in an organization.


Jinfei Sheng

Jinfei Sheng is a Ph.D. candidate in finance at the UBC Sauder School of Business and will be an Assistant Professor of Finance at UC Irvine in the summer of 2018. His primary research field is empirical asset pricing, with a focus on applying big data and machine learning to study their implications for financial markets. He is also interested in studying and teaching topics in Bitcoin and blockchain technologies.
Publications, PR and Awards

Professor Chen Feng now has his paper available online.

Title: Towards quantum-safe blockchains

The research appears in Nature’s Quantum Information research journal.
The research was made possible by a Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Professor Marc-David L. Seidel and Chris Rowell published a new paper

Title: The future is meritocratic: Platform ecosystem strategies in a time of distributed trust

Conference and award: Best Paper for the Organization Theory Division at the 2018 Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC) Conference

Technological developments over the last two decades have seen the loci of production and innovation extending beyond organizational boundaries, and catalyzing the rise of increasingly distributed platform ecosystems. The next phase in this evolution is being enabled by distributed trust technologies such as blockchain, which can enable the full disintermediation and distribution of platform interactions. This is posing an existential threat to organizations, for which extant conceptions of platforms are ill equipped to comprehend. This paper develops a conceptualization of organizational survival in platform ecosystems as a function of power, compares different platform ecosystem configurations in terms of how power is enacted by participants, and draws implications for how organizations can survive in the emerging world of distributed platform ecosystems.

Professor Victoria Lemieux's work over the last month included:

Conference Papers:
  •  “Distributed and networked archives: ownership, use and trust,” Conference on Memory, Identity and Trust, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, April 25-27, 2018
  • “Making the Transition to Blockchain Government Recordkeeping: Why, When, What and How” From Parchment to Digit Conference on e-Government, Kazan, Russia, April 18-20, 2018.
  • Darra Hofman, Danielle Batista, Alysha Joo and Victoria L. Lemieux, “Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers as Trusted Recordkeeping Systems: An Archival Theoretic Evaluation Framework,” UBC Cybersecurity Summit, Vancouver, BC, May 11, 2018
  • Danielle Batista and Victoria L. Lemieux, “A Million Ways to DAO: Identifying and Preventing Smart Contract Security Risks,” UBC Cybersecurity Summit, Vancouver, BC, May 11, 2018
Invited Talks:
  • “Beyond Bitcoin: Seizing the Potential of Blockchain,” BC Tech Summit, Vancouver, BC, May 15th , 2018.
  • “The Application of Blockchain Technology in Health Data Management,” Health Practice Leadership Summit, Frankfurt Germany, April 25th , 2018.
  • “Data-fication, Distribution and the Future of Archival Science in the Age of Homo Deus,” at University of California at Los Angeles. April 12th and The National Archives of the United Kingdom, Big Ideas Talk Series, London on April 24th , 2018.
Media Coverage:
Other News
IMF Magazine "Finance & Development" - June Edition, "Money, Transformed: The future of Currency in a Digital World"

Blockchain@UBC was contacted by Rahim Kanani, the digital editor of the magazine. He recommended some interesting articles in the newest edition:

The Long and Short of the Digital Revolution
Smart policies can alleviate the short-term pain of technical disruption
Martin Mühleisen

Going Cashless
The governor of the world’s oldest central bank discusses his country’s shift toward digital money
Stefan Ingves

Monetary Policy in the Digital Age
Crypto assets may one day reduce demand for central bank money
Dong He

A Regulatory Approach to Fintech
We must guard against emerging risks without stifling innovation
Christine Lagarde

What Are Cryptocurrencies?
A potential new form of money offers benefits while posing risks
Antoine Bouveret and Vikram Haksar

Lucre’s Allure
Throughout time, new currency has been associated with mystical qualities, and Bitcoin is no exception
Harold James

A Short History of Crypto Euphoria
An eminent economist’s taxonomy of bubbles is applied to the latest financial fad
Andreas Adriano


Blockchain Research Lab

With the generous support of the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS), Blockchain Research Lab is located in Room 188 of the ICICS building. 

UBC Vancouver 

Our main office is located in the Forest Sciences Centre Building, FSC 3641 – 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver. If you are in and around FSC, please do drop by on Tuesdays and Thursdays to say hello (although drop Sean an email just to check that he’ll be in office). 

UBC Okanagan

Assistant Professor Chen Feng, our UBC Okanagan co-cluster lead, is located in office EME 4285, in the School of Engineering - 1137 Alumni Ave, Kelowna, BC. He can be contacted by telephone (Tel: 250-807-8286) or email ( He is hosting a computer node for

Online Channels

Our Slack workspace is an open community for anyone to join. Please feel free to share this open invitation to Join our Community. 

Follow our Twitter channel here:

Our mailing address is:
Forest Sciences Centre Building
FSC 3641 – 2424 Main Mall
Vancouver BC Canada V6T 1Z4

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Blockchain@UBC · 2424 Mainmall, UBC · Vancouver, BC V7M 0A1 · Canada

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