New industrial doctorate available about micropayments and blockchain

Cryptographically secure, on-chain pseudorandom number generation (PRNG)

EIT Digital offers an industrial PhD programme in partnership with E-Group and ELTE University on micropayment and blockchain technology. The application period is short, so apply as soon as you can.

Securely generating pseudorandom numbers on a blockchain is a challenging open problem. Since the Ethereum Virtual Machine is a deterministic turing-complete machine, it is extremely difficult to obtain pseudorandomness in this execution environment.

Challenge

The PhD research aims to examine and evaluate existing on-chain PRNGs as well as design and propose new secure on-chain PRNG protocols. Currently only workarounds, off-chain solutions and insecure on-chain solutions exist. These makeshifts do not suffice for applications like probabilistic payment channels, consensus algorithms, like proof-of-stake and gambling.

Approach

After an initial research the chosen or proposed protocol will be implemented as a smart contract for the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Later to present the practicability of the protocol, also the off-chain accompanying components will be developed to demonstrate the feasibility of cryptographically secure on-chain pseudorandom number generation.

Expected outcome

The research will enable the industrial partner E-Group to reinforce their position in the e-commerce field by deploying micropayments based on the to-be-developed (researched and designed) probabilistic payment channels. Micropayments can reduce costs, provide security, confidentiality and are convenient. This alternative payment option is going to revolutionize the way we purchase products and services from energy sector, digital media, gambling etc.

The topic of the PhD is directly connected to E-Group's planned blockchain activities, and can be an extension of E-Group's existing Abaqoos payment service product. During the course of the PhD programme the results of the research will be channelled back to the industry, thus providing constant feedback on their practical applicability of the research results.

Location

The doctoral student involved in this industrial doctorate programme, will share his or her time between the EIT Digital Doctoral Training Centre in Budapest, the premises of E-Group ICT Software Zrt., and ELTE.

Facts

  • Industrial partner: E-Group ICT Software Zrt.
  • Academic/research partner: ELTE
  • Number of available PhD positions: 1
  • Duration: 4 years
  • This PhD will be funded by EIT Digital, ELTE, and E-Group.

Apply

If you are interested in applying for this position, please send an e-mail to the EIT Digital Budapest DTC lead zoltan.istenes@eitdigital.eu, including a CV, a motivation letter, and documents showing your academic track records.

Please apply before 24 August 2018, 12.00 CET.

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