At the blockchain.lab at York University, we are investigating research questions that have real-life management and entrepreneurial applications of blockchains.
A blockchain is a distributed or decentralized database that maintains a continuously-growing list of data records secured from tampering and revision. This cryptographic technology offers a way for people who do not know or trust each other to create a record of who owns what that will compel the assent of everyone concerned. Originally developed to underpin the bitcoin cryptocurrency network, the blockchain has many enthusiastic supporters who see its potential beyond cash and currency. The potential for blockchain to enable a distributed ledger of digital assets is the source of their enthusiasm.
The following is a catalogue of research from blockchain.lab
- 2019: Henry Kim (Principal Investigator) with Sigma Analysis, “Exploring Application of Blockchain Technologies for Managed Investing,” Ontario Centre of Excellence – Voucher for Innovation and Productivity I Research Grant ($49,961).Sigma is a Toronto-based investment management firm that has been a pioneer in managed account investing, risk management and smart risk analytics. Sigma was founded in 1999 to advise institutional investors in hedge fund portfolio construction and risk monitoring. Sigma’s mission is to deliver customized investment solutions with an elite group of professionals that delivers high-touch, bespoke and value-added services to institutional investors. Blockchain has emerged as an exciting new technology that has started to spur innovation in Financial Services, especially in cryptocurrencies and back-end business processes,. Thus, Sigma appreciates that the investment management space has significant potential in adopting blockchain, and seeks to capitalize on this potential. Moreover, Given its reputation for innovation and mathematical sophistication, Sigma is expected by its industry and clients to be a fast follower rather than a late adopter of breakthrough technology. To capitalize on the potential and to meet and exceed expectations, Sigma is collaborating with Prof. Henry Kim of the Schulich School of Business at York University. As Co-Director of BlockchainLab, he brings a wealth of experience in blockchain research in partnership with industry. In this collaboration, Sigma will explore enabling technologies required to work with blockchain-enabled alternative asset exchanges that will create markets for assets such as cryptocurrencies and security tokens, as well as studying models and software tools for investing in these alternative assets. In addition, a requirements document specifying technology considerations will also be delivered.
- 2019: Henry Kim (Principal Investigator) with Accu-Label, “Meeting Changing Customer Requirements in Food and Agriculture through application of blockchain technology,” Ontario Centre of Excellence – Voucher for Innovation and Productivity I Research Grant ($45,000).Blockchain technology has recently been considered in many different areas of Agriculture. Accu-label is looking to advance the application of blockchain technology in the areas of traceability, fraud prevention, and response time during food recalls, while simultaneously increasing the value and quality of information available to all relevant stakeholders in the food supply chain, including end consumers. Application of blockchain technology to provenance in the food sector is strongly complementary to Accu-Label’s ability to print variable data on individual fruit and vegetables to achieve item-level traceability. The combination of new blockchain technology with Accu-label’s existing individual item level labelling technology will enable Accu-label to increase market share and revenues through enhancing existing products and services, as well as developing new products and services. To that end, this project will deliver a business case that will address the cost and benefits of Accu-Label investing in blockchain technologies. In addition, a requirements document specifying technology considerations will also be delivered.
- 2018: Henry Kim (Principal Investigator) with Hero Engineering, “Blockchain Enabled Smart Microgrids,” Ontario Centre of Excellence – Voucher for Innovation and Productivity I Research Grant ($45,246).This project proposes a transactional energy marketplace that directly connects energy producers with energy consumers. This type of decentralized approach has the potential to improve system efficiency, reliability, and sustainability by incentivizing market participants to produce and consume local, renewable energy, thereby decreasing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Blockchain technology facilitates energy transactions among market participants by executing smart contracts, where the transactions are not necessarily limited to trading electricity, but also to obtain information from electrical assets within the grid. As such, the application of a transactional energy model running on a blockchain platform has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and resiliency of energy systems. The proposed transactional marketplace will be implemented at the Living City Smart Grid, in Vaughan, Ontario, where smart buildings and sources of renewable generation already exist.
