The Blockchain Technology Laboratory (BTL) network was established in 2016 through the initiative of the R&D technology company IOG (formally IOHK). Situated at the University of Edinburgh, BTL is committed to the comprehensive study of distributed ledger technology.
Heading the Blockchain Technology Laboratory is Professor Aggelos Kiayias, who holds the position of Chair in Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh and serves as the Chief Scientist at IOG. In his role as the lab's Director, Prof. Kiayias facilitates collaborations with fellow academics at the university and oversees researchers and students at all academic levels, covering a broad range of topics related to blockchain systems.
Blockchain technology, initially exemplified by the global digital currency Bitcoin, is characterised by a publicly accessible and reliable ledger of transactions. Distributed ledger systems can effectively manage relationships among stakeholders by encoding and enforcing them within the ledger's operations. Fully comprehending this technology, in terms of its resilience to attacks, scalability, performance, and incentives, remains a crucial open question in research and development, and it lies at the heart of BTL's mission. BTL's approach represents a coordinated effort between academia and industry, aiming to advance both foundational and applied aspects of blockchain technology and ensuring the technology's maximum potential can be realised expeditiously.
Furthermore, the research lab at the University of Edinburgh serves as the central hub for IOG's growing network of global university partnerships. In 2017, similar centres were established in collaboration with the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Research collaborations at BTL are interdisciplinary and span fields including cryptography, computer science, economics, game theory, regulation and compliance, business, and law. The lab facilitates direct connections between developers and researchers, expediting project development, and also engages in outreach initiatives with entrepreneurs in Edinburgh's vibrant local technology community.