September 24, 2018
by Sharon Moran
David Chaum unveiled his Elixxir blockchain earlier this week at the Consensus Singapore conference. Elixxir, Chaum claims, fixes inherent problems in cryptocurrency including speed, scalability, privacy, and future resistance to quantum computers. Of course, Chaum isn’t the only one working on quantum-proofing the blockchain. I’ve wrote about IBM’s efforts before involving lattice cryptography.
Who is David Chaum, you ask? I’ll begin by telling you who David Chaum is not. David Chaum is not David Chalmers, the Australian philosopher and professor. Seriously, that’s who I first thought of when I heard the name David Chaum. It’s probably because my undergraduate study of philosophy ended in 1999, a full decade before my first, brief exposure to bitcoin mining in 2009.
So Who IS David Chaum?
David Chaum is known as the father of online anonymity. As a computer scientist and cryptographer, he is credited with inventing many cryptographic protocols, including Blind Signature Technology. In early the ‘80s, he developed ecash, a cryptographic electronic cash system that later formed the basis of DigiCash Inc. a corporation Chaum founded in 1989.
He made headlines recently because he is launching Elixxir, a new cryptocurrency that he believes will solve current problems plaguing cryptocurrency. It sounds like a bold claim, and it might be if it came from anyone else, but Chaum is one of the founders of the cypherpunk movement, a vital, fringe community that if not for their efforts, bitcoin would probably not exist.
In a climate of fraudulent ICOs, pump and dump schemes, centralized exchange corruption, and media glamourizing blockchain bros, a pioneer in the digital currency space pioneering yet again seems like a gift from the Genesis Block. Thank you, David Chaum. Hopefully, your efforts won’t go unnoticed.