- 2018: Henry Kim (Principal Investigator) with Nuco Networks, “Applying Deep Neural Networks for Blockchain Interoperability I and II,” Ontario Centre of Excellence – Voucher for Innovation and Productivity I and National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program Research Grants ($65,200).We may be at the cusp of an "Internet of Value." It will be powered by blockchain technologies used to maintain digital ledgers for assets of value--e.g. for money, property deeds, health records, or bills of lading. Just as the traditional Internet is a network of networks, The Internet of Value will be a network of blockchains. And just as telecommunications infrastructure, and standards like the TCP/IP protocol enabled different networks to be connected and inter-operate, blockchain infrastructure, standards, and protocols will need to be developed to enable different blockchains to be connected and inter-operate. Nuco Networks Inc. is a Canadian blockchain company developing these technologies. The Blockchain.Lab.Yorku.ca is an inter-faculty research initiative at York University to investigate blockchain, as well as other emerging technologies such as AI techniques like Deep Neural Networks. Blockchain.Lab.Yorku.ca and Nuco Networks Inc. are bringing our strengths together in a collaboration titled, "Applying Deep Neural Networks for Blockchain Interoperability." Many current blockchain implementations use third-party "miners" who expend excessive computational power and electricity to demonstrate or "prove" that they are competent, committed, and incorruptible to verify transactions. Our collaboration will address research challenges in designing a system where third party miners help to bridge different blockchains, while proving their credibility by applying computational power for a practical neural network problem that, say, helps a hospital with patient diagnosis. We hope our efforts will contribute to innovations that will lead to more efficient global commerce and apply AI to solve global problems.
- 2018 - 2019: Henry Kim (Collaborator) with Getu Hailu from University of Guelph, and Henry An from University of Alberta, “Trade and Competitiveness: Productivity, Innovation, and Product Differentiation,” Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs – Research Program ($151,600).In a previous OMAFRA University of Guelph funded food manufacturing project, we find that exporters are more productive than non-exporters, efficient plants self-select into the export market and Ontario food manufacturing plants are more productive than other provinces. However, in recent years, antitrade sentiments, often fueled by the idea that international trade has created more losers than winners, have become increasingly common in foreign policy. This is exemplified by Britain’s vote to exit the European Union (Brexit), opposition by the U.S. to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the ongoing renegotiation of the North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The proposed project focuses on the demand side to examine the competitiveness of Ontario and Canadian food manufacturing firms. Specifically, we aim to examine: (1) the link between inventory, productivity and export market participation for small- and medium sized food processing firms; and (2) the feasibility of adopting a novel food supply chain management strategy (i.e., blockchain encryption technology) and how the technology would benefit exporters from Ontario (and Canada) by differentiating their products from global competitors. We are primarily interested in identifying the factors that characterize likely adopters, and to provide an ex ante estimate of the benefits and costs of employing the technology.
Blockchain in the Enterprise
- Kim, Henry M., Hjalmar Turesson, Marek Laskowski, and Amir Fard Bahreini (2021). “Permissionless and Permissioned, Technology-Focused and Business Needs-Driven: Understanding the Hybrid Opportunity in Blockchain through a Case Study of Insolar,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Early Access (DOI: 10.1109/TEM.2020.3003565).
- Kim, Henry M. and Marek Laskowski (2018). “Towards an Ontology-Driven Blockchain Design for Supply Chain Provenance”, Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance, and Management, Vol. 25, Issue 1, pg. 18-27. [SSRN], Awarded Paper of the Year by the Journal
- Kim, Henry M. and Marek Laskowski (2018). "Agriculture on the Blockchain: Sustainable Solutions for Food, Farmers, and Financing," In: D. Tapscott (Ed.), Supply Chain Revolution, Barrow Books.
- Treiblmaier, Horst, Melanie Swan, Primavera de Filippi, Mary Lacity, Thomas Hardjono, and Henry M. Kim (2020). “What's Next in Blockchain Research? -An Identification of Key Topics Using a Multidisciplinary Perspective,” Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, Accepted.
- Sengupta, Ushnish and Henry M. Kim (2020). “Meeting Changing Customer Requirements in Food and Agriculture Through Application of Blockchain Technology,” Frontiers in Blockchain, Submitted.
- Agrawal, Dhwani, Natalia Jureczek, Gajane Gopalakrishnan, Margaret Natalie Guzman, Michael McDonald, and Henry M. Kim (2018), "Loyalty Points on the Blockchain," Business and Management Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 80-92. [SSRN]
- Lucena, Percival, Alecio P. D. Binotto, Fernanda da Silva Momo, and Henry M. Kim (2018). “A Case Study for Grain Quality Assurance Tracking based on a Blockchain Business Network,” Proceedings of the Symposium on Foundations and Applications of Blockchain (FAB 18), March 9, 2018, Los Angeles, CA.
