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Professor Aggelos Kiayias joins IOHK as Chief Scientist

October 21, 2016
7 min read

Professor Aggelos Kiayias joins IOHK as Chief Scientist

We are delighted to announce that Professor Aggelos Kiayias, professor in cryptography at the University of Edinburgh, has joined IOHK as Chief Scientist.

Prof Kiayias is the pre-eminent academic in the field of blockchain security. He has produced pioneering work providing the rigorous analysis necessary to secure confidence in this emerging technology.

Blockchain technology has the potential to significantly reshape the future of finance, and Prof Kiayias is the leading researcher promoting and studying the science behind blockchain systems. In one project, Prof Kiayias led a team in Athens last year that designed the first e-voting system, where voters could verify that votes cast actually went to the intended candidate, without relying on a trusted system component.

Prof Kiayias produced a key paper proving fundamental properties of bitcoin blockchain and played a lead role in writing IOHK’s paper on the first provably secure Proof-of-Stake protocol, published in the IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive and available in the IOHK research library.

Prof Kiayias said that IOHK’s rigorous standards made it stand out among cryptocurrency companies.

“I am very happy to engage with a team of very enthusiastic researchers in the area of blockchain systems,” he said.

“While other companies may consider taking shortcuts or focus on just engineering their products, IOHK makes long-term commitments in building basic tools that are available to the community as a whole and in advancing the science behind blockchain systems.”

Charles Hoskinson, chief executive and co-founder of IOHK, said: “Professor Kiayas is one of the most rigorous and creative cryptographers working in the cryptocurrency space, with a long pedigree of accomplishments from the GKL15 model to the first provably secure Proof-of-Stake algorithm.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have Aggelos on board as our Chief Scientist to help IOHK navigate the complex, yet always sublime world of cryptography. We look forward to the results this collaboration will bring as well as the great papers that will undoubtedly follow.”

Biography of Professor Aggelos Kiayias

Prof Aggelos Kiayias is the Chair in Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests are in computer security, information security, applied cryptography and foundations of cryptography with a particular emphasis in blockchain technologies and distributed systems, e-voting and secure multiparty protocols as well as privacy and identity management. He joins IOHK as chief scientist through a long-term consulting agreement between IOHK and the University of Edinburgh, UK, where he is based and continues to do research and teach courses in cyber security and cryptography. Prof Kiayias is also Professor in Residence (gratis) at the University of Connecticut, USA, and Associate Professor of Cryptography and Security (on leave) at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.

Prof Kiayias’s cyber security research over the years has been funded by the Horizon 2020 programme (EU), the European Research Council (EU), the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (Greece), the National Science Foundation (USA), the Department of Homeland Security (USA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA). He has received an ERC Starting Grant, a Marie Curie fellowship, an NSF Career Award, and a Fulbright Fellowship. He holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York and he is a graduate of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Athens. He has more than 100 publications in journals and conference proceedings in the area.

He currently serves as the program chair of the Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2017 conference.

Charles Hoskinson

Chief Executive Officer

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