Picture from left: Mateusz Tilewski, Lars Seier Christensen, Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, head of the new research center Jesper Buus Nielsen, Claudio Orlandi, head of computer science at Aarhus Universitet Kaj Grønbæk, president of Aarhus University Brian Bech Nielsen and Bas Spitters. Photo: Sofia Rasmussen)
On February 1st, we had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the Concordium Blockchain Research Centre at Aarhus University. The event was kicked off with speeches by Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen and Head of the University Brian Bech Nielsen. The center, led by Professor Jesper Buus Nielsen, will focus on solving some of the hardest problems in cryptography and blockchain design — problems we need to address in the coming years as the Concordium network grows.
The driving goal of the research center is to provide the basic research needed to build energy-efficient and scalable blockchain technology that is provably secure. Along the way, we expect a lot of discoveries in the blockchain space and related sciences that we cannot anticipate at the onset.
Researchers in the center will perform research in blockchain technology, foundational blockchain theory and cryptography. They will develop new protocols for efficient and secure consensus algorithms (such as proof-of-stake-based ones), sharding mechanisms, new cryptographic techniques supporting privacy-preserving identification, anonymous payments, better zero-knowledge techniques, and languages for smart contracts. Other research includes the formal verification of cryptographic protocols, foundational security models for the blockchain space, governance of blockchains and incentive design and analysis.
The center is funded by the Concordium Foundation, whose mission is to fund research in the blockchain space, and build a new foundational blockchain with focus on business and regulatory compliance. The center performs free, basic research in the theory and technology underlying blockchains. All research performed in the center is open source and patent free and will help build a solid foundation for the entire blockchain space.