Symposium on Foundations and Applications Blockchain (FAB 2019)

USC hosts the second edition of Symposium on Foundation and Applications of Blockchain (SCFAB-2019). Please visit the FAB’19 website to learn more about the upcoming symposium.

The first edition of the Symposium was organized by USC faculty Shahram Ghandeharizadeh and Bhaskar Krishnamachari and was hosted at USC on March 9, 2018. It brought together a stellar group of researchers from industry and academia. Please see the Conference Proceedings for the presented papers, and for more information, please visit the FAB’18 website.

Blockchain Research

A number of researchers at USC are working on developing the technology and applications of blockchain. These include ongoing efforts at the Viterbi School of Engineering, the Marshall School of Business, the Keck School of Medicine, and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Blockchain and IoT

The ongoing IoT revolution is connecting various types of devices including various types of sensors and actuators with in-network edge and cloud-based intelligence to understand and control systems in many applications. In many IoT application domains including smart-grid, smart buildings, mobile-health, education, and smart cities, there is a need for trusted interaction between heterogeneous individuals and organizations that can be enabled through both permission-less (public) and permissioned blockchain technologies. Researchers at the USC Viterbi Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things (CCI) are exploring these applications of blockchain. Further, CCI researchers are also exploring how blockchain-based tokens can be used for micro-transactions providing access to IoT data and for reserving edge computing resources. Finally, CCI researchers are also exploring the use of blockchain-based abstractions to enable trusted distributed middleware and application layer services.

Blockchain and Supplychain

From production to transportation to warehousing to market, supply chain networks have many points where the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies can play a helpful role. The USC Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management, which works with more than 100 companies across the Globe provides thought-leadership and industry-leading resources, is actively engaged in exploring relevant opportunities in this domain.


Please see our list of publications related to blockchain protocols and applications.

Software and Data

Please see publicly-released code and data from our software implementations and studies.

Photo by Wanting He, from Daily Trojan

Blockchain Education

USC Faculty are developing new courses and reading groups to educate our students on this cutting edge technologies and their applications.

CSCI 599: Blockchain Technology and Applications

This course, launched in Spring 2018 by Prof. Bhaskar Krishnamachari, focuses on the design and evaluation of Blockchain technologies and applications.  It is aimed at graduate students in Computer Science and Engineering.  [Syllabus]

ITP 499: Blockchain

This course, launched in Fall 2017 by Prof. Nitin Vasant Kale, provides a general introduction to Blockchain technologies for a broad audience of students across USC.   [Syllabus] [News Article]

Blockchain Research Reading Group

This is a reading and discussion group organized by Prof. Bhaskar Krishnamachari focused on keeping up with the emerging literature on technical computer science and engineering aspects of Blockchain research.  [Reading List]

Trojan Blockchain Society

Trojan Blockchain Society (TBS) is the University of Southern California’s premier student-run blockchain organization focusing on education, community initiatives, and career development. TBS seeks to engage Trojans and the greater Los Angeles community on the technicality and applicational use of blockchain technology.

For more information, please visit

Trojan Crypto Club

Trojan Crypto (TCIC) is a passionate and diverse community of blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. We host regular workshops every week to educate USC students on blockchain fundamentals. We also work with community developers in implementing blockchain PoC projects and conduct professional events from the industry to interact with the broader USC audience.

For more information, please visit


  • Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Director, USC Viterbi Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things (CCI)
  • Nick Vyas, Executive Director, USC Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management
  • Salman Avestimehr, Associate Professor, USC Viterbi Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering
  • Shahram Ghandeharizadeh, Associate Professor, USC Viterbi Department of Computer Science
  • Brian Klein, Lecturer in Law, USC Gould School of Law
  • Nitin Vasant Kale, Associate Director, USC Viterbi Information Technology Program
  • Seon Ho Kim, Associate Director, USC Viterbi Integrated Media Systems Center
  • Konstantinos Psounis, Professor, USC Viterbi Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Chris Mattmann, Adjunct Associate Professor, USC Viterbi Department of Computer Science
  • Eric Chung, Lecturer, USC Viterbi Information Technology Program
  • Gowri Sankar Ramachandran, Post-doctoral Researcher, USC Viterbi CCI




Wyatt Meldman-Floch, CTO and cofounder of Constellation Labs discussed the integration of Big Data and Blockchain technology, elastic infrastructure and MEME, an approach for maintaining elasticity in blockchain/DAG clusters created and used by Constellation Labs.  Attendees got to connect with the LA blockchain & the Hyperledger community.
Read ahead here.

