The internet is swirling with theories about why coin prices fell and when they might rise again. But what about blockchain itself? What about all of the innovative use cases and applications we were promised? Did they disintegrate along with crypto’s prices?
According to Concordium Network, blockchain will rise again – and next time, bigger and better – thanks to the brand new Concordium Blockchain Research Center at Denmark’s Aarhus University.
The center, a partnership between Aarhus’s department of computer science and the Concordium Blockchain Network, aims to create new blockchain technologies that are much higher functioning than the last generation of tech. Concordium posits that the last wave of blockchains were hampered by design flaws as developers pushed to get their chains running as quickly as possible. Early iterations were slow and insecure, and these issues were built into the fabric of the blockchains in such a way that they couldn’t be fixed later.
“The foundation of the blockchain revolution has so far largely been built on sand. The next generation of blockchain will have to be built on science to ensure a solid foundation of the space,” said Professor Jesper Buus Nielsen, leader of the Concordium Blockchain Research Center.
The center’s research will focus on consensus protocol efficiency, sharding, and state-flattening, as well as new cryptographic techniques supporting privacy-preserving identification, KYC and AML, better zero-knowledge techniques, and formal verification of smart contracts.
Of course, it seems like every blockchain company has said they’re the ones to do it differently. While exercising caution when investing (even emotionally) in new ventures is always wise, there are some strong signs that Concordium really does have what it takes to push blockchain in a sustainable, successful direction.
Perhaps most importantly, the research center has announced initial funding of 10 million DKK (about 1.5 million USD) per year for the next five years. So they’re in it for the long haul.
Second, there are some impressive key players already signed on to the project. At the helm of the research team is Ivan Damgård, who was co-founder of one one of the principle hash functions at the heart of blockchain. Concordium Foundation, which oversees their blockchain network, has as its chair Lars Seier Christensen, founder of Saxo Bank and a Bitcoin success story. And Concordium just tapped Lone Fønss Schrøder as their CEO. Fønss Schrøde is Vice Chairman of Volvo Cars and member of Ikea’s board of directors, so her track record shows a history of signing on to strong projects.
Concordium has Denmark convinced. Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelsen, said: “With an investment of this scale in the world-class computer science team at Aarhus University, Concordium brings together technological development with commercial opportunities to the future benefit of society. It confirms the attractiveness of Denmark as a premier destination for technology development.”
Will the rest of the world follow? Will similar centers pop up at prestigious universities elsewhere? It could be just what blockchain needs to reinvent itself.