Blockchain in Clean Energy and Climate Action
- Saxena, Shivam, Hany Farag, Hjalmar Turesson, and Henry M. Kim (2021). “Blockchain Based Transactive Energy Systems for Voltage Regulation in Active Distribution Networks,” IET Smart Grid, Early Access (DOI: 10.1049/iet-stg.2019.0286).
- Kim, Henry M., Tom Baumann, and Marek Laskowski (2020). “Towards Ontology and Blockchain Based Measurement, Reporting, and Verification For Climate Action,” Frontiers in Blockchain, Submitted.
- Saxena, Shivam, Hany Farag, Aidan Brookson, Hjalmar Turesson, and Henry M. Kim (2020). “A Permissioned Blockchain System to Reduce Peak Demand in Residential Communities via Energy Trading: A Real-World Case Study,” IEEE Access, Submitted.
- Saxena, Shivam, Hany Farag, Aidan Brookson, Hjalmar Turesson, Henry M. Kim (2019). “Design and Field Implementation of Blockchain Based Renewable Energy Trading in Residential Communities,” 2nd International Conference on Smart Grid and Renewable Energy, Doha, Qatar, November 19-21, Submitted.
- Jurjica, Oana, Adrienne Adjeleian, and Henry M. Kim (2020). “Breaking the Stagnant Spell: How Blockchain is Disrupting the Solar Energy Industry," Technical Note on Integration and Trade Sector, Inter-American Development Bank, Accepted.
Blockchain in Finance, Accounting, and Economics
- Kim, Henry M., Marek Laskowski, Michael Zargham, Hjalmar Turesson, Matt Barlin, and Danil Kabanov (2021). “Token Economics in Real-Life: Cryptocurrency and Incentives Design for Insolar Blockchain Network,” IEEE Computer, In Press.
- Teschuk, Cameron and Henry M. Kim (2020). “Driving Through the Roadblocks: A Case for a More Proactive Approach to CBDC from Canada’s Central Bank,” 2020 International FinTech, InsurTech & Blockchain Forum Virtual Conference, Submitted.
- Zhang, Alfred Ruoxi, Farookh Zandi, and Henry M. Kim (2020). “A Simple Macroeconomic Model of Decentralized Emission Markets Based on the Solow Growth Model,” Frontiers in Blockchain, May 5 (DOI: 10.3389/fbloc.2020.00018).
- Zhang, Alfred Ruoxi, Farookh Zandi, Henry M. Kim (2020). “A Discussion on Decentralization in Financial Industry and Monetary System,” In: Information for Efficient Decision Making: Big Data, Blockchain and Relevance (Eds.: Balachandran, K.R.), World Scientific Publishing (DOI: 10.1142/11833).
- Kim, Henry M., Ushnish Sengupta, and Marek Laskowski (2020). “Business in the Front, Crypto in the Back: How to Be a Blockchain Startup in Finance,” International Review of Entrepreneurship, Submitted.
- Kim, Henry M. and Izhar Mehar (2019). “Blockchain in Commercial Insurance: Managing Risk in a Digitally Transformed Business Landscape,” Commissioned Report, Blockchain Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Karajovic, Maria, Henry M. Kim, and Marek Laskowski (2019). “Thinking Outside the Block: Projected Phases of Blockchain Integration in the Accounting Industry”, Australian Accounting Review, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 319-330. [SSRN],
- Mehar, Muhammad Izhar, Charlie Shier, Alana Giambattista, Elgar Gong, Gabrielle Fletcher, Henry M. Kim, and Marek Laskowski (2019). “Understanding a Revolutionary and Flawed Grand Experiment in Blockchain: Understanding the DAO Attack,” Journal of Cases on Information Technology, Vol. 21, No, 1, pp. 19-32. [SSRN]
- Zhang, Alfred Ruoxi, Anujan Raveenthiran, Justin Mukai, Ramisha Naeem, Arvin Dhuna, Zoha Parveen, and Henry M. Kim (2019). “The Regulation Paradox of Initial Coin Offerings: A Case Study Approach,” Frontiers in Blockchain, Vol. 2, Issue 2, April. [SSRN]
Blockchain Infrastructure and Technology
- Turesson, Hjalmar, Henry M. Kim, Marek Laskowski, and Alexandra Roatis 2020). “Proof-of-Useful-Work as Dual-Purpose Mechanism for Blockchain and AI: Blockchain Consensus that Enables Privacy Preserving Data Mining,” Journal of Database Management, Accepted.
