IEEE Blockchain Groups - Americas Virtual Event

IEEE Americas Blockchain Seminar




Virtual Event • 21 October 2021 at 1pm-6pm ET

1:00-1:05 Intro
Ramesh Ramadoss, PhD, Co-chair, IEEE Blockchain Initiative
Christine Fahey, Region Lead, IEEE Americas Blockchain Groups

1:05-1:30 W. Scott Stornetta, PhD, Yugen Partners, “Blockchain the Long View”

Session 1
Session Chair: Christine Fahey, Regional Lead, IEEE Americas Blockchain Groups
1:30-1:45 Fabrice Benhamouda, PhD, The Algorand Foundation, “The Algorand Blockchain: From a New Consensus Protocol to Powerful Distributed Applications”
1:45-2:00 Marcos Allende Lopez, LACChain, “LACChain, a Framework and an Infrastructure of the Latin American and the Caribbean”
2:00-2:15 Flavio Almeida, Streetwire, “The Power of Standardization in Real Estate with the Blockchain Platform Corda”
2:15-2:30 Bernhard Elsner, PhD, DAML/Digital Asset, “A Platform for Composable, Interconnected Business”
2:30-2:45 Omar Syed, Shardus, “Building a Sharded Distributed Ledger”
2:45-3:00 Jonmichael Hands, Chia Project, "The Chia Project: A Better Blockchain and Smart Transaction Platform”
3:00-3:10 Q&A

Session 2
Session Chair: Gora Datta, Co-chair, IEEE Blockchain Conferences/Events
3:10-3:25 Tim Mackey, PhD, UC San Diego, “A Framework for Assessing Blockchain Applications in Healthcare”
3:25-3:40 Sam Smith, PhD, KERI, “A Trust Spanning Layer for the Internet: Open KERI Protocol with Verifiable Data Structures”
3:40-3:55 John deVadoss, Global Blockchain Business Council, “A First Look at Blockchain Interoperability”
3:55-4:10 Suzana Maranhão Moreno, BNDES, “Brazilian Blockchain Network”
4:10-4:25 Chris Gorog, BlockFrame, “Distributed Ledger Technology for Privacy and Security”
4:25-4:40 Quinn DuPont, PhD, University College Dublin, “Blockchain and EdTech”
4:40-4:50 Q&A

Session 3
Session Chair: Remy Lyon, Chair, IEEE Coastal LA Blockchain Group
4:50-5:50 Web 3.0 Panel
Moderator: Yorke Rhodes III, Microsoft

Closing Remarks
5:50-5:55 Ramesh Ramadoss, PhD, Co-chair, IEEE Blockchain Initiative



W. Scott Stornetta, Ph.D.W. Scott Stornetta, Ph.D.

Dr. W. Scott Stornetta is considered by many to be the co-inventor of the Blockchain. He and co-author Dr. Stuart A. Haber introduced the concept of distributed ledgers in their 1991 paper “How to Time-Stamp a Digital Document.” for which they received the 1992 Discover Award for Computer Software. This paper, one of the most cited papers in cryptography, and their other pioneering series of papers and patents written while working as researchers at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) and later Surety Technologies, helped lay the foundation for Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Of Satoshi Nakamoto’s eight citations in his original Bitcoin white paper, three reference their work.

Together Haber and Stornetta co-founded Surety Technologies, a Bellcore spinoff.  In 1995, Surety’s offering constituted the first commercial deployment of a blockchain and is currently the longest running blockchain. Stornetta subsequently returned to Bellcore, where he served as Assistant General Manager of the 125-person Mathematical and Computer Sciences Laboratory.

Dr. Stornetta consulted for many years, evaluating the commercial potential of emerging technologies on behalf of universities, commercial research labs, and venture capital interests. He  is currently a partner at Yugen Partners, a blockchain and AI-focused venture capital firm, and serves on various boards. He also consults for governments on blockchain policy, is a frequent lecturer at universities, and serves as a fellow at the Creative Destruction Lab associated with the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto.

Dr. Stornetta received his Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, after attending MIT, Harvard, and Brigham Young University.

Abstract: Blockchain the Long View
By grounding the block in its historical perspective, we can gain additional insight into current and emerging trends in this exciting space. We will build, live, an actual version of the early blockchain and draw on that experience to bring additional insights to issues including central bank digital currencies, NFTs, and the future of bitcoin and self-sovereign identity.


Fabrice Benhamouda, Ph.D.Fabrice Benhamouda, Ph.D.

Fabrice Benhamouda is a Research Fellow at the Algorand Foundation where he conducts research in cryptography and blockchains, and serves as the technical focal point for the Foundation and as an advisor to Algorand developers.

