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March 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. 
Upcoming Events

Blockchain@UBC Monthly Research Talk

 


Tuesday, March 27, Noon-1pm: "Blockchain & Autonomous Networks" 
 
Our guest speaker will be Bruno Rodrigues, co-founderand professor of the MBA Public-Private Partnerships from London School of Economics. His current research interests include entrepreneurship, innovation, venture capital, regulation and autonomous networks. Bruno has published in journals such as the of Journal Applied Financial Economics, Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) Journal and in The Emerald Handbook of Public-Private Partnerships in Developing and Emerging Economies. Bruno has worked for six years structuring Concessions and Public-Private Partnerships at BNDES and since 2017 has worked at Venture Capital (VC) Division, representing BNDES an Investment Committee of VC Funds. BNDES is the biggest VC investor in Brazil. Bruno holds a M.Sc. in Public Administration from FGV/EBAPE (Brazil) and a B.A. in Business Administration from the same university. 
 
Bruno will discuss blockchain empowered networks. What are autonomous networks? What are their business models? How to calculate their valuation? What are the possible governance models for their coordination? and, what role can VCs play in this game? 
 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blockchain-and-the-autonomous-networks-blockchainubc-monthly-research-talks-speaker-bruno-rodrigues-tickets-43046118098
 
UBC Cybersecurity Summit
 
May 11, 2018, at UBC Robson, in downtown Vancouver. Local IT security and high-tech industry, along with local academics and their students, who conduct research in Cybersecurity, will be attending the summit. All UBC faculty and their graduate students, who conduct research in the broad area of Cybersecurity, are invited to participate and present posters on their work (one per project). The organizing committee also will invite authors of several posters to give a short, oral presentation on their work.


#BCTECH Summit

May 14-16, 2018, Vancouver Convention Centre
https://bctechsummit.ca/speakers/ (Vicki Lemieux will be presenting.) The #BCTECH Summit is the largest technology conference in Western Canada, showcasing B.C.’s vibrant tech and innovation sectors. Join thousands in exploring how technology is driving cross-industry growth and change, and how our companies are emerging as global leaders in today’s data economy. Hear from those pushing the boundaries of innovation and creating the jobs of the future. 

2nd Open Knowledge Learning Blockchain Summer Institute
& Blockathon - Save the Date!

Our 2nd, and expanded, Open Knowledge Learning Blockchain Summer Institute will take place at UBC Point Grey Campus this year from May 14-May 25, and will be followed by a 2-day Blockathon for Social Good to take place on May 26 and 27. Registration information will be available shortly. Mark your calendars and stay tuned.

2nd Workshop on Blockchain Technologies - Call for Proposals

27th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN), July 30 -August 2, 2018, Hangzhou, China, https://blogs.ubc.ca/icccnblockchain2018/.  
Chen Feng and Victoria Lemieux are co-Program Chairs.

 

Community Events

March 5th, BC Blockchain Community Review of BCSC Comments

https://www.picatic.com/bcsc-blockchain-community-review
A free event, intended as a working session to review and respond to BCSC request for comments. As a community, I have included the society logo to show us all working together.


March 13th, Security Tokens, Legal & Technical Bits
$10 per ticket
https://www.picatic.com/security-tokens-mar2018-vancouver


 
New Team Members
We are proud to announce some additions to the Blockchain@UBC Team. 
Dr. Ramon Lawrence 
An associate professor of computer science and Director of the Master of Data Science program at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. His research interests are database systems, embedded devices, and wireless sensor networks. The research has produced over 60 publications and $1.5 million dollars in research funding. Dr. Lawrence is an award-winning professor including winning the UBC award for teaching innovation in 2017. He is the founder of Unity Data Inc. (www.unityjdbc.com) that provides software for data integration from multiple sources and is a database consultant for enterprises, including Fortune 500 companies such as GE, requiring Big Data (and small data) solutions. Pioneering work on MongoDB produced software for SQL querying and integrating MongoDB with enterprise relational systems that are used by numerous companies world-wide including Apple, Bank of America, Barrick Gold, and the US Defense Department. Dr. Lawrence is a technical advisor and mentor to BlockCAT, a successful ICO company developing innovative smart contracts using blockchain technology. Dr. Lawrence is a member of the ACM and senior member of IEEE.

Jeremy Xu

Sauder School of Business student with a specialization in Business Technology Management has joined as a Research Assistant.

Jeremy is also currently on the executive team of Blockchain@UBC.Students group, overseeing marketing, operations, and content. 

 
Student Partners


 

Hey Everyone!

We hope you had a fantastic reading week. Thank you to everyone that came to our event two weeks ago, we had a turnout of over 60 people!


