Blockchain Research Lab And Think Tank Established By National University Of Singapore

Blockchain, Education, News | September 24, 2018 By:

The National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing has established an academic research laboratory and think tank to look into blockchain technology.

Founded in 1905 as a medical college, NUS is the largest university in Singapore in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered. Currently, NUS hosts 30 university-level research institutes and centers (RICs) in various fields such as research on Asia, risk management, logistics, engineering sciences, mathematical sciences, biomedical and life sciences, nanotechnology to marine studies. Its latest research focus is to use data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.

The new blockchain research lab, called CRYSTAL (Cryptocurrency Strategy, Techniques, and Algorithms) Center, has a goal of providing scientific clarity in shaping technical ideas in the blockchain and crypto space. The center was founded by NUS Computing faculty members and will be co-directed by Assistant Professor Prateek Saxena and Associate Professor Keith Carter, who are from the Department of Computer Science and Department of Information Systems and Analytics respectively.

The CRYSTAL Center’s research areas will include fundamentals of trading and analysis of cryptocurrencies, peer-to-peer (P2P) network designs and applications. The research will also extend to scalable consensus protocols, verification and testing techniques, privacy-preserving tools and safe programming language design.

According to NUS, CRYSTAL Center’s founding team has been responsible for several academically grounded spin-offs over the last two years in the blockchain ecosystem, including high throughput blockchain platform Zilliqa, on-chain liquidity protocol Kyber Network, enterprise blockchain company Anquan, and the scalability solution for smart contracts called TrueBit.

“The research vision for Zilliqa’s sharding and our new secure programming language, Scilla, were born in collaboration with the team behind this Center, said Dr Xinshu Dong, CEO of Zilliqa. “It is incredible that Zillqa is now in the position to contribute and collaborate with what will become one of the leading blockchain research centers in the world.”

NSU said the center will engage in productive interaction with the industry to draw up new research problems and propose solutions to them. It will also host a series of structured events to facilitate interaction with the wider community. An annual workshop with three tracks, including technical research, business and entrepreneurship, is under works.

“We at Kyber Network understand the importance of building secure blockchain systems that will eventually make great social and academic impact,” said Dr Loi Luu, CEO of Kyber Network. “There are still several key technical challenges for blockchain to achieve mainstream adoption, and the CRYSTAL Center is in one of the best positions to facilitate this.”