September 26, 2019: Sia Meetup with David Vorick

Sia is a decentralized storage platform powered by blockchain technology. David Vorick, who is the CEO, co-founder, and lead developer of Sia, and Manasi Vora, Head of Product Strategy, visited USC to introduce Sia and its technical components. To learn more about. please visit the following link:  

May 25, 2019: USC CCI Researchers Presented Multiple Papers at IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency at South Korea

IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency is a technical conference on blockchain sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc). The conference was held in South Korea on May 2019. Prof. Bhaskar Krishnamachari, faculty at USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the director of Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things (CCI), and Gowri Ramachandran, a postdoctoral researcher at CCI, presented three papers at the conference.

One of the papers is Trinity, which is a distributed and byzantine fault-tolerant publish-subscribe broker. Contemporary IoT and enterprise deployments widely use the publish-subscribe messaging model because of its resource-efficiency. However, the systems with the publish-subscribe messaging model employ a centralized architecture, wherein the data flow via a central broker. Such a centralized architecture makes the publish-subscribe messaging model susceptible to Byzantine failures. For example, it provides an opportunity for the organization that owns the broker to tamper with the data. USC researchers presented Trinity, a Byzantine fault-tolerant publish-subscribe broker, at ICBC. To learn about Trinity, please visit the following link:
The second paper is on the topic of peer-to-peer data marketplaces, which allows sellers and buyers to exchange digital goods, including files and data products, in return for a payment. Despite the rise of blockchain protocols as a way to send payments without trusted third parties, the critical problem of exchanging a digital good for payment without trusted third parties is not discussed in the literature. This problem is referred to as the Buyer and Seller’s Dilemma. USC researchers presented a dual-deposit escrow trade protocol that uses double-sided payment deposits as a solution. To learn more, please visit the following link:
The third paper presented a solution to increase user engagement on token-curated registries (TCR), which are decentralized recommendation systems that can be implemented using Blockchain smart contracts. They allow participants to vote for or against adding items to a list through a process that involves staking tokens intrinsic to the registry, with winners receiving the staked tokens for each vote. A TCR aims to provide incentives to create a well-curated list. USC researchers presented a solution to increase user engagement through an inflationary mechanism. To learn more, please visit the following link:
February 15-17, 2019: USC Blockathon; Hosted by USC Viterbi CCI, Trojan Blockchain Society, and Trojan Cryptocurrency Investment Club
January 20, 2019: Second Symposium on Foundations and Blockchain at USC on the 5th of April, 2019

USC hosts the second edition of the symposium on foundations and applications of blockchain (FAB) on the 5th of April.  

January 20, 2019: USC Marshall School of Business Hosts a Blockchain Accelerator with IBA

USC Marshall School of Business organizes a Blockchain accelerator at USC in partnership with IBA.

November 20, 2018: USC Viterbi researchers post paper preprint on "Enhancing engagement in Token-Curated Registries"

Please see ArXiv.

October 13, 2018: USC Viterbi Team wins second prize at ChainPORT Hackathon with Blockchain-based solution for secure inter-port data sharing

Some more details here.

October 8, 2018: USC Viterbi CCI-Sponsored Team Wins Prize at ETHSF Hackathon in San Francisco

Learn more details about the hackathon at here.

October 4, 2018: Meetup on "Bringing Cities on to the Blockchain" at USC, organized by Blockfinity

See more details here.

October 1, 2018: USC Viterbi CCI joins Hyperledger as an Academic Associate

Read more details about this here.

September 27, 2018: USC Viterbi researchers post paper preprint on PolyShard - a novel coded sharding scheme for Blockchain scaling

See arXiv preprint here.

September 12, 2018: State of Blockchain: Talks by Brian Behlendorf & Industry Panel - Hyperledger meetup at USC

Learn more details about this Hyperledger meetup hosted at USC online at

September 11, 2018: EEA Telecom SIG meeting hosted by USC CCI

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance held an all day meeting of the Telecom SIG at USC, in conjunction with Mobile World Congress Americas being organized in LA this week. For more information see

September 5, 2018: USC researchers post preprint of paper analyzing Token Curated Registries

USC CCI Researchers have posted the preprint of a paper on ArXiv providing the first mathematical analysis of Token Curated Registries (TCRs) using Game Theory. TCRs are a new crypto-economic mechanism that have been recently proposed to provide decentralized curated lists for applications ranging from digital advertising (such as the adChain system developed by MetaX) to restaurants and more.

August 27, 2018: ObEN's Personal AI on the Blockchain event at USC

USC CCI hosted Pasadena-based ObEN to give a presentation about their work on Personal AI on the Blockchain.

August 20, 2018: Two Blockchain courses offered in Fall 2018 by USC ITP

The USC Information Technology Program (ITP) is offering two courses on Blockchain in Fall 2018. ITP 256 “Blockchain”, taught by Prof. Nitin Kale, is now a regular course. ITP 499, “Blockchain: Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications” is a new offering taught by Eric Chung, founder of DApperNetwork. For more info including syllabus, please see

June 13, 2018: Ethereum Foundation's Virgil Griffith speaks at USC

Dr. Virgil Griffith, Research Scientist at Ethereum Foundation came to give a talk at USC, hosted by Viterbi CCI. The talk covered open problems related to Ethereum and Blockchain technology in general. You can find a link to Virgil’s slides in the following page.

