NTT Research and Stanford Join Forces on Cryptography and Blockchain Research

By NTT Research staff

NTT Research is working with institutions all over the world, but even as virtual encounters have become the norm, proximity still has value. Thus, we were pleased to reach a joint research agreement with Stanford University, one of our neighbors here in Silicon Valley.

Over the next four years, which we hope will soon enough include person-to-person meetings, our Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab will be collaborating on research in cryptography and blockchain with the agreement’s principal investigator, Dr. Dan Boneh, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford and co-director of the Stanford Computer Security Lab. Overseeing this research will be CIS Lab Director and NTT Fellow, Tatsuaki Okamoto.

Dr. Boneh is the author of more than 150 publications and a recipient of the 2014 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Prize in Computing (for pairing-based cryptography and its application in identity-based encryption), the Gödel Prize, the RSA award for Excellence in Mathematics and six best paper awards. Focusing on applications of cryptography to computer security, his work has involved cryptosystems with novel properties, security for mobile devices, web security and cryptanalysis.

Collaborating with Dr. Boneh on cryptography will be NTT Distinguished Scientist, Brent Waters, who leads the CIS Lab’s cryptography work, and Senior Scientist, Hoeteck Wee. (As it happens, an influential paper that Amit Sahai and Brent Waters wrote fifteen years ago drew upon Boneh’s own earlier pathbreaking work in identity-based encryption.) Dr. Shinichiro Matsuo, a research professor at Georgetown University who heads the blockchain research group at CyberSMART at Georgetown and the CIS Lab’s blockchain group at NTT Research, will be involved in the blockchain side of this joint research.

Dr. Boneh is engaged in both areas. He is currently teaching a course at Stanford on “Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains, and Smart Contracts.” Those topics have become popular, and today’s enthusiasts sometimes fail to realize that ‘crypto’ can refer not only to Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also to cryptography itself. Dr. Boneh is well positioned to check such common misconceptions and share his knowledge on the broader field. His Coursera class, Cryptography 1, has had more than 280,000 enrollees.

This agreement, of course, concerns basic research. In that regard, we look forward to fruitful interaction between Dr. Boneh at Stanford and the two sides of the CIS Lab team.