June 14, 2017 - Ian Miers

Building an Anonymous Bitcoin like Crypto-Currency

Location: Malone 228
Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


In this talk I detail the design and implementation of ZCash, the first completely anonymous crypto-currency, and associated work. Crypto-currencies, first introduced by Bitcoin, make use of an append-only ledger, termed a blockchain, that is maintained by an ad-hoc peer-to-peer network. With blockchains, unlike older approaches to digital cash, we need not trust any individual provider in order to trust the currency. Instead, we need only assume that a majority of the network’s computational power is honest. The downside to this approach, however, is that blockchains are completely public. Payments made with crypto-currencies can be analyzed and tracked by anyone, including businesses seeking information on their competitors or stalkers seeking personal data. This talk covers my work resolving these privacy issues.


Ian Miers is a Ph.D. student at Johns Hopkins University working on applied cryptography and privacy enhancing technologies advised by Prof. Matthew Green. His work includes anonymous crypto-currencies (Zerocoin and Zerocash), decentralized anonymous credentials, and secure messaging including attacks on Apple iMessage. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired, and The Economist, among others. He is a co-founders of ZCash, a company which has commercially deployed Zerocash.