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Ester Oliveras hashes out financial and legal analysis of blockchain technology with the BAnDIT project

Ester Oliveras hashes out financial and legal analysis of blockchain technology with the BAnDIT project

This Marie Curie PhD platform involves four PhD students and collaboration with the Nokia-Bell Paris technology labs



Supervisors and PhD students in the BAnDIT project

Prof. Ester Oliveras of the UPF Department of Economics and Business is moving ahead with research modeling the economic and legal factors of blockchain technology in the real world. Through the European Commission Marie Skłodowska­-Curie PhD programme, UPF professors and PhD students are engaging with researchers in the private sector to gain first-hand knowledge of industry needs and understand the financial and regulatory challenges of blockchain.

Initially designed as the backbone of Bitcoin, blockchain technologies are seen as a powerful digital abstraction of trust. The academic and industrial sectors are participating in a race to envision and design new applications of the technology. However, there are few experts with a solid scientific background in both IT and Economics who also have first-hand knowledge of the industry needs and who understand the financial and regulatory challenges.

BAnDIT (Advanced Blockchain Attacks and Defense Techniques) is a PhD training platform, coordinated by the UPF Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC)'s Prof. Vanesa Daza. Besides Prof. Oliveras, Prof. Josep Ibáñez also joins from the Department of Law. The project will last 36 months, with half the time spent in Paris at the Nokia-Bell labs. Nokia's input will vary according to the direction of the projects.

There are four main research themes: 1) Analysis, 2) Attack and Defense Techniques, 3) Auditing, and 4) Financial and Legal basis. Prof. Oliveras and her PhD student Ms. Simona Ramos will be involved in the Financial and Legal theme. Their goal is to model, capture, and make sense of external factors on the design of real-world blockchain technology by investigating the external constraints such a system is subject to.

Prof. Oliveras previously participated in an applied European project Digipay4Growth, which explored the use of local currencies to foster economic growth. One possibility explored by the consortium was using a currency backed up by blockchain technology. She received her PhD in Accounting from the University of Central Lancashire, and she has written several research articles and books on financial accounting.

Ms. Simona Ramos is studying at the UPF towards her PhD in Economic and Legal Analysis of Blockchain Based Applications. She has previously been a co-author of a white paper titled "Proof of Hardware, Secure Enclaves and Blockchain Consensus Algorithms".

To find out more about this research, visit the BAnDIT project webpage.