ZK-LDN 0x05: On Homomorphic Encryption and Coconut

Zero Knowledge London
Zero Knowledge London
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You’re invited to join us for our fifth Zero Knowledge meetup in London on November 15th! We will be hosting 2 speakers: Kim Laine of Microsoft Research and Alberto Sonnino of University College London/Facebook.

Kim is a senior researcher in the Cryptography and Privacy Research Group at Microsoft Research, Redmond. He will be giving an introduction to homomorphic encryption including why it matters, how practical it is today and what research directions are most promising for it. Alberto is a Research Scientist in Facebook's Blockchain team and a Ph.D student in Security Engineering at University College London (UCL) under the supervision of Prof. George Danezis. He will be presenting his work on Coconut, a novel selective disclosure credential scheme supporting distributed threshold issuance, public and private attributes, re-randomization, and multiple unlinkable selective attribute revelations.

Schedule:
6:00-6:30 pm: Greetings, food and drinks
6:30-7:20 pm: Presentation from Alberto Sonnino (UCL/Facebook)
7:20-8:10pm: Presentation from Kim Laine (Microsoft Research)
8:10-9pm: Networking

Thanks to our sponsors for helping us put this event together: Applied Blockchain (https://appliedblockchain.com/), Aztec Protocol (https://www.aztecprotocol.com/) and Cambrial Capital (https://cambrial.com).

Abstracts and bios of speakers below:
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Talk title: Coconut - Threshold Issuance Selective Disclosure
Credentials with Applications to Distributed Ledgers

Paper abstract: Coconut is a novel selective disclosure credential
scheme supporting distributed threshold issuance, public and
private attributes, re-randomization, and multiple unlinkable selective attribute revelations. Coconut integrates with blockchains
to ensure confidentiality, authenticity and availability even when
a subset of credential issuing authorities are malicious or offline. Coconut uses short and computationally efficient credentials, and our
evaluation shows that most Coconut cryptographic primitives
take just a few milliseconds on average, with verification taking
the longest time (10 milliseconds).

Read more about Coconut: http://www0.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/M.AlBassam/publications/coconut.pdf

Bio: Alberto is a Ph.D student in Security Engineering at University College London (UCL) under the supervision of Prof. George Danezis. He was a co-founder of chainspace.io which was acquired by Facebook earlier this year. Alberto is now a Research Scientist in the Blockchain team of Facebook based in London.
Alberto's research interests are in privacy enhancing technologies, distributed ledgers, and cryptography. He has a special interest in trusted hardware and FPGA-based security applications.

More about Alberto: https://sonnino.com/
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Talk title: Present and Future of Applied Homomorphic Encryption

Asbtract: In this talk the audience will learn what homomorphic encryption is, why it matters, and how practical it is today. I will describe what already works well, what the limitations of this technology are, and what research directions I see as most promising. No prior knowledge of homomorphic encryption is assumed.

Bio: Kim Laine is a senior researcher in the Cryptography and Privacy Research Group at Microsoft Research, Redmond. He holds a PhD in mathematics from UC Berkeley, and has been working at MSR for the past four years on applied cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies. Kim leads the development of the homomorphic encryption library “Microsoft SEAL”, and is one of the co-organizers of the HomomorphicEncryption.org standardization effort for homomorphic encryption.

More about Kim: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/kilai/