11/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2021 15:41
Italian computer scientist receives ISSNAF Lifetime Achievement Award
THE FUTURE OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES SPEAKS ITALIAN SILVIO MICALI, FROM SICILY TO THE MIT IN BOSTON "SCALABLE AND DECENTRALIZED BLOCKCHAIN ENSURE SAFER AND MORE DEMOCRATIC TRANSACTIONS"
"My link with Italy continues to be very strong, I am proud of the scientific education I received in my country. Italian culture helped me not to be sectoral, to have breadth of views and to value dialogue, all key tools to develop new fields of activity". Cryptocurrencies, blockchains and financial transactions are moving towards a more sustainable, decentralized and scalable - thus more democratic - future, and we owe it to an Italian computer scientist and mathematician. Born in Sicily and now working at MIT in Boston, Silvio Micali is recognized as one of the world's leading experts in cryptography and blockchains.
Silvio Micali's pioneering work and great achievements in the U.S. and around the world led him to be the recipient of this ISSNAF's 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. ISSNAF is the foundation that brings together thousands of Italian scientists and academics active in laboratories, universities and research centers in North America, and the award will be presented during the Foundation's Annual Event which will be held in a virtual format on December 9, 2021 (registration here), and which is organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Washington, under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic.
Born in Palermo in 1954, Micali spent much of his childhood in Agrigento. "At the time, it was the poorest province in Italy," the scientist explains. "But it was also one where you could admire the works of an ancient culture, which people came to visit from all over the world. A heritage that opened your mind". After graduating in Mathematics at La Sapienza in Rome, a student of the famous mathematician Corrado Böhm, he earned a PhD in Computer Science at UC Berkeley in 1983, and then specialized in cryptography and computer security. Currently, he teaches at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT in Boston. In 2012 he became the first-ever Italian to be awarded with the prestigious Turing Prize (regarded as the Nobel Prize of Computer Science), which he won together with his colleague Shafi Goldwasser for his pioneering work in the fields of cryptography and complexity theory.
Micali's work helped cryptography make huge strides in the last 30 years. However, soon he decided to turn his attention to one of the most innovative technologies of the 21st century: Blockchains, the base of cryptocurrency issuance. This is why he appreciates the genius idea of bitcoin, but considers it incomplete and in need of being perfected: "The Proof of Work technology with which bitcoin generates blockchains wastes too much energy and has led to the creation of a new centralized power, an elite that decides everything".
With this in mind, and in order to overcome these critical issues, in 2017 Silvio Micali founded Algorand, a scalable, secure and decentralized digital currency and payments platform. Its goal is to scale blockchains through a consensus mechanism that is faster and more efficient than the current one and - above all - less expensive.
"If a group of people decides which transactions should remain in the open, and which should not, they could also decide to exclude anyone they wanted to from the economy," explains the scientist. "We are the only truly decentralized blockchain, so we allow millions, and potentially billions, of people to participate in writing the next blocks."
Algorand aims to become the platform of choice for the global financial industry in the near future. But Micali's new challenges will not end there: "The big topic of blockchains will continue to occupy me for quite some time. However, I am used to traveling in 5-year cycles, at the end of which I change sphere and face a new topic. I don't yet know what the next challenges will be - if I did, it would be less fun."
More information atwww.issnaf.org
Blum. Business as a medium