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Chairholder Profile

Jeremy Clark

Jeremy Clark

Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE)
Concordia University

Chair Title

NSERC/RCGT/Catallaxy Industrial Research Chair in Blockchain Technologies

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs program

Role

Associate Chairholder since 2019

Summary

Blockchains and distributed ledger technologies are being rigorously explored by researchers, government agencies, start-ups and Fortune 500 companies (mostly in STEM and finance). Blockchain technology provides a type of distributed database, generally for low-bandwidth and low-throughput data but with extremely high integrity properties. A blockchain is generally open to anyone who wants to participate, is robust against a wide range of faulty and malicious behaviours, and runs across the open Internet without anyone in charge. When participants look at their local copy of the ledger, they are assured that :

  • everyone has the exact same records;
  • each record was validated by the majority of participants before it was written into the ledger.

Blockchains can be used for more than passive storage of data; rules can be written to be executed by the network with the same level of validation and robustness. Blockchains have a long intellectual history, but the modern form was introduced as the mechanism driving Bitcoin, the first successful digital currency (the market value of all Bitcoins is more than $100 billion USD). There is uncertainty around the future of blockchain technology because of uncertainty about how the underlying technology will work. The purpose of this Industrial Research Chair is to understand what is possible with this technology.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT) is a Canadian leader in assurance, tax, consulting, and recovery and reorganization services. Catallaxy is RCGT’s Montreal-based blockchain expertise centre. The Associate Chairholder, Dr. Jeremy Clark, is an Associate Professor at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE). He co-wrote one of the earliest academic papers on Bitcoin, contributed the foreword to the first cryptocurrency textbook and has given the first course in Canada on the subject. His co-authored research survey was published at a top security venue and has the most citations of any security paper in 2013. In the area of blockchain technology, he has published numerous articles, chaired and served on many committees and has engaged with industry, standards committees and government (including testifying to committees of the Canadian House of Commons and Senate).

The Associate Chairholder will provide RCGT/Catallaxy with a thorough design landscape for this technology for a few chosen use cases. To best appreciate the subtleties of the technology, the key activity will be the implementation of proof-of-concept mechanisms. The Associate Chair will work closely with RCGT/Catallaxy to ensure that the experimentation is useful and not merely academic. The projects fall under three themes:

  1. new financial technologies beyond digital cash, including corporate lending, currencies with stable exchange rates and derivatives;
  2. auditing tools for firms holding blockchain-based assets and conducting blockchain-based transactions;
  3. verifiable election systems for governmental or shareholder elections.

This Industrial Research Chair assists a Quebec-based firm establish a competitive edge and enables its largely Canadian clients to comply with Canadian regulations. The Associate Chairholder will transfer the work to government agencies to advance regulations and standards, which can enhance legitimacy and foster innovation.

Contact Information

Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE)
Concordia University

Email: j.clark@concordia.ca

Website:
This link will take you to another Web site https://users.encs.concordia.ca/~clark/