by Wolfgang Prinz (Fraunhofer FIT)

The ERCIM blockchain Working Group [L1] organised a workshop in Amsterdam on 8-9 June in conjunction with the ERCIM spring meetings. The purpose of this workshop was to look at what the general excitement about blockchain technologies means for computer science research and to identify the major research challenges in this area.

Ten papers covering basic technologies, applications and methods have been selected for presentation. The papers are available in the EUSSET Digital Library [L2].

More than 40 participants from different research organisations and universities particicpated in the workshop. In discussions after the paper presentations and during a discussion session we have identified the following research questions:

Design, Privacy and Applications

  • How we can combine development frameworks with design thinking?
  • How can the (newly established) certification processes of the GDPR be used to implement compliant applications in the market?
  • How to protect privacy per se and without creating an overhead?
  • How to select application-specific parameters for platform selection and design?
  • How can we include social science & economist in the community to discuss trust?
  • How to build governance & busines models for Blockchain?

Technology and Development

  • What is a Reference Architecture for Blockchain?
  • How can we create a general framework for Blockchain development?
  • How do we manage multiple Blockchains and Cross Blockchain Applications?
  • What are Atomic operations across multiple blockchains?
  • How can we realize the desirable properties of blockchain in other settings?

Some of these aspects can also be found in the first research agenda on blockchain by the Dutch Blockchain Coalition that was presented to Rob van Gijzel, who is ambassador of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition by Prof. dr. J.C. van de Pol.

Prof. dr. J.C. van de Pol (left) presents the first research agenda on blockchain by the Dutch Blockchain Coalition to the coalitions’ ambassador Rob van Gijzel. Source: Roy Borghouts Fotografie.
Prof. dr. J.C. van de Pol (left) presents the first research agenda on blockchain by the Dutch Blockchain Coalition to the coalitions’ ambassador Rob van Gijzel. Source: Roy Borghouts Fotografie.

Research interests of the participating institutions
During the workshop we collected the research interest of the participating institutions. Please note that the following list can only provide a snapshot of the participates and can not reflect the full research spectrum of each organsitions.  

  • CWI: Immutability/Security Aspects of Blockchain;     Dezentralized Decision Making; Intelligent Agents.
  • Fraunhofer FIT: Methods of Use Case Analyse; Business relevance; Application development: Education, Energy, Automotive, IoT, Industrie 4.0, Media; Formal Modelling; Governance; Blockchain Patterns; Process Modelling/Additional Role of Intermediaries; Network Governance & Responsabilities; Incentives; Governance Design
  • IBM: Crazy Blockchain Ideas; Multichain Network; Interoperability of Blockchain; AI for Puzzles
  • INESTEC Portugal: Blockchain Appl. Supply Chain/ Smart Grid
  • Inria: Formal Verification, Smart Contract
  • TU Delft: Identity, Replace Passport: Delft Univ.; Reputation Systems, Valuable Use of Computing Power for PoW; Tribler; Hybrid Model of POW & BYZFT INESC; Game theory Aspects and transaction distribution
  • Theo Mensen/Maastricht: Blockchain 4 Education
  • Univ. Appl. Science Salzburg: Energy Provider; Tracking of Local Energy; Green Energy Certificates; ERP Systems Integration; Interest free mutial credit system
  • Univ. Göttingen: DAO for Social Network; Power to the users
  • Univ. of Luxemburg: Privacy of Blockchain=
  • Univ. Lyon: Green IT/Teaching Material for Blockchain;     Energy Consumption of Smart Contracts
  • Univ. Speyer: Legal/Data Protection
  • Univ. of Twente: Formal Veritification/Methods; Verification Smart Contracts.


Please contact:
Wolfgang Prinz, Fraunhofer-FIT
ERCIM blockchain Working Group chair
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Next issue: January 2023
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