The emergence of blockchain interoperability is reducing the risk of investing in blockchain by avoiding vendor lock-in, leveraging interoperation with off-chain systems, and providing a truly open ecosystem, enabling a network of blockchains. While technical interoperability is practically solved across public blockchains (using relays, sidechains, HLTCs, and notary schemes), there is still a lot of work to be done across private-public blockchains. This is being tackled by Hyperledger Cactus. However, there are very limited efforts on the value/semantic level of interoperability - which soon will become a bottleneck for interoperability.
In particular, the human-challenges related to the adoption of such technology have received little attention, with few significant contributions to date. Yet, real innovation can be achieved only by adopting a holistic approach. Designing for blockchain interoperability poses several socio-technical challenges thus offering a unique opportunity to link the underlying technology with human experience and values.
This project aims to advance the state of the art on understanding blockchain interoperability on the value/semantic layers - In particular, how can someone conjugate human-centric design, service design, and sustainability to blockchain interoperability? How can one make informed choices on the best cross-chain synergies? How can someone visualize cross-blockchain transactions?
This internship intends to yield a fruitful learning experience, across several dimensions:
Useful sources / projects:
A Survey on Blockchain Interoperability: Past, Present, and Future Trends (2020)
HERMES: Fault-Tolerant Middleware for Blockchain Interoperability (2021)
Elsden, Chris, et al. "Making sense of blockchain applications: A typology for HCI." Proceedings of the 2018 chi conference on human factors in computing systems. 2018.
Sas, Corina, and Irni Eliana Khairuddin. "Design for trust: An exploration of the challenges and opportunities of bitcoin users." Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 2017.
The expected outcome tackles the whole Hyperledger Ecosystem. In particular, the project includes Hyperledger Cactus and possibly Fabric, Besu, and Hyperledger Explorer.
Masters or Ph.D. level students are preferred. Experience in scientific research is recommended (but not required).
Nice to have:
The end of the internship does not need to mean an end to your collaboration. The idea is for the mentee to be connected to Hyperledger’s ecosystem, contributing to blockchain interoperability solutions.
Nuno J. Nunes, Professor at IST and Senior Researcher ITI/LARSyS
Sabrina Scuri, Ph.D. - ITI/LARSyS - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rafael Belchior, Junior Researcher at INESC-ID; Teaching Assistant and Ph.D. candidate at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa: email@example.com
Iulia Mihaiu, Master Student in CyberSecurity at Transilvania University of Brasov - firstname.lastname@example.org