Point of Departure

By David Chaum, July 18, 2019.

I recently had the opportunity to give the keynote speech at the Swiss National Bank’s CIF Conference on Cryptoassets & Financial Innovation. In that speech, I set out to put the last 35 years of work into some perspective, while also detailing some interesting new work on things like Elixxir and how it all ties together.

The starting point for all this, and the real point of departure for me early in my career, centers around two basic scenarios for the relationship between people and computers. People are either in control of the computers they interact with every day in a democratic manner, or computers are manipulated by a small fraction of the population against the rest of us. Lately, we have increasingly seen the 2nd of these two scenarios take hold, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

A lot of my early work focused on trying to find technologies that would allow for the first scenario, while also making sure that those who were trying to block the development of those technologies would not succeed.

So as time allows over the coming weeks & months, I will be devoting some energy to posting interesting stories here about the development and intent of those early technologies, why they are relevant today, and how it all ties into the Elixxir platform.

In the meantime, I invite you to watch the video of my Zurich presentation below:

-David Chaum

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