Data Science on Blockchains (20w2246)


Cuneyt Akcora (University of Manitoba)

Matthew Dixon (Illinios Institute of Technology)

Kantarcioglu Murat (UT Dallas)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Data Science on Blockchains" workshop in Banff from March 13, 2020 to March 15, 2020.

This decade has been marked with the rise of Blockchain based technologies. On a blockchain, two unacquainted parties can create an unmodifiable transaction that is permanently recorded on the ledger to be seen by the public. The first application of Blockchain has been the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s success has ushered an age known as the Blockchain 1.0; currently there are more than 1000 Blockchain based cryptocurrencies, known as alt-coins.

With the arrival of Ethereum and Nem in 2015, the age of Blockchain 2.0 has been underway. Although Ethereum uses a currency of its own (i.e., the Ether) as in Bitcoin, its distinguishing mark is the smart-contracts feature that allows unmodifiable, unstoppable code execution on the blockchain. Termed as the “World Computer”, Ethereum is a platform to create software based public smart-contracts and execute them in a Turing Complete way. The smart-contract functionality has been a popular feature in other platforms such as Nem and Waves. Adoption of Ethereum and other Blockchain platforms for societal use is termed as the upcoming age of Blockchain 3.0. Researchers imagine the diffusion of Blockchain’s decentralized and authority-less mechanisms to create consensus in diverse aspects of the modern life. As legendary venture capitalist Marc Andreessen states “the consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate”. Some observers compare the inception of Blockchains to the invention of double entry accounting that revolutionized the business world.

The emerging Blockchain based applications include voting (FollowMyVote, Social Krona), identity services (Bitnation,Hypr), provenance (Everledger, Chronicled) and copyright management (LBRY, Blockphase). Although it is hard to predict the future of impact of Blockchain, it is safe to say that it will enable many novel broader societal applications.

With this workshop, we aim to bring together researchers who work on data from this diverse ecology. From price prediction to ransomware detection, our topics are deeply intertwined in the daily lives of our modern society.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).