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Blockchains and the Future of Distributed Computing

Maurice Herlihy

Recorded 18 December 2017 in Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland

Event: IC Colloquia - EPFL IC School Colloquia

Abstract

There has been a recent explosion of interest in blockchain-based distributed ledger systems such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many others. Much of this work originated outside the distributed computing community, but the questions raised, such as consensus, replication, fault-tolerance, privacy, and security, and so on, are all issues familiar to our community. This talk surveys the theory and practice of blockchain-based distributed systems from the point of view of classical distributed computing, along with reckless speculation about promising future research directions for our community.

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