Open Learning Forum

GBBC-authored executive summaries of detailed technical reports, papers, and studies to promote greater understanding of blockchain technology and its applications. 

The Open Learning Forum also includes a collection of best in class use cases which deploy blockchain technology. ​Visit the use case library here.

Accredited academic institutions, thought leadership platforms and developers are encouraged to submit reports, papers and studies.



Algorand’s Approach to the Right to Be Forgotten
Silvio Micali
Algorand discusses how their blockchain accounts for the Right to be Forgotten without sacrificing blockchain’s core tenets.

FlyClient: Super-Light Clients for Cryptocurrencies
Beneditk Bünz; Lucianna Kiffer; Loi Luu; and Mahdi Zamani
Stanford University; Northeastern University; Kyber Network; Visa Research
FlyClient is a proposed solution that would speed up transactions on blockchains.

On the Instability of Bitcoin Without the Block Reward 
Miles Carlsten; Harry Kalodner; S. Matthew Weinberg; and Arvind Narayanan
Princeton University
This paper lays out issues that could arise as bitcoin mining block rewards decrease.

PISA: Arbitration Outsourcing for State Channels
Patrick McCorry; Surya Bakshi; Iddo Bentov; Sarah Meiklejohn; and Andrew Miller
University College London; University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; Cornell University; and IC3
PISA improves the function of state channels by introducing a ‘custodian’ who can ensure its security when users are offline.

Scaling Nakamoto Consensus to Thousands of Transactions per Second 
Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, Tsinghua University
Chenxing Li; Peilun Li; Dong Zhou; Wei Xu; Fan Long; and Andrew Chi-Chih Yao

This paper proposes a system that can improve Bitcoin’s scalability and speed.

The Lightning Network
MIT Digital Currency Initiative
A decentralized system for instant, high-volume micropayments that removes the risk of delegating custody of funds to trusted third parties.

Discreet Log Contracts
MIT Digital Currency Initiative
The idea of “Smart Contracts” is one of the exciting promises of digital currency technology.


Code Is Not Law: The Legal Background for Trade Finance Using Blockchain
Shearman & Sterling LLP; R3; and BAFT
This paper lays out the legal barriers to increased blockchain acceptance and deployment.

Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms

Todd W. Beauchamp; Stephen P. Wink; Simon Hawkings; Yvette Valdez; and Nozomi Oda

Latham & Watkins

This paper examines laws surrounding cryptoasset trading platforms in key jurisdictions around the world.

FinTech in the United States
Michael Nonaka; Christopher DeCresce; Reid S. Hooper; and Jenny Scott Konko 

Covington & Burling LLP
This paper details the various federal agencies that play a role in regulating blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.



The State of Stablecoins
Stellar Development Foundation and Wirex
The Stellar Development Foundation and Wirex conduct a survey on the way people conduct cross-border payments, revealing that while crypto has gone mainstream, stablecoins have not.

Blockchain Technology for Detecting Falsified and Substandard Drugs in Distribution: Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Intervention 
Patrick Sylim, MD; Fang Liu, MS; Alvin Marcelo, MD; Paul Fontelo, MD, MPH
National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; University of the Philippines
Researchers developed and tested a sophisticated pharmaceutical tracing system that increases transparency and traceability of the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Financing the Un(der)banked
Emma Garnick; Claudia Borba Matos; Kevin Assié; Shadin Alghaseb; Kwame Nsiah-Poku; and Brian Gaffney
American University
Blockchain technology holds significant potential to improve financial access for unbanked and underbanked populations.

Food Safety: How Blockchain Mitigates Losses During U.S. Meat Recalls
Dan Gorman and Shreya Walia
American University
Blockchain technology can improve tracking of meat products, making recalls more efficient and reducing contamination risks.

How Increasing Trust, Efficiency, and Transparency Can Save Lives
Emma Garnick; Ayman Omar; and Heather Elms
American University
Blockchain systems could be deployed by FEMA and other emergency response agencies to improve disaster response and reduce fraud.

ProvChain: A Blockchain-based Data Provenance Architecture in Cloud Environment with Enhanced Privacy and Availability
Xueping Liang; Sachin Shetty; Deepak Tosh; Charles Kamhoua; Kevin Kwiat; and Laurent Njilla
Tennessee State University; Old Dominion University; Norfolk State University; and Air Force Research Laboratory
This paper presents ProvChain, a blockchain solution that can improve the security of cloud computing.

Security Services Using Blockchains: A State of the Art Survey
Tara Salman; Maede Zolanvari; Aiman Erbad; Raj Jain; and Mohammed Samaka
Washington University in St. Louis; Qatar University
This paper surveys the numerous applications for blockchain technology in IT security.

Digital Flat Currencies
MIT Digital Currency Initiative
A key part of our vision for a decentralised financial system is the ability for people to transact familiar currencies using blockchain technology.

Blockchain Asset Registries
MIT Digital Currency Initiative
One of the most promising use cases of blockchain technology involves the development of secure digital registries for property title and smart contracts.

Decentralized autonomous electric microgrids (DAEMs)
MIT Digital Currency Initiative
These grids pose opportunities for underprivileged communities that go well beyond the utility of replacing existing fossil fuel generators.

Consensus Mechanisms

Proof-Of-Work Sidechains
Aggelos Kiayias and Dionysis Zindros
University of Edinburgh; National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; and IOHK
Sidechains can solve multiple problems associated with blockchains; the sidechain architecture proposed here can work with proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin.

Proof-Of-Stake Sidechains
Peter Gaži; Aggelos Kiayias; and Dionysis Zindros
University of Edinburgh; National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; and IOHK
Sidechains can solve multiple problems associated with blockchains; the sidechain architecture proposed here can work with proof-of-stake blockchains like Cardano.