Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

NSF WATCH TALK- The Jekyll and Hyde of Smart Contracts

April 11th, 2017 / in Announcements, NSF, research horizons, Research News / by Helen Wright

The next WATCH talk, called The Jekyll and Hyde of Smart Contracts is Thursday, April 20th, from 12 – 1 PM ET.

The presenter is Ari Juels, a Professor of Computer Science at the Jacobs Institute at Cornell Tech in New York City. He is also Co-Director of the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (IC3). He was previously Chief Scientist at RSA, and received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1996.


Smart contracts are autonomous programs that run on and inherit the properties of blockchains. They may be viewed as emulating trusted third parties, in that they enforce fair play between parties without preexisting trust relationships. This capability promises to transform industries as diverse as supply chain management, finance, insurance, and digital rights management. Smart contracts promise comes with technical and social challenges, however. In this talk, I’ll outline the Five Grand Challenges identified by the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (IC3) as critical to blockchain deployment, and focus on two of them. I’ll explore the nascent risk of criminal smart contracts, which are smart contracts that solicit or offer the perpetration of a crime. I’ll also explore the challenge of delivering strongly authenticated data to smart contracts. I’ll introduce the soon-to-be-launched Town Crier authenticated-data or “oracle” service, and describe some applications that it will enable in existing smart contract systems in the near future.

The talk will be held in Room 110 at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA. No RSVP is necessary, and no visitor badges are required. It will also be webcast; you can register here.

NSF WATCH TALK- The Jekyll and Hyde of Smart Contracts

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