CMU brings together experts from academia and industry during inaugural Secure Blockchain Summit

Ryan Noone

Jun 12, 2023

CMU's Secure Blockchain Summit poster

On May 8-9, the Carnegie Mellon CyLab Security and Privacy Institute hosted the University's first-ever Secure Blockchain Summit, bringing together experts from around the world to share their research and discuss the future of the technology and its applications.

The two-day event featured five sessions, including talks and panel discussions focused on topics such as cryptoeconomics, applied cryptography, programming languages, policy and regulation, ethics and equity, and more. 

Session I: Cryptoeconomics

The event began with a keynote talk from MIT's Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, Robert M. Townsend, who presented 'Innovative Financial Designs Using the New Technologies: Two Key Examples and More General Considerations.' Townsend's talk focused on the blueprints for designing financial systems using new technology tools in combination with economic theory.


The cryptoeconomics session also featured the following talks: 

  • 'Statistically Undetectable Selfish Mining'   (Video)
    Matt Weinberg - Assistant Professor, Princeton University 
  • 'Automated Exchange Economies'   (Video | Slides)
    Ariel Zetlin-Jones - Professor, CMU's Tepper School of Business
  • 'Rapidash: Foundations of Side-Contract Resilient Fair Exchange'   (VideoSlides)
    Hao Chung - Ph.D. Student, CMU's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
  • 'What Can Cryptography Do for Decentralized Mechanism Design?'   (VideoSlides)
    Ke Wu - Ph.D. Student, CMU's Computer Science Department
  • 'Do Flashbots Relays Mitigate Frontrunning Risk and MEV?'   (Video | Slides)
    Agostino Capponi - Associate Professor, Columbia University

Session II: Applied Cryptography

In session two, attendees had the opportunity to hear from Tal Rabin, the Rachleff Family Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania, as she presented 'SPRINT: Robust High Throughput Distributed Schnorr Signature.'


The applied cryptography session also featured the following talks: 

  • 'You Only Speak Once: Private Computing on Public Blockchains'   (Slides | Video)
    Hugo Krawczyk - Principal Researcher, Algorand Foundation
  • 'No Silver Bullet: A Brief Survey of Key Management Technology'
    Riad Wahby - Assistant Professor, CMU's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
  • 'Storing and Retrieving Secrets on a Blockchain'   (Video | Slides)
    Lisa Masserova - Graduate Research Assistant, CMU's Computer Science Department
  • 'Pitfalls & Opportunities in TEE-based smart contracts'
    Andrew Miller - Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • 'Piano: Extremely Simple, Single-Server pir with Sublinear Server Computation'   (Video)
    Mingxun Zhou - Ph.D. Student, Computer Science Department

Session III: Programming Language

Jan Hoffmann, Associate Professor in CMU's Computer Science Department, presented 'Automatic Gas Bound Analysis for Smart Contracts,' describing new techniques for statically and automatically bounding the resource consumption of programs.


The programming language session also featured the following talks: 

  • 'CirC: Compiler Infrastructure for Proof Systems, Software Verification, and More'
    Fraser Brown - Assistant Professor, CMU's Software and Societal Systems Department
  • 'Satisfiability Modulo Finite Fields'   (Video | Slides)
    Alex Ozdemir - Ph.D. Student, Stanford University
  • 'Enforcing Integrity and Availability in a Deconstructed Blockchain'   (Video)
    Andrew Myers - Professor, Cornell University
  • 'Obsidian: A Safe, Usable Language for Smart Contracts'   (Video)
    Jonathan Aldrich - Professor, CMU's Computer Science Department
  • 'Verifying Smart Contracts Using the Certora Prover'   (Video)
    Chandrakana Nandi - Research Scientist, Certora
  • 'The Blockchain Imitation Game'
    Ben Livshits - Reader, Imperial College London

Session IV: Policy Panel

Moderator: Ariel Zetlin-Jones

  • Leemon Baird - Co-Founder, Hedera Hashgraph
  • Michael Madison - Professor, University of Pittsburgh
  • Giovanna Massarotto - Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania


Session V: Ethics and Equity Panel

Moderator: Nicolas Christin

  • Tae Wan Kim - Associate Professor, CMU's Tepper School of Business
  • Martin Saint - Director of Academics, CMU-Africa
  • Kyle Soska - Head of Research, Ramiel Capital


Lightning Talks

The event also included lightning talks where experts briefly explained their research, as well as projects and programs.

  • 'Raft-Forensics: CFT Distributed Consensus with Accountability of Byzantine Faults   (VideoSlides)
    Giulia Fanti - Assistant Professor, CMU's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
  • 'Analysis and Optimization of Resilience in Blockchain Peer-to-Peer Networks'
    Osman Yagan - Research Professor, CMU's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
  • 'Introducing Hands-on Blockchain CTF Exercises in Security Classes: Highlights and Challenges
    Hanan Hibshi - Assistant Teaching Professor, CMU's Information Networking Institute
  • 'Modeling Barriers to Self-Custody for Cryptocurrency Novices' (Video | Slides)
    Sauvik Das - Assistant Professor, CMU's Human-Computer Interaction Institute
  • 'Privacy in Decentralized Exchanges with Automated Market Maker'
    Zhangxiang Hu - Cryptographer, Ripple
  • 'Ledger: The World's First Peer Reviewed Journal for Blockchain Research' (VideoSlides)
    Chris Wilmer - Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh
  • 'Mechanism Design Under the Proof of Stake Protocol' (VideoSlides)
    Wenpin Tang - Assistant Professor, Columbia University


CMU's Inaugural Secure Blockchain Summit was made possible by CyLab's sponsors, the Algorand Foundation and Ripple.

Algorand Foundation and Ripple logos

*CyLab partners can access additional videos and slides by visiting our partners' portal

Interested in becoming a CyLab partner? Reach out to Michael Lisanti, Director of Partnerships, at or 412.268.1870.