A pioneering new research lab, the Blockpass Identity Lab, will explore ways in which blockchain technology can protect personal data from online scammers and hackers.
BIL is a collaboration between Blockpass IDN and Edinburgh Napier University which was announced in April 2018.The initial scope of the partnership is the creation of a pioneering new research lab, while further developing methods to protect consumer identity and the right of citizens to data privacy.

Why?

A series of data breach scandals at companies like Yahoo, Uber and Equifax highlighted the risks of centralising the storage of personal user data.

Blockpass is using blockchain to develop alternatives which allow users to retain control of their identity, with only they deciding who can access their sensitive personal data.

Key research focus areas


Create world-leading knowledge and innovation around citizen-focused systems which enshrine the right to privacy

Zero-Knowledge Proofs and the ability to validate the authenticity of information without having access to, or knowledge of, the information

Homomorphic encryption, enabling computation to be carried out on encrypted data as if it were unencrypted, so that encrypted data can be analysed without revealing it in its raw form - further enhancing the privacy of a user’s personal information

Beyond just identity, research will also be carried out that will benefit food provenance, the construction sector and digital voting
The ultimate goal of Blockpass is global realization of decentralized identity for regulated industries and the Internet of Everything.

As an identity system supporting verification of humans, organizations, objects, and connected devices, Blockpass will enable development of new applications that rely on a trusted connection between human, corporate, and device identities. At the core of the Blockpass protocol is a self-sovereign identity system that supports user ownership of personal data, objects and devices. This facilitates the transition from a centralized internet, where data and commerce is controlled by large organizations, to Web 3.0, where users control their data and have access to decentralized applications.

Edinburgh Napier University, which takes its name from the brilliant 16th century mathematician John Napier, has more than 19,000 students from more than 130 countries.

Its six Edinburgh-based Schools are spread across three campuses, and it also has transnational education partnerships in Hong Kong, China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore and Switzerland.  Teaching programmes have strong links with industry, and more than half of the university’s research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework review. Through the Bright Red Triangle, the university offers a one-stop shop for extra-curricular innovation and enterprise activities. With over 50 academics and 1100 students, our School of Computing is one of the UK’s largest computing departments.

Bill Buchanan OBE is a Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, and a Fellow of the BCS and the IET.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to cyber security. In 2018 he received an “Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange” at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards. One of his most recent achievements is the creation of a Blockchain Identity Lab and which is one of the first of its type in the world, and has significant industry funding.

Currently he leads the Centre for Distributed Computing, Networks, and Security at Edinburgh Napier University and The Cyber Academy. His main research focus is around information sharing, IoT, e-Health, threat analysis, cryptography, and triage within digital forensics. This has led to several World-wide patents, and in three highly successful spin-out companies: Zonefox, Symphonic Software and Cyan Forensics.

Liam Bell is the Research Lead & Lab Coordinator of the Blockpass Identity Lab.

He has worked on a variety of blockchain related projects in healthcare asset tracking, personal data management, food supply chain management and construction compliance as well as previous research projects into citizen focused identity and digital forensics. His key research interests focus around self-sovereign identity, blockchain & privacy enhancing technologies such as homomorphic encryption and zero-knowledge proofs.

Adam Vaziri, founder and CEO/COO of QRC and CEO of Blockpass, is a pioneering lawyer in the Blockchain space.

A serial blockchain entrepreneur, Vaziri has founded or co-founded several successful blockchain businesses, and has more than half a decade of experience working on Blockchain policies and assisting Blockchain businesses in licensing and compliance. Vaziri is impassioned to build a better, smarter economy through the gradual integration of Blockchain technologies into the mainstream economy.

Hans is the CMO of Blockpass IDN and a successful entrepreneur and enthusiastic evangelist of blockchain technologies, who speaks at blockchain and fintech events globally.

He is a co-founder of Chain of Things – a Hong Kong-based startup integrating blockchain & IoT devices. In 2012, he sold his previous company, a data collection and analytics research firm focused on mainland Chinese high-technology industries. He is an Internet industry veteran with regional management experience. During the Internet boom, Hans provided due diligence support for the internet.com Venture Capital Fund in Asia, investing in a number of Internet startups in Greater China.

The people behind BIL

Prof. Bill Buchanan OBE
Lab Director
Liam Bell
Research Lead & Lab Coordinator
Adam Vaziri
CEO Blockpass
Dr. Hans Lombardo
CMO Blockpass

BIL Timeline 2018

4 May

Collaboration Agreement signed

4 June

Formal Launch scheduled for 26 September

18 June

Final Lab Layout design approved

26 June

PhD Studentship Selection Interviews commence

26 September

Official Lab Opening