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Opening Remarks

Transcript By: Bryan Bishop

Category: Conference

Opening remarks

Dan Boneh

We will be starting in 10 minutes. I would like to ask the first speaker in the first session for grin to walk to the back of the room to get your microphone ready for the talk.

It’s 9 o’clock and time to get started. Could everyone please get to their seats? Alright, let’s do this. Welcome everybody. This is the Stanford Blockchain Conference. This is the third time we’re running this conference. I’m looking forward to the program. Lots of technical talks, and wonderful hallway conversations. I’m looking forward to speaking with all of you and hearing all the talks.

There’s a wifi network that you can connect to, either Stanford Visitor or you can connect to the regular Stanford network. If you choose the regular Stanford network, here’s the username and password (Stanford and sbc19/blockchain). There’s livestream for tuning in at home, and the hashtag is #sbc19.

The conference is hosted by the Center for Blockchain Research and Stanford Cyber Initiative. With that, let’s get started. The conference is a way to introduce technical ideas into the blockchain research community. The goals are to bring up new ideas and researc hchallenges. Not marketing, new technical ideas. We want to bring together the academic community with the actual projects in the trenches building systems. Hopefully this will be a fruitful conversation for everyone, and I’m looking forward to speaking with everyone.

This conference has been a lot of fun to run, and it’s quite popular. We have around 2000 people registered, and some of you were waitlisted as well. Interest in the conference has been growing over the past few years. Last year we had 400 attendees. This year we have 2000. Next year, we’re going to have 10,000 attendees if you extrapolate. So it’s pretty clear that next year this conference will take place at the Stanford stadium. It will be interesting.

I would imagine more people would come in throughout the day. We have more space at the other side of the conference center. Just head over to the other side if you can’t find any room. You can watch the talks from over there. Since there’s so many people coming, the only thing I would ask is that if you are going to have a conversation, perhaps take it out into the yard so that you don’t disturb the actual speakers in the lecture hall. Also, we will have session chairs to monitor and ask you to speak outside instead.

Alright, very good. That’s that. Putting a conference together takes a huge amount of work. I want to thank all the organizers who did this. The program chairs are myself and Benedikt Buenz. The general chairs are Allison Berke and Byron Gibson. A round of applause to Allison and Byron. Thank you, couldn’t do this without you. It’s been a lot of work to put this together. They deserve your thanks.

In temrs of statistics for the program, we had about 120 submissions to the conference. There were lots of wonderful talks that we wanted to accept, but we only had space for 23 talks. There were really great talks that we wanted to have, but there wasn’t enough space. We ended up accepting 23 talks which is an acceptance rate of 19% which is respectable for a conference. I’m looking forward to these talks.

We had a volunteer group of the program committee members who did a fantastic job of reviewing all the papers and writing comments. A round of applause to the program committee, thank you for doing all of the work. I think most of you are here, so thank you very much for all the work.

The last set of people to thank are all of our sponsors. As you can see, this conference is free. We want to keep this free, forever. A conference for 2,000 people costs a lot of money to run. We couldn’t do this without the sponsors. We have a fair number of projects that contribute to the Stanford Center for Blockchain Research, and to the conference directly. We couldn’t do this without the sponsors. Thank you. If you would like to sponsor this conference next year, come see me or Byron and help make this conference as successful as it can be, and let’s keep it free so everyone can attend without paying.

This campus is well maintained. Let me point out some tourist spots. We’re at the Arrilaga Alumni Center. I recommend going to the Rodin Sculpture Garden and there’s a good restaurant there. I recommend walking across The Oval and enjoying the sculptures. There’s Hoover Tower open to the public but it’s a bit of a longer walk. The whole computer revolution happened within a 5 mile radius of this tower. If you want to go further out, the Stanford Bookstore is a little further out. There’s lots of other things to see on campus but these are the main attractions.

Stanford Center for Blockchain Research is for the community. Tell us your hard problems, and we want to try to solve them. We have a monthly seminar open to the public. If you go to the monthly seminar website, there’s a mailing list you can join. It’s low volume. The only mailing list emails that go out are about blockchain events on campus. Please come to the seminar, and if you want to propose a talk, send me an email and we can schedule that. Also, we have courses on blockchain. Check out the CBR website. These are on-campus websites. All of our courses are televized, and if you’re interested in taking them, you can take them from anywhere in the world and get Stanford credit. Also checkout the Stanford Blockchain Club to see all the activities happening there. Lots of activities on campus.