Prior to joining Algorand Foundation, Fabrice was a researcher at IBM Research. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France in 2016. He was awarded the “Prix de thèse Gilles Kahn 2017,” a French excellence award for Ph.D. theses in computer science, and an honorary mention at the ERCIM Cor Baayen Young Research Award 2017. He has received a best paper award at Eurocrypt 2018 and Eurocrypt 2021.

Abstract: The Algorand Blockchain: From a New Consensus Protocol to Powerful Distributed Applications
In this talk, we will introduce the consensus protocol at the core of the Algorand blockchain and show how it enables scalability, decentralization, security, and immediate finality. We will then demonstrate how Algorand specific features such as atomic transfers, Algorand Standard Assets, and smart contracts help develop advanced dApps without hindering the performance of the blockchain.


Marcos Allende LopezMarcos Allende Lopez

Marcos Allende is the Technical Leader and Coordinator of the LACChain Global Alliance. He coordinates the development of the infrastructure and the technical support to blockchain projects. He plays this role from the IT Department of the Inter-American Development Bank, as an IT Specialist. Marcos has published several articles and papers on blockchain and quantum technology and their potential for social impact.

Abstract: LACChain, a Framework and an Infrastructure of the Latin American and the Caribbean
LACChain is the Global Alliance for the development of the blockchain ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean, led by Inter-American Development Bank. It has developed a framework for permissioned public networks and enabled a regional infrastructure used by more that 60 entities and 50 projects today, including governments, academia, multilaterals, banks, private sector, and entrepreneurs.


Flavio H. AlmeidaFlavio H. Almeida

Flavio Humberto de Almeida is the Chief Technology Officer and IT Architect at Streetwire, responsible for defining the architecture and building the solutions that are targeting the future of the real estate market in connection with financial services.

Prior to StreetWire, he worked for Itaú Unibanco in Brazil and NY where for 3 years he was part of the Blockchain Center of Excellence and a Blockchain working group in the Federation of Banks in Brazil, being involved in several DLT projects in collaboration with other banks.

With over 10 years of experience in IT and banking systems, he created solutions for retail, capital Market and treasury departments and developed high performance systems to handle integrations and millions of transactions/messages per day.

Abstract: The Power of Standardization in Real Estate with the Blockchain Platform Corda
Data sharing in the real estate market is a common practice, usually the data is shared via file or web API, and in many cases, standards are used, and each copy of the data, independent in its trajectory from the original source.

In Corda, multi-party data sharing takes a whole new level.

This presentation aims to inspire not only the real estate sector, but also other sectors that have standards in place, to explore the benefits to use Corda, an open-source blockchain platform to build solutions that transform the way parties see, share, and interact with standardized data.


Bernhard Elsner, Ph.D.Bernhard Elsner, Ph.D.

Bernhard Elsner is Director of Product Management at Digital Asset. In this role, Bernhard is responsible for driving the product development and delivery of Digital Asset’s core technology, Daml, a platform for building multi-party applications. He has several years of experience designing and building programs that improve end-user and developer experiences. In his current role, Bernhard has a strong focus on refining the Daml product vision and design with a goal of bringing the power of smart contracts to ever more use cases.

Prior to joining Digital Asset in 2018, Bernard was a Pricing Actuary at Swiss Re, spending a lot of his time working on central underwriting and pricing systems as well as exploring ways to improve End-user development within the organization.

Bernhard holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Oxford with a specialization in Mathematical Logic.

Abstract: A Platform for Composable, Interconnected Business
Well-oiled processes are critical to success in an increasingly interconnected global economy‒yet the software systems underlying commerce are isolated, disconnected, and inefficient. As a result, interactions are anything but seamless: each party must constantly reconcile records, introducing risk and embedding unnecessary operating costs.

Meet Daml from Digital Asset. Daml is a platform for building multi-party applications. It eliminates data and process silos in favor of composable networks for seamlessly interconnected businesses. This session will deep dive into Daml, highlighting several key features and functions with a few examples of how companies are using Daml today.


Omar SyedOmar Syed

Over the past three decades Omar has been involved with helping large organizations such as NASA, Yahoo, and Zynga build scalable, fault tolerant, distributed systems for mission critical applications. Omar has also been involved with several startups including the first matrimonial website and the first stock sentiment analysis website. In early 2016 he started Unblocked Inc., a blockchain consultancy company. In 2017 he organized the Shardus project to build a linearly scalable blockchain. Omar holds a B.S. and M.S. from Case Western Reserve University with specialization in Artificial Intelligence. Omar along with his son Aamir invented the strategy board game Arimaa and offered the Arimaa Challenge Prize to promote break-through research in AI. Omar’s long term vision is a world where everyone receives a universal basic income based on a stable cryptocurrency.