June 13, 2018: USC students intern with Hyperledger

This article by Hyperledger showcases interns they are hosting this summer. Two of them, Shuo Wang and Martin Espinoza are graduate students at USC.

June 7, 2018: USC researchers release Trinity - a blockchain solution for supply chain

Dr. Gowri Ramachandran, Kwame Wright and Prof. Bhaskar Krishnamachari from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have released source code for Trinity, a solution that integrates distributed publish-subscribe brokers with Blockchain, for a solution that allows easy deployment of blockchain-based supply chain solutions. Trinity allows for IoT devices to stream measurements and inputs that are verified through a smart contract before being added to a ledger. Subscribing devices can be assured that the stream of data they are getting are consistent with what’s on the immutable ledger and ordered in the same way. While extendable to other software, Trinity has been initially implemented using an open source MQTT broker (Mosquitto) and the open source Tendermint permissioned blockchain protocol.

May 22, 2018: Article on USC's Streaming Data Payment Protocol

This blog post by Lewis Daly on Medium gives an accessible introduction to the Streaming Data Payment Protocol (SDPP), proposed recently by USC researchers to enable easy design of client-server applications on the Internet where clients can pay in real-time for streaming content (from IoT sources or even media servers). SDPP combines traditional TCP-based communication with a cryptocurrency for payments and the use of a distributed ledger for records.

April 26, 2018: Talk by Karan Motwani from Starbucks

Karan Motwani, Manager of Application Development at Starbucks Coffee Company gave a talk at USC on developing Blockchain applications.

April 20, 2018: Blockchain-based Patient Data Management Project Received 150,000 USD

April 20, 2018: A team of Researchers from USC, UCLA, Emory, and Duke Received 150,000 USD for Blockchain-based Patient Data Exchange Platform.

April 18, 2018: Blockchain Technology and its Discontents

Professor Bhaskar Krishnamachari: Blockchain Technology and its Discontents
Thursday, April 12th, 7:30pm-9:00pm
USC, Zumberge Hall (ZHS) – 159
Blockchain and related technologies have created a lot of excitement and there are many innovative ideas in the air to apply them to various domains. Professor Bhaskar Krishnamachari will offer an overview of where the state of the art in terms of technology is and several challenges that remain to be addressed from a technical perspective, including reducing transaction costs, improving transaction volumes, balancing anonymity with AML regulations, reducing price volatility and speculation, increasing software security, interoperability, etc. As food for thought, his presentation will highlight some critical perspectives that argue that blockchains may not be the solution to all the world’s problems.
About Professor Bhaskar:
Bhaskar Krishnamachari is Ming Hsieh Faculty Fellow and Professor in Electrical Engineering with a joint appointment in Computer Science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He is the Director of the USC Viterbi Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things, as well as the Autonomous Networks Research Group. He has co-authored over 300 papers that have been collectively cited over 20,000 times. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, and the ASEE Terman Award for outstanding EE educators. He was listed in Popular Science Magazine’s “Brilliant 10” in 2015, and in the TR-35 list of top 35 innovators under 35 in 2011.
Slides can be found here:

April 5, 2018: Talk by Dr. C. Mohan, IBM Fellow

Dr. C. Mohan, from IBM Almaden, who is a distinguished researcher and an IBM, ACM, and IEEE Fellow gave a talk on “Landscape of Practical Blockchain Systems and their Applications” at USC Viterbi CCI.

April 5, 2018: Banking on Bitcoin, CoinDesk, and Wall Street Journal Event hosted at USC

USC, CCI, the Trojan Blockchain Society, and the LA Blockchain Lab are pleased to host an evening of Everything Blockchain with Michael Casey, Chairman of CoinDesk, Chris Cannucciari, Director of “Banking on Bitcoin,” and Paul Vigna, Cryptocurrency Reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Michael Casey, CoinDesk Chairman
Michael Casey is a Senior Advisor at MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, where he heads research into blockchain applications that advance financial inclusion and energy efficiency. He also holds a position as senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Formerly a journalist at The Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter, bureau chief, managing editor and eventually a columnist covering global economics, Casey keeps his hand in the media business via a role as Chairman of the Advisory Board at CoinDesk, the leading media outlet and events coordinator for the digital asset and blockchain industry. He is the author of five books, including The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything, which he recently published with his co-author Paul Vigna. It was a follow-up to a prior collaboration from three years earlier, The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order.
Paul Vigna, “Wall Street Journal”
Paul Vigna is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and has been a journalist for more than 25 years, as a reporter, editor, and photographer.
He currently covers the cryptocurrency sector, including bitcoin, other digital currencies, and blockchain-related technologies. He formerly was an equities reporter on the MoneyBeat blog, writing about markets, economics, and finance. He was host of both the MoneyBeat show, a daily live webcast, and the MoneyBeat podcast. He also writes about television and arts, with a weekly recap column for “The Walking Dead.”
He has spoken extensively across media, including CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox and Fox Business, and PBS. He has spoken at both South by Southwest and New York Comic Con, and myriad other conferences. He is a frequent guest on podcasts, including Chuck Todd’s 1947 Podcast and Barry Ritholtz’s Masters in Business.
He is co-author, along with Michael J. Casey, of “The Age of Cryptocurrency” (2015, St. Martin’s Press) and “The Truth Machine” (Feb. 27, 2018, St. Martin’s Press).
He is also author of “Guts: The Anatomy of The Walking Dead,” (October 2017, Dey Street Books).

February 8, 2018: Jon Vlachogiannis gives a talk on Proof of Stake: Revolutionizing Blockchain

The big bet of Ethereum, is whether Proof of Stake (PoS) can eliminate Proof of Work (Pow) and provide a more efficient way to achieve distributed consensus. This will lead to a breakthrough, redefining (again) how blockchain applications work, scale and even impact our environment. We’ll talk about how PoW works, we’ll analyze PoS and it’s impact in the blockchain world and how you can start your own node.
Basic understanding of Ethereum and Python is recommended.
Who is Jon Vlachogiannis?
Jon V built the first teleportation device in 4300 and is frequently traveling back in time to talk about things that will change the future. Or the past. During his travels, he builds epic companies, invests in awesome ones and writes code that (sometimes) writes code on its own. You can find him giving presentation at Stanford, United Nations, various tech and startup events and near KOI 7711 – his favorite planet.
Location: KDC 236

December 4, 2017: Nitin Kalé and Bhaskar Krishnamachari present tutorial on Blockchain technologies to Viterbi Faculty and Researchers

There were two tutorial presentations – one by Nitin Kale, and the other by Bhaskar Krishnamachari .
Video recording of the event
Read more about it here:

November 20, 2017: USC-hosted First Symposium on Foundations and Applications of Blockchain (FAB'18) Announced

The Symposium on Foundations and Applications of Blockchain (FAB’18),  co-organized by USC Viterbi faculty and to be hosted at USC in March 2018, is a new venue for presentation of innovative academic+industry research and work on blockchain.  Long and Short Papers are due December 15, 2017! Please help us spread the word!

November 18, 2017: Blockchain panel at World Funding Summit

Prof. Bhaskar Krishnamchari was invited to speak at a panel on Blockchain technologies on day 2 of the World Funding Summit, held at the Los Angeles Covention Center.

November 6, 2017: LA Blockchain lab launched

The LA Blockchain Lab, a partnership with the UCLA Blockchain Lab, and the USC Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and The Internet of Things, is creating a community of blockchain advocates on a mission to increase awareness, advance progress and foster the development of blockchain technology. Members agree to increase civic engagement among all citizens; advance technological progress; link classrooms to burgeoning careers; and foster economic opportunities across Southern California. The Lab’s strength comes itself from associated forms of vigorous difference or diversity: they are intellectual, cultural, and economic––to name but three.

November 1, 2017: Blockchain Innovation Night at USC

Blockchain Innovation Night, part of the 2018 Innovation Week at USC hosted industry experts and student researchers in order to discuss and educate those in attendance about blockchain technologies.

October 24, 2017: Trojan Blockchain Society Info Session

The newly formed Trojan Blockchain Society held an information session for USC students interested in Blockchain.

October 16, 2017: Blockchain and Los Angeles - Diversity & Innovation, talk by Heidi Pease at CCI

Heidi Pease, Co-Founder of LA Blockchain Lab & Homesidekick was hosted for a talk at CCI on the current state of Blockchain technologies, applications and the blockchain ecosystem in Los Angeles.

October 13, 2017: Technical Reading Group on Blockchain Research Started

A graduate-level reading and discussion group focused on understanding the engineering elements of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies from a technical perspective, including reading of state of the art research papers related to blockchains (spanning various perspectives: cryptography, network protocols, distribute consensus and network economics) started in USC Viterbi, by Prof. Bhaskar Krishnamachari. It is hoped that this will lead to a graduate seminar on blockchains in the near future. See reading list.

August 21, 2017: ITP 499 Course on Blockchain Launched at USC

Prof. Nitin Vasant Kale started a new course in the Information Technology Program at USC Viterbi, on Blockchain. See syllabus.

For more information, or to suggest content, please contact

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