10 Questions: One-on-One with Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu
The DLT space has one of the best set of paradoxes. The technologies solve many problems, yet most people haven’t adopted them yet. E-Crypto news reached out to Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu.
Dr. Kantarcioglu is a Professor of Computer Science, The University of Texas at Dallas. He is also a cybersecurity expert and a visiting scholar, Harvard University. Here is what he had to say.
Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, professor of computer science, The University of Texas at Dallas
1. Apart from Blockchain Technology, what other Decentralized Ledger Technologies (DLTs) are gaining popularity at the moment?
From my vantage point, private blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric are becoming more popular, especially for enterprise deployments.
2. In your opinion do you think that enterprise blockchain systems will rule?
There will be many enterprise blockchains, especially for supply chain and digital asset management, but still, public blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin will continue to be used. I think we’ll have both. In our research group, we focus on “hybrid blockchain” solutions where you combine enterprise blockchains for data security and efficiency, and public blockchains for automatic payments and accountability. For example, see the following paper for more details.
3. What other means could be used for record confirmation apart from Proof of Work and Proof of Stake?
Clearly, for private blockchains, we do not need the proof-of-X type of solutions. Although there are many alternative Proof-of-X solutions (e.g., Proof-of-Burn), I do not think they are tested enough to be serious alternatives yet.
4. How can governments work with the new decentralized space?
I believe they should enact clear regulatory schemes for cryptocurrency and crypto-token ecosystem.
5. A la carte Google’s recent supercomputing breakthrough. Do you think that Supercomputers will be able to break blockchains?
The reason people are scared is that theoretically, these computers can be used to break cryptography used for blockchain. Before they can really break the cryptography, I believe blockchains will come up with post-quantum crypto tools that are resistant to quantum computers. By the time Google’s technology really works, I believe that, we’ll have alternatives it cannot break.
6. In your opinion, what do you think is the single largest threat to the blockchain space?
At this point blockchain has been overhyped, creating unrealistic expectations. People may become disillusioned, so they may abandon it.
7. What are your views on the creation of Central Bank Issued Digital Currencies (CBDCs)?
If a central bank issues digital currencies, and they’re controlling it, I don’t see it being too much different than regular currency. Still, if the public is given access to transaction logs, it may make the currency market more convenient and transparent.
8. Do you think that decentralized ledger technologies (DLT’s) will replace legacy systems?
In some cases where centralized trust is problematic, it will replace legacy systems. For others where centralized trust assumptions are acceptable, blockchain would be too costly.
9. Are we seeing a shift from first-generation blockchains to second-generation ones?
Of course, there’s an evolution happening. I think we’ll be seeing more second-generation private blockchains for enterprise solutions. However, some public blockchains such as Bitcoin, (though some improvements happened) still are very similar to the original version.
10. What does the future hold for the blockchain space?
I think we will see many false starts and failures but eventually blockchain will have an impact on the cryptocurrency aspect and enterprise applications. But before we reach that we’ll have many failures.
11. If you had three wishes for the blockchain space and Genie that could make them come true what would they be?
1. Efficient and easily usable consensus mechanisms for public blockchains.
2. Easy to use solutions for end-users who are not blockchain experts.
3. Much better data analytics solutions that can easily analyze the generated blockchain data for deep insights.