An overview of Blockchain, the useful technology behind Bitcoin: history, architecture, and applications

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker:  Bill Hery, PhD (Tandon '67,'71,'74)

The original Blockchain was developed as a ledger system for Bitcoin. More generally, a blockchain is "a distributed, secure, fault tolerant, open, immutable, verifiable ledger.” What does all that mean? Why is a blockchain just what is needed for crypto currencies? Why is it potentially so useful well beyond crypto currencies? This talk will describe the architecture of blockchains, including variations from the original Bitcoin blockchain, and how it came from Bitcoin’s goals. Along the way, we will give a (nearly) math free explanation of public key cryptography which underlies all of this (along with your internet shopping). Follow-up course additional materials will be sent to all attendees after the lecture via email.

Bio: Bill Hery is a triple NYU Tandon alumnus in mathematics from the “Brooklyn Poly” days, when he was also on the math faculty for six years. He later had a career at Bell Labs in fault tolerant, parallel, and distributed processing. In the mid-1990s, he changed his focus at Bell Labs to network and computer security for government systems. After retiring from Bell Labs, he rejoined what is now NYU Tandon in the computer science department, again focusing on network and computer security.