Speaker’s Name: Professor Peter Taylor

Speaker’s Institution: The University of Melbourne

Unlike cash transactions, most electronic transactions require the presence of a trusted authority to verify that the payer has sufficient funding to be able to make the transaction and to adjust the account balances of the payer and payee.

In recent years `BitCoin’ has been proposed as an `electronic quivalent of cash’. The general idea is that transactions are verified in a coded form in a `block chain’, which is maintained by the community of participants.

Problems can arise when the block chain splits: that is different participants have different versions of the block chain, something which can happen only when there are propagation delays, at least if all participants are behaving according to the protocol. In this talk I shall present a preliminary model for the splitting behaviour of the block chain I shall then go on to perform a similar analysis for a situation where a group of participants has adopted a recently-proposed strategy for gaining a greater advantage from BitCoin processing than its combined computer power should be able to control.

Seminar Convenors: Stelios Georgiou

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