Aarhus Universitets segl

Millions for new blockchain center to explore Web 3.0

The Cryptography and Security Group of Aarhus University has received DKK 8 million from the Carlsberg Foundation as part of the Center for Blockchains and Electronic Markets (BCM).

From left: Ass. Prof. Claudio Orlandi, Prof. Ivan Damgård and Prof. Jesper Buus Nielsen. Foto: Jan Frederiksen, AU

The BCM center, under the leadership of Professor Jens Leth Hougaard (University of Copenhagen), will explore the new Web 3.0 infrastructure and study design of secure and economically sound markets that ensure efficiency and fairness in a new decentralized economy. To achieve this goal, the center will use an interdisciplinary approach and combine the expertise in market design from University of Copenhagen with the expertise in cryptography of Ivan Damgård, Jesper Buus Nielsen, and Claudio Orlandi from Aarhus University.

There is an ongoing development of a new type of Internet, sometimes referred to as Web 3.0, in which various devices trade and set up contracts with each other in a decentralized environment. The infrastructure of the Internet is facing a complete redesign where advanced cryptography is used to verify information, interactions, and transactions without a third party such as a governmental agency, bank, or broker. This is not just a more secure infrastructure, but an economic infrastructure that may change the way that we make decisions and organize the economy in terms of money, banking, ownership, data sharing, and digital interaction. As such, the new Internet sets a new standard for market design and challenges governments, existing trustees, and corporations across all industries, inherently linking computer science and economics at multiple layers.

Although the development is moving fast, the technology is still in its infancy and there remain significant limitations to overcome in order to unleash its full potential. Establishing the Center for Blockchains and Electronic Markets (BCM) enables the project team to advance our scientific understanding of how to design the digital markets of the future.

With a unique mix of leading experts in cryptography and market design, BCM will explore the new technological infrastructure and study the design of secure and economically sound markets that ensure efficiency and stability in a new decentralized economy.

In general terms, BCM will study the interaction between three fundamental building blocks of the blockchain technology:

  1. The distributed ledger and the protocols that make it operational in practice;
  2. Smart, self-executing contracts and decentralized applications;
  3. Privacy measures to allow access to and computation on private data.

In this way, the BCM will focus on the adaptation of blockchains to efficient markets with privately informed participants.

Read the announcement from the Carlsberg Foundation.