Fireside Chat: Dan Boneh

David Schw-arrrtz and Dan Boneh

One thing I enjoy about Ripple is the open and inquisitive culture we work hard to maintain while still building a business.  I personally love when academia and industry talk on a regular basis. And that happens frequently at Ripple, given our University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI). As a business you get to step back and see problems from a new perspective and as an academic you get to see where real-world problems exist and can take that back to focus your work. Last week, Ripple had a very well-regarded guest come in and give a Q&A with the team and with our CTO, David Schwartz (in case it’s not obvious, this was on Halloween).  Dan Boneh is one of the leading thought leaders and researchers in cryptography and has spent a lot of time thinking about blockchain and its uses. He’s also on the advisory board for Libra so he definitely understands real world problems and blockchain for payments!

A few of the things discussed were:

  • The course he teaches on blockchain at Stanford since 2015
  • His work in on-chain governance
  • zk-SNARKS (zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge)

    And his great example of how to explain ZKP “Suppose you want to prove to me you have solved a Sudoku puzzle without revealing the solution.  So I can be 100% convinced you solved it, without knowing the solution”
  • Short quantum resistant cryptography and the rise of quantum computing which he believes will be a problem in <30years (back of the envelope Moore’s Law)
  • Non Interactive Key Exchange

We try to do these types of talks with leaders in the space as often as we can and our fearless pirate CTO loves these discussions.  Unfortunately this was an internal only talk and I can’t make the content public.  But, you could always come work here! :)

A few of his past students already do.

Leilani Reyes and Min Wan with Dan Boneh, center
Pirate Schwartz and Dan Boneh getting into the discussion