Abstract: Building a Sharded Distributed Ledger
A key goal of many blockchains and distributed ledgers is to achieve high transaction throughput while also maintaining a high level of decentralization. Most current blockchains require every node to process every transaction, thus limiting the transaction throughput of the network to that of a single node. Sharding divides the nodes in the network into smaller groups called shards and allows for parallel transaction processing, achieving a speedup proportional to the number of shards. This presentation will discuss the challenges of building a sharded distributed ledger and how Shardus is working on achieving this goal.


Jonmichael HandsJonmichael Hands

Jonmichael Hands is currently serving as the VP of Storage Business Development at Chia. He partners with the storage vendors for Chia optimized product development, market modeling, and Chia blockchain integration. JM spent the last ten years at Intel in the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions group working on product line management, strategic planning, and technical marketing for the Intel data center SSDs. In addition, he served as the chair for NVM Express (NVMe), SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) SSD special interest group, and Open Compute Project for open storage hardware innovation. JM started his storage career at Sun Microsystems designing storage arrays (JBODs) and holds an electrical engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines.

Abstract: The Chia Project: A Better Blockchain and Smart Transaction Platform
Chia Network, Inc., is an energy-efficient decentralized blockchain founded by Bram Cohen, the inventor of peer to peer network protocol BitTorrent. Chia is an attempt to improve on Proof of Work-based blockchains with a new consensus algorithm we call Proof of Space and Time, leveraging underutilized storage capacity to secure the blockchain. There are two major breakthroughs and new mathematical primitives required for Chia to work, one in the proof of space construction and the other in Verifiable Delay Functions. We will explore a high-level overview of the Chia protocol and the economics and game theory of why storage is the perfect medium for blockchain security.


Timothy Mackey, Ph.D.Timothy Mackey, Ph.D.

Tim Ken Mackey is a Professor of Global Health at the University of California, San Diego, the Global Health Policy and Data Institute, and also the CEO and co-founder of the S-3 Research LLC. He holds a BA in Political Science-International Relations, a Masters Degree in Health Policy & Law and also earned his PhD in Global Public Health from the joint doctoral program at UC San Diego - San Diego State University. His work focuses on an array of multidisciplinary topics in domestic and global public health and he has extensive professional experience including over 10 years experience in the private sector and acting as a consultant for the World Health Organization, the US Department of State and others. His research interests include big data, machine learning, data visualization and blockchain technology applications to public health challenges.

Abstract: A Framework for Assessing Blockchain Applications in Healthcare
Blockchain use cases in the healthcare industry are starting to mature and greater attention to the potential of the technology to address public health challenges, such as COVID-19, are also emerging. However, ensuring that blockchain applications are “fit-for-purpose” for the heavily regulated and complex industry of healthcare is easier said than done. In this presentation, we will discuss a framework for assessing blockchain applications in healthcare with a focus on business blockchains and design constructs. We will also discuss healthcare blockchain research use cases and also what blockchain approaches have been suggested for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sam Smith, Ph.D.Sam Smith, Ph.D.

Samuel M. Smith Ph.D. (Senior Member IEEE) works at the intersection of AI and decentralized identity systems as both an entrepreneur and strategic consultant. He has written and continues to write seminal white papers on decentralized identity, reputation AI, distributed computing, and machine learning. He provides strategic technical and business model guidance to startups in these fields and is active in shaping the underlying standards and driving their adoption. Samuel received a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Brigham Young University in 1991. He spent 10 years at Florida Atlantic University, reaching full professor status before retiring to become an entrepreneur. He has over 100 refereed publications in the areas of machine learning, autonomous vehicle systems, automated reasoning, and distributed systems. He was principal investigator on numerous federally funded research projects. Dr. Smith is an active participant in and leader of open standards development and is a serial entrepreneur. He is the creator of KERI and his early white papers provided inspiration for Sovrin and SSI.

Abstract: A Trust Spanning Layer for the Internet: Open KERI protocol with verifiable data structures.


John deVadossJohn deVadoss

John deVadoss is a co-founder of the InterWork Alliance and serves on the board of the Global Blockchain Business Council. He builds blockchain developer tools in Seattle; he was previously a GM at Microsoft, where he built and scaled the .NET Architecture capability and team, Visual Studio .NET tools and frameworks, and the Microsoft Digital business unit. He has authored a number of books on software architecture, cloud computing and on management practices; he writes regularly on blockchain related topics.