March 2nd: we have Alex Lebed coming to talk about the future of Stable Coins. He is going to summarize fundamental approaches to stable coins and even present his upcoming publication and discuss big issues in practical implementations! This talk will combine some interesting general ideas combined with quite technical solutions. The event will take place from 5-7 pm tomorrow at ICICS 288. Click here for more details!

March 7th: Decrypting Cryptos - BizTech, Blockchain at UBC.Students and UBC Finance Association are teaming up to help you better understand the global phenomenon that is virtual currency! More than ever before, the interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies is rising, and we see immense value in preparing you for a market that may never be the same. Click here for event details!

March 9th: We have our execs Joe Thomas, and James Key, giving a technical talk about how Proof of Stake works as a consensus protocol.​ Stay tuned for event details.

March 16th: Bob Summerwill, a community leader at Ethereum, will be coming to UBC to give a talk on Ethereum and Smart Contracts. Stay tuned for event details.

March 23rd: Our last speaking event of the year. Steve Thompson, a researcher for blockchain intelligence group, will be speaking about the NEO blockchain. Stay tuned for event details.

 
Stay posted on our Facebook page for further details. Looking forward to seeing everyone at our events!

Sincerely,
Blockchain@UBC.students
 

 

Research & Education

 

Our Co-Cluster Lead, Dr. Chen Feng has been appointed as a TPC member for BTA2018 (The 1st IEEE Workshop on Blockchain Technologies and Applications) https://sites.google.com/view/bta18/

Dr. Feng is also serving as co-organizer and evaluating committee member for Bsafe.Network Layer 2 Technology Competition http://bsafe.network/technology-competiton/leyer2competition/index.html

Dr Ivan Beschastnikh, has a new student blockchain project underway under his Distributed Systems Course: 
http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~bestchai/teaching/cs416_2017w2/project1/ With over 140 students, he is anticipating some visually.. arresting results :-)

Dr. Victoria Lemieux has published a new paper in the European Property Law Journal: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/eplj.2017.6.issue-3/eplj-2017-0019/eplj-2017-0019.xml?format=INT&rskey=mgPnxf&result=1

Dr. Victoria Lemieux and her international research team have released a case study of a pilot of Ubitquity's blockchain-based land transaction registration system in Pelotas, Brazil: https://blogs.ubc.ca/recordsinthechain/2018/01/26/real-estate-transaction-recording-in-the-blockchain-in-brazil/.

Press coverage of the project can be found here: 
https://coinjournal.net/ubitquity-featured-blockchainubc-real-estate-transaction-case-study/

and 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-property-blockchain/can-blockchain-save-the-amazon-in-corruption-mired-brazil-idUSKBN1FE113


Dr. Marc-David Seidel, a professor at Sauder School of Business, has published an article on GNP: Bitcoin and Blockchain: Distributed Trust as Disruption. This article has also been mentioned in Yale School of Management's website (Yale Insights). 

Darra Hofman's paper, co-authored with Alamir Novin, has been accepted by the HCI for Blockchain - A CHI 2018 workshop on Studying, Critiquing, Designing and Envisioning Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Dr. Victor Leung, has announced a new project titled "Engage Engage" - A Scalable Blockchain for Offline Payments over Bidirectional Channels" will be launched on 1 March 2018, in partnership with the local company (RightMesh) Left of the Dot Media, Inc. 

Synopsis of the project: 

This project provides the first opportunity for Prof. Victor Leung's research group at UBC to collaborate with RightMesh, a startup focusing on offering a novel wireless data service in heterogeneous mobile ad hoc networks. At RightMesh, scientists and engineers have created a new technology platform and protocols for connecting users in an ad hoc wireless mesh network, and in so doing, creating new connectivity options to billions of unconnected users around the world.

With RightMesh, the devices people already carry around every day form the infrastructure. The key principle is that the RightMesh network is self-forming, self-healing, and self-regulating. It runs on devices most of the world already uses and can easily afford. No additional hardware or infrastructure is required. A decentralized mobile mesh networking platform, powered by blockchain technology and tokenization, can put the power of connectivity back into the hands of the people.

The collaborative research leverages the experience of the UBC team on ad hoc networks, device-to-device communications, network security and blockchain technology in the development of a payment channel system to enable payment transactions in support of people sharing information or network resources over ad hoc networks.

The project is divided into two tasks: (1) bidirectional payment channel design for multiple parties, and (2) architecture design for offline payment with payment channel. This project enables an initial collaborative research engagement between RightMesh and UBC with the intention of developing a long-term partnership to advance Canadian technologies for blockchain and the micropayment of cryptocurrency, which will potentially attract substantial investments and provide many employment opportunities for highly skilled workers over the next decade.
 

Locations

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 (chen.feng@ubc.ca). He is hosting a computer node for BSafe.network.

Online Channels

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

Follow our Twitter channel here: https://twitter.com/blockchainubc
 

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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