IAS Distinguished Lecture

State of Public and Private Blockchains: Myths and Reality

Renowned computer scientist Dr. C. Mohan delivered the distinguished lecture titled "State of Public and Private Blockchains: Myths and Reality" for the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 11 January 2019.

It has been a decade since the concept of blockchain was invented as the underlying technology of the public Bitcoin cryptocurrency network. In the lecture, Dr. Mohan, IBM Fellow at the IBM Almaden Research Center, USA and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, China, discussed myths associated with public and private blockchains and introduced practically the latest development of private blockchains, including the adoption of smart contracts in private blockchain systems.

Dr. Mohan discussed the use-case scenarios of Enterprise Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric and R3 Corda, to illustrate the private blockchain systems which have been deployed for production usage. He also surveyed the landscape of private blockchain systems with respect to their architectures in general and their approaches to some specific technical areas.

Dr. Mohan concluded that there are increasing confidence in capabilities of blockchain, it able to apply across many industries. He also discussed some of the innovation opportunities that exist and the challenges that need to be addressed. Since most of the blockchain efforts are still at the beginning, Dr. Mohan hopes that more mainstream database and distributed systems researchers and practitioners will get more deeply involved in this field.

Dr. Mohan's research interests cover all aspects of transaction, database and workflow management. He is currently working on Big Data, Blockchain and HTAP technologies. Dr. C. Mohan has been an IBM researcher for 37 years in the database and related areas. He is an inventor of 50 patents. He is the Fellow of IBM, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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