The 13th BIU Winter School on cryptography

Blockchain Technologies

February 20-23, 2023

School Overview

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have introduced new application scenarios for cryptography, and driven novel cryptographic constructions. The 13th BIU Winter School on Cryptography will focus on recent advances in blockchain technology. The program will cover the following topics: introduction to blockchains, consensus protocols, smart contracts, crypto-wallets, bridges, and DeFi. 

The program aims to give a taste of key topics in the area, focusing on recent developments in the field. The target audience for the school is graduate students and postdocs, as well as people from the blockchain community (we will assume that participants have taken at least one university-level course in cryptography). However, all faculty, undergrads, and people in relevant industries with the necessary background are welcome. The winter school is open to participants from all over the world; all talks will be in English.

School Lecturers 

Additional Information

Organizers: Ittai Abraham, VMWare Research, Gilad Asharov, Bar-Ilan Univeristy, Mor Weiss, Bar-Ilan University, Eylon Yogev, Bar-Ilan University

Where: Auditorium C50, the Nanotechnology Building (Bldg. 206), Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

When: Monday, February 20 to Thursday, February 23, 2023.

Registration: We are sorry but the maximum number of participants has already been reached, and registration is now closed.

HotelWe have arranged special rates at the Kfar Hamaccabiah hotel which is the closest hotel to Bar-Ilan University. There will be transportation from the hotel to Bar-Ian campus in the morning and back to the hotel in the afternoon on all four days of the school.

More information about the hotel, room rates and reservations is available here.

Be aware that reservations should be made directly with the hotel.

Travel to Israel: COVID-related travel restrictions can be found at Tourists are permitted to enter Israel, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, subject to the regulations of the Population Authority.

Call for sponsorship: The winter school relies on sponsors to help ensure student participation. Please contact if your company is interested in sponsorship.

Contact: For any questions or queries, please send an e-mail to: or


Program Schedule

The detailed schedule for the winter school can be downloaded here.

Monday, February 20 – Part 1- Introduction

  • Dan Boneh: What are Blockchains and What Are They For?   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Valeria Nikolaenko: An Overview of PoW and PoS Consensus   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Dan Boneh: An Overview of the Ethereum Execution Layer   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Arthur Gervais: CeFi Versus DeFi   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Valeria Nikolaenko: Hard Problems in Blockchains   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Arthur Gervais: The Risk of Censorship and De-Anonymization   (Slides)   (Video)

Tuesday, February 21 – Part 2- Proofs: Privacy, Scaling and Bridges

  • Dan Boneh: What Are Snarks and What Are They Good For?   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Eli Ben Sasson: A Cambrian Explosion of Cryptographic Proofs   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Eli Ben Sasson: Arithmetization – What’s Algebra Got to Do With It? +  From Fri to Polynomial Commitment Schemes   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Dan Boneh: Proving Properties of Committed Polynomials and the Derived Snarks   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Excursion

Wednesday, February 22 – Part 2 – Proofs: Privacy, Scaling and Bridges (continue)

  • Mary Maller: How Custom Gates Are Used During Arithmetization  (Slides)   (Video)
  • Mary Maller: A Close Look at a Lookup Argument   (Slides)   (Video)

      Part 3 – Consensus and Data Availability

  • Rafael Pass: Permissionless Consensus I   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Rafael Pass: Permissionless Consensus II   (Video)
  • Valeria Nikolaenko: Data Availability Sampling, Data Dispersal and Reconstruction   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Alexander Spiegelman: DAG meets BFT & Theory Meets Practice   (Slides)   (Video)

Thursday, February 23 – Part 4 – DeFi and MEV

  • Arthur Gervais: Decentralized Exchanges, Sandwich, Arbitrage   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Arthur Gervais: Lending, Liquidations, Stablecoins   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Valeria Nikolaenko and Dan Boneh:  MEV and Fair Ordering   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Arthur Gervais:  DeFi Attacks   (Slides)   (Video)

      Part 5 – Crypto Wallets

  • Yehuda Lindell: Building Blockchain Wallets – Challenges and Solutions   (Slides)   (Video)
  • Yehuda Lindell: Building Blockchain Wallets – Technical Details   (Video)

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