- Evermann, Joerg and Henry M. Kim (2020). “Workflow Management on BFT Blockchains,” Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architecture, Accepted.
- Evermann, Joerg and Henry M. Kim (2020). “Workflow Management on Proof-of-Work Blockchains - Implications and Recommendations,” SN Computer Science, Accepted.
- Kim, Henry M., Marek Laskowski, and Ning Nan (2019). “A First Step in the Co-Evolution of Blockchain and Ontologies: Towards Engineering an Ontology of Governance at the Blockchain Protocol Level”, SSRN.
- Kim, Henry M. and Marek Laskowski (2017). “A Perspective on Blockchain Smart Contracts: Reducing Uncertainty and Complexity in Value Exchange,” Proceedings of the IEEE Workshop on Workshop on Privacy, Security, Trust & Blockchain Technologies, August 3, Vancouver, BC.
Blockchain and Society
- Sengupta, Ushnish and Henry M. Kim (2020), “Business Process Transformation In Natural Resources Development Using Blockchain: Indigenous Entrepreneurship, Trustless Technology, and Rebuilding Trust,” In: Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology Use Cases: Applications and Lessons Learned (Eds: Trebelmeier, H., Silaber, C., Clohessy, T.), Springer, Accepted.
- Battista, Danielle, Hrvoje Stancic, Henry M. Kim, Chandana Unnithan, and Victoria Lemieux (2020). “Blockchains and Provenance: How a technical system for tracing origins, ownership and authenticity can
transform social trust,” In: V. Lemieux (Ed.), The Truth Machine: Exploring the Social, Records and Technical Potential and Pitfalls of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies. Revision Requested.
- Henry Kim (Finance Chair) and Marek Laskowski (Patrons Chair). IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, May 2020, Toronto.
- Henry Kim, Co-Organizer (2017-). Fields Institute Seminar Series on Blockchain
- Marek Laskowski, Vice-Chair (2020-). United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT).
- Marek Laskowski, Section Lead (2017-20). "Blockchain and UN CE/FACT," United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT).
- Marek Laskowski, Co-Organizer (2019-). Toronto Blockchain Week
- Henry Kim and Marek Laskowski, Nominee. Award for New Frontiers in Blockchain Research (2019).
- 2017 - present: Henry Kim, Academic Advisor along with select Canadian scholars, "Trusted Data: Understanding Digital Ledger Technology," White Paper for the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
- 2017 - 2018: Marek Laskowski, Instructor, "Certified Ethereum Development Course," Lassonde Professional Development Centre, York University.
- 2018 - present: Henry Kim, Instructor, "Emerging Technologies: Business Implications and Opportunities," Schulich Executive Education Centre, York University.
- 2017 - present: Marek Laskowski and Henry Kim, Frequent guest speaker on Blockchain at various conferences and lectures.
- 2017 - present: Henry Kim and Marek Laskowski, on various Organizing Committee for academic workshops and conferences related to blockchain.
- Charlie Shier (JD in progress, Harvard)
- Ilan Kogan (JD/MBA in progress, Yale/Harvard)
- Bita Ghiasi (JD/MBA, York)
- Alfred Ruoxi Zhang (MSc in progress, London School of Economics)
- Izhar Mehar (MBAN, York)
- Maria Karajovic (BBA, York)
- Karl Camota (Blockchain Certificate, George Brown College)
- Adrienne Adjeleian (iBBA, York)
- Oana Jurjica (iBBA, York)
- Ruhama Quadir (iBBA, York)
- Harleen Narula (BBA, York)
- Ali El-Shayeb (iBBA, York)
- Adrian Ho (iBBA, York)
- Milan Jankovic (BBA, York)
- Jackie Cheung (BBA, York)
- Iryna Gel (BBA, York)
- James You (BBA, York)
- Michael Dunwoody (BBA, York)