Abstract: A First Look at Blockchain Interoperability
A first look at the emerging challenges and opportunities of interconnectivity, integration and interoperability in the blockchain domain.



Suzana Maranhao MorenoSuzana Maranhão Moreno

Suzana Maranhão Moreno is a digital innovator in the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), which is now the main technical responsible for deploying a national infrastructure to blockchain in Brazil. Suzana is also the vice leader of the standardization group of ITU/UN focused on DLT and a member of the Expert Panel of the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum. With over 15 years of experience in IT projects, background in computer science, management and economics, she is a PhD student at the University of Geneva.

Abstract: Brazilian Blockchain Network
RBB is a project to foster innovation for public interest applications in Brazil, with special emphasis on enabling trust for anti-fraud and pro-transparency measures. The project is being developed in partnership with LACChain ecosystem.


Chris GorogChris Gorog

Christopher Gorog, MBA, PMP, CISSP is the CEO/CTO of BlockFrame Inc., Founder of International Alliance of Trust Chain, Chair IEEE Blockchain Special Committee on Privacy and Security, Founder of the Blockchain Development Community, Blockchain SME Advisor to Colorado Legislator, Founder & Host of New Cyber Frontier Podcast, Professor, Published Author, Candidate for PhD at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and Research Partner at University of Colorado, Arizona State University and Colorado State University.

Abstract: Distributed Ledger Technology for Privacy and Security
The success of first-generation blockchain use in cryptocurrency has begun discussions on many more use cases for this new technology. As we move to advanced use cases that contain extensive data records and even support entire government-wide programs, the need for security and privacy capabilities interwoven with blockchain is more imperative. This session will discuss the use of third-generation Blockchain Distributed Ledger technology applied to both privacy and security. We will expand on a few additional features required to govern and manage the necessary large-scale applications needed to meet the needs for such programs. Scalable third-generation distributed ledgers equipped with privacy and security will undoubtedly be an essential tool for future application designers.


Quinn DuPont, Ph.D.Quinn DuPont, Ph.D.

Quinn DuPont is an Assistant Professor in the School of Business at University College Dublin. He has a PhD in Information Science from the University of Toronto and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Washington. He is the founder of Crypto Research Consulting. Quinn is the author of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains (Polity), Associate Editor Frontiers in Blockchains, Education Chair IEEE Blockchain Initiative, Research Fellow at University College London’s Center for Blockchain Technologies, Affiliate of The Future of Money Research Collaborative, Member of UCD’s Center for Innovation, Technology and Organisation (CITO), and Member of UCD’s Center for Digital Policy. Previously, he held visiting research positions at Leuphana University and the University of Victoria and was a Senior Information Specialist at IBM.

Abstract: Blockchain and EdTech
Blockchain has proven to be a disruptive technology for many market verticals and education is one such large and growing market with significant social, economic, and technical challenges. Through 2021, blockchain technologies have emerged as a potential growth area in educational technologies (EdTech). This preliminary market analysis addresses some current challenges in higher education, surveys and analyses the edtech market, and makes recommendations for enhancing the scholarly value chain through blockchain technologies. We conclude that while blockchain offers many interesting opportunities for higher education it has not yet been widely deployed.


Yorke Rhodes IIIYorke Rhodes III

Yorke Rhodes III is Director of Digital Transformation for Blockchain at Microsoft in the Cloud Hardware Supply Chain group. He co-founded Blockchain at Microsoft in 2015 and is currently focused on supply chain strategy and transformation. He has a keen eye for recognizing the impact of new technologies early on. Yorke has been deeply involved in technology innovation for over 20 years in large enterprise, startups, and the open source community. He is a board member of Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, founding team member of Baseline Protocol, and CoinDesk columnist. Yorke is an adjunct Professor of e-commerce Marketing at New York University.



Rajat Rajbhandari, Ph.D.Rajat Rajbhandari, Ph.D.

Rajat Rajbhandari, PhD is co-founder and CIO of dexFreight where he heads the development of machine learning applications for the logistics platform, decentralized protocols, and other special projects. He also leads the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) vehicle identity and supply chain working groups. In that capacity, he works closely with several Fortune 100 companies such as Ford, Honda, GM, BMW, Denso, USAA, AWS and others to develop blockchain standards and reference architectures for a variety of mobility applications. Prior to dexFreight, Rajat worked at Texas A&M University for over a decade as a research scientist. He holds a doctorate degree in transportation. He recently authored “A Book About Blockchains: How Businesses Can Use Public Blockchain”, a comprehensive playbook for enterprises to implement blockchain. It is available globally in major online bookstores. His interviews on the topic of blockchain and logistics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, FreightWaves, Journal of Commerce and more. He also writes blogs in Medium about the use of blockchain and machine learning in logistics.


Yiannis Psaras, Ph.D.Yiannis Psaras, Ph.D.

Dr. Yiannis Psaras is a Research Scientist at Protocol Labs. He is part of the Resilient Networks Lab where, he is working on identifying and addressing the future challenges of the Web3.0 stack (including IPFS, libp2p and Filecoin). He is particularly interested in content routing design and optimization, the performance of libp2p’s pubsub protocol, content naming and generally architectural extensions to support the resilience and growth of the IPFS network. He is also involved in the distributed randomness beacon used by Filecoin, drand. Before joining Protocol Labs he has spent 10+ years in academia, the majority of them as a Lecturer at University College London, where he investigated resource management techniques for current and future networking architectures with particular focus on “function-centric networks” to realize distributed and decentralized edge computing.



Siddharth SinghalSiddharth Singhal

As Director, Enterprise at Parity, Siddharth is responsible for driving the adoption of Polkadot, Kusama and Substrate among enterprises. Prior, he has over a decade of leadership experience across high-tech industries in large corporations, growth-stage startups, and founding/executive leadership in early-stage startups. He holds a master’s from UC Berkeley and an MBA from INSEAD.





Scott MooreScott Moore

Scott Moore is co-founder of Gitcoin, a web3 community focused on building and sustaining digital public goods. He has also helped push forward a number of other related initiatives such as the Digital Public Goods Alliance, Ethereum Foundation Grants, and SustainOSS.






Session Chairs

Ramesh Ramadoss, Ph.D.Ramesh Ramadoss, Ph.D.

Ramesh Ramadoss is a co-chair of the IEEE Blockchain Initiative. He leads the IEEE Blockchain Standards Committee. He also serves on the Expert Panel of the European Union Blockchain Observatory. He received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA in 2003. Between 2003 and 2007, he was employed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University, Alabama, USA. In 2008, he moved to Silicon Valley and has over a decade of industrial experience in technology companies. He has conducted projects for DARPA, NASA, US Army, US Air Force, Sandia National Labs, and Motorola Labs. He is the author or co-author of 1 book, 3 book chapters and 55 research papers (Google Scholar Citations: 936). He has delivered talks at over 90 international conferences in 40 countries.



Gora DattaGora Datta

Gora Datta, FHL7 is a US based serial entrepreneur and an internationally acknowledged Subject Matter Expert on Digital Health, Health Informatics Standards & CyberHealth initiatives.

He is an accomplished, visionary executive with 36 years of international professional expertise in the field of Computer & Software Engineering and its application to Healthcare, Mobile Health, CyberSecurity, IoT, Blockchain, eLearning & Social Protection. Gore serves as trusted advisor and director on the following: As an US “Electronic Health Record (EHR)” Subject Matter Expert and ICT Expert on eHealth, Public Health & Social Protection/Safety Net. Programs. Gora provides consultancy to & collaborates with large governmental organizations [e.g., US Dept of Health and Human Services (ONC, CMS, CDC), State of California (Public Health), County of Los Angeles (Dept of Health, Public Health), NIST: National Institute of Standards & Technology-USA]; Governments [of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Niger, Philippines, USA]; multilateral agencies [The World Bank, ADB, WHO, UNICEF] and US based independent hospital consortium (consisting of over 150 hospitals).

In addition Gora is the Chair of following IEEE groups and events IEEE Healthcare: Blockchain & Artificial Intelligence Virtual Series, Southern California Council, SUSTECH-2021 Conference on Sustainable Technologies, IEEE-USA USGCoI (US Government Communities of Interest) and Orange County, Southern California CyberSecurity.

Gora is also Convenor of the following ISO Groups: TC215 AHG#4 Standards & Conformance, TC215/WorkGroup#10 Traditional Medicines, TC215 Task Force#2 Outreach & Communications.


Remy Lyon

Remy Lyon is the IEEE Blockchain LA Chair/Founder as well as IEEE BCI member. An engineer and futurist facilitating technology for Public Good. He has worked with such brands as Acer Computers, Nokia, Osterhout Design Group, The Philadelphia 76ers and others. He has also worked on various DLT platforms with the intention of bringing forth the revolution of Web 3.0.


Christine FaheyChristine Fahey

Christine Fahey is the IEEE Blockchain Memphis Chair and also serves as the Regional Lead for the IEEE Americas Blockchain Groups. She is committed to community building as co-founder and Executive Director of technology nonprofit, Blockchain901. Christine has worked in various sectors of the IT industry since the mid-nineties and is excited to see the possibilities that Web 3.0 will bring.