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Monash University launches expanded blockchain research centre


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The expanded research centre aims to unlock more multi-disciplinary blockchain applications.

Monash University has launched the Monash Blockchain Technology Centre (MBTC), an expanded blockchain research centre that will be headed up by Monash University associate professor Joseph Liu.

The expansion is a response to the multi-disciplinary applications of the technology, Liu explained.

"We have a blockchain research lab that was established two years ago. But the research lab is just an internal research lab within the IT faculty, and we found that blockchain is not just restricted to IT," he said. "This technology can be applied to many disciplines such as digital health, smart energy, supply chain or fintech. That's why we want to create a cross interdisciplinary platform at the university level, not just a faculty level."

"We created the centre to be a platform for gathering like-minded organisations and faculties across the University, such as law, medicine, business and engineering. Cross-organisational and interdisciplinary collaborations will help us apply our innovations in a wider range of contexts," he said.

At the centre, researchers will also be working with partners in the Asia-Pacific region, including Shanghai Jiao Tong University and CollinStar Capital.

Previous blockchain research out of Monash includes RepuCoin, a blockchain that has been found to achieve 10,000 transactions per second, assuming conditions equivalent to the current stage of the Bitcoin network.

Further away from the world of enterprise blockchain, Monash cybersecurity researchers have been actively contributing to Monero's privacy systems, while the Hcash cryptocurrency, a quantum-resistant privacy coin that uses "lattice-based one-time linkable ring signatures" was the result of a research partnership between Monash, CollinStar Capital and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

In that context, it's quite entertaining how, at first glance, most people would probably assume Hcash and its self-described "dual chain ecosystem" featuring smart contracts, "ASIC resistance," "hybrid PoW + PoS" and "post-quantum signature technology" is just another example of cryptocurrency vapourware, when there's actually all that genuine research underpinning it.

Researchers at Monash have been deeply involved in cryptocurrency for some time. But as Liu said, blockchain can be applied to many disciplines beyond that.

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Disclosure: The author holds BNB and BTC at the time of writing.

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