Science and Technology Group

From Reform Club Science and Technology Group

September Meeting: Prof Paolo Tasca: Bitcoins and the Blockchain.

20th September

Dr Paolo Tasca, UCL-Centre for Blockchain Technologies

The Blockchain is a revolutionary idea. It's a method of recording ownership, and transfers of ownership. It is delocalized and therefore scalable: there is no single server through which all transactions must be processed. It is proven: Bitcoin has been operating for nearly ten years with continuous availability. It is secure: the public key encryption algorithms on which it depends have remained unbreakable since they were discovered in 1973.

The Internet, the origins of which date back to the seventies, has disrupted many industries. The Blockchain has the potential to be even more disruptive. All industries which deal with ownership, identification, transfer of title and authentication are likely to be affected.

The headline application of Blockchain so far is Bitcoin. However, more applications are in the pipeline, or already developed. Some countries are moving their central register of land ownership to a (non-central) Blockchain-based system. Voting in General Elections may one day be recorded on a Blockchain. Some prediction markets are already Blockchain based.

Dr Paolo Tasca is the Executive Director of the UCL-Centre for Blockchain Technologies. He is a FinTech economist specialising in P2P Financial Systems and Systemic Risk.

Dr Tasca is the co-author of the “FINTECH Book”, a crowd-sourced financial technology book that went on to become a best seller. He is also co-editor of “Banking Beyond Banks and Money”. He is a former senior research economist at Deutsche Bundesbank.

Dr Tasca is now advising different international organizations including the EU Parliament on blockchain technologies. He is a Research Fellow at CFS, Goethe University and a Research Associate at the Systemic Risk Centre of the LSE.

He holds an M.A in Politics and Economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Padua and a M.Sc. in Economics and Finance from Ca’ Foscari, Venice. He did his PhD studies in Business between Ca’ Foscari Venice and ETH, Zürich.

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2017 Programme

Dates for 2017 are as follows (all meeting are on Wednesdays, usually the 3rd one of each month):

Month Day of Month Speaker Title
February 15th Prof Martyn Thomas Cybersecurity
March 15th Prof Anil Seth Machine Consciousness
April 19th Prof Peter Wilson Anti-Microbial Resistance.
May 16th, Dr Giles Yeo Are your genes to blame if your jeans don't fit?
June 21st Prof Stephen Devereux CAR(T)s, BiTes, checkpoints and weaponised antibodies.
September 20th Dr Paolo Tasca Bitcoins and the Blockchain
October 18th Prof J A Madrigal Stem cell therapies.
November 22nd Dr Uday Phadke How to give Tech Businesses Scale

2018 Programme

Dates for 2018 are as follows (usually 3rd Wed of each month):

Month Day of Month Speaker Title
February 21st James Luke Artificial Intelligence
March 14th
April 25th
May 23rd
June 20th Dr Michael Radcliffe Allergies
September 11th
October 24th
November 28th