Clark School Home UMD
ECE

ECE News Story

Papamanthou Awarded Grant to Study Security in Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies

Papamanthou Awarded Grant to Study Security in Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies

Charalampos (Babis) Papamanthou, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering with an appointment in UMIACS, has been awarded a $50,000 grant to explore connections and applications of authenticated data structures and verifiable computing involving blockchains and crypto currencies.

Authenticated data structures are data structures that provide cryptographic proofs of their correctness. They are already being used in popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to assist computationally-light nodes in participating in the protocol, without having to store an order-of-GB large validation state, which is necessary to detect double spending.

The grant is from Ergo Platform through the Blockchain Institute, an international research and development center that supports the production and implementation of blockchain-based solutions.

“It’s great to see authenticated data structures—a field I’ve been studying for a long time—having real-world applications and being deployed at a massive scale,” says Papamanthou, who is also member of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2). “Blockchains and cryptocurrencies offer great opportunities to test their scalability, and also provide inspiration for new and more flexible designs.”

For example, he says, after talking to cryptocurrency research scientists and developers at Real World Crypto in January 2018, Papamanthou’s team—in collaboration with Ergo Platform—began designing new distributed algebraic authenticated data structures to erase validation states from cryptocurrency nodes altogether, a notion put forward by the cryptocurrency community as "stateless clients."

Other directions that the team plans to pursue include extending a recently-developed proof system to provide a more flexible and practical approach for privacy-preserving smart contracts. This work will be presented at the 39th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy at the end of May in San Francisco.

Related Articles:
Yupeng Zhang to join Texas A&M faculty    
MC2 Graduate Student Advised by Papamanthou Awarded Symantec Fellowship
MC2 Graduate Students Bring Passion, Innovation to the Field of Cybersecurity
Prof. Joseph JaJa Named Interim Chair of ECE Department
ECE Inducts Three New Distinguished Alumni
RC65 Honors Chellappa’s 65th Birthday and his Academic Contributions to Computer Vision Research
Quinn Receives Gemstone Mentor of the Year 
Alumnus Ravi Tandon Receives 2018 Keysight Early Career Professor Award 
Brendan Sheehy Receives Winston Family Honors Writing Award from UMD’s Honors College
Symbiont Health, Co-founded by ECE Major Erich Meissner Wins Pitch Dingman Competition & Do Good Challenge

May 15, 2018


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Prof. Joseph JaJa Named Interim Chair of ECE Department

Prof. Sang Bok Lee appointed director of Maryland NanoCenter

ECE Inducts Three New Distinguished Alumni

RC65 Honors Chellappa’s 65th Birthday and his Academic Contributions to Computer Vision Research

Ephremides leads new NSF Age of Information project

Barg is principal investigator for new NSF information recovery award

Simon, Abshire, Elhilali give invited talks

Study validates face recognition experts, but shows humans perform best with an AI partner

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts