Third International Symposium on Foundations and Applications of Blockchain 2020

University of California, Santa Cruz

May 1, 2020

Keynote Speakers

Dahlia Malkhi, Research Lead at Calibra.

The Journey to Libra Blockchain Core and Beyond


At the core of cryptoeconomic systems like Libra is a mechanisms for 'agreeing' on a history of payment transactions. The journey to practical and robust solutions is accelerated by the drive to great inclusive financial services. This talk sheds light onto the efforts that led to the design of Libra's blockchain core and provides a glimpse on next steps.


An applied and foundational researcher in broad aspects of distributed systems technology. Currently, research lead at Calibra, advancing the Libra technology and co-inventor of HotStuff. Co-founder and technical lead of VMware blockchain. Co-inventor of Flexible Paxos, the technology behind Log Device. Creator and tech lead of CorfuDB, a database-less database driving VMware’s NSX-T distributed control plane. Co-inventor of FairPlay project. Joined Calibra in June 2019 as a research lead. In 2014, after the closing of the Microsoft Research Silicon Valley lab, co-founded VMware Research and became a Principal Researcher at VMware until June 2019. From 2004-2014, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley. From 1999-2007, a tenured associate professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1995-1999, a senior researcher at AT&T Labs, NJ.

Alysson Bessani, Associate Professor at University of Lisbon, Portugal

From Byzantine Replication to Blockchains: Consensus is only the Beginning


The success of bitcoin and other blockchains lead to a renewed interest in Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) consensus protocols, with many recent contributions both from industry and academia. However, there are few long-standing issues with the practical deployment of these protocols (e.g., their resilience to evolving threats) that remain mostly unaddressed. In the first part of this talk, I’ll discuss some subtle issues that arise when using BFT replication protocols for implementing blockchains. After that, I’ll outline how these protocols can be made robust against changing network conditions and new common vulnerabilities on the replicas software by monitoring the environment and employing risk management and weighted replication.


Alysson Bessani is an Associate Professor of the University of Lisbon Faculty of Sciences, Portugal, and a member of LASIGE research unit. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UFSC (Brazil) in 2006, was a visiting professor at Carnegie Mellon University (2010) and a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge (2014). Alysson coordinated/collaborated in ten international projects and co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on dependability, security, Byzantine fault tolerance, and cloud storage. He is also the principal researcher behind the BFT-SMaRt consensus library ( and a co-founder of the Vawlt dependable & secure cloud storage startup ( More information about him can be found in