World’s First Blockchain Identity Lab to be Built in Edinburgh

Professor Bill Buchanan OBE

Edinburgh Napier University is building a pioneering new blockchain research laboratory as part of £600,000 collaboration.

Napier University Blockpass Identity LabThe new Blockpass Identity Lab (BIL) is to be built at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus as part of a collaboration between the university and Hong-Kong based Blockpass. The purpose of the BIL is to explore ways in which blockchain technology can protect personal data from online scammers and hackers.

The creation of this lab will boost Napier’s already outstanding global reputation as a pioneering and leading centre for cybersecurity training and excellence. It comes at the right time when blockchain is coming to the forefront of data privacy.

After a series of huge data breaches at companies such as Uber and Equifax, blockchain offers an attractive alternative to the centralised storage of personal user data. This initial three-year partnership also includes funding for research staff, PhD studentships and a virtualised blockchain environment.

The announcement follows swiftly on the heels of Napier’s successful launch of its new cyber academy, SOCLAB. This new facility encourages collaboration between industry and academia to dramatically improve cyber security.

Dr Hans Lombardo, Blockpass Chief Marketing Officer said:

“We continue to see identity management at the forefront of blockchain and cryptography discussions as the price of consumer data abuses becomes clearer and more pertinent.”

“The creation of this lab in conjunction with Edinburgh Napier University will provide a space where further research and innovation can lead that discussion to newer and more advanced grounds.”

Professor Bill Buchanan of Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, the Director of the Lab, said:

“The world is changing and cryptography is now being used to fix many of the problems we have created on the internet. It can now help create a better society, with the citizen at its core.”

“We aim to contribute to the building of a new world, based on blockchain. Whether it is health and well-being, or the changing of our public services, it is likely to be blockchain methods that will provide the foundation for the future.”

Scottish Cybersecurity Forum, 25/04/2018, Murrayfield Edinburgh

Dr Sally Smith, Dean of the university’s School of Computing, said:

“This is another step forward in the advancement of our research and innovation, and builds on a strong track record of success. This collaboration builds a foundation for the future, and supports the development of advanced skills in blockchain research.”



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