Symposium will evaluate blockchain from technical, financial, and regulatory perspectives

August 27, 2018

When people hear the word “blockchain,” they usually think of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but increasingly publishers, governments, corporations, artists, and archives are investigating blockchain technology for primacy and authenticity purposes. Potential applications range from verifying electronic medical records to insuring primacy in the exchange of public and private digital assets.

Although there is no shortage of ideas for using blockchain, these new applications raise many theoretical and practical questions. The Symposium on Blockchain and Trusted Repositories at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will seek to address some of these questions by bringing together academic and industry experts who will examine the issue from technical, financial, and regulatory perspectives. Sponsored by the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Knowledge Trust, in partnership with the UNC Center for Media Law & Policy and The Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, the symposium will be held Nov. 5, 2018, at the UNC Friday Center.

“Given the deluge of ambient and invited information streams in our lives, a key challenge each of us faces daily is who and what to trust,” said SILS Dean Gary Marchionini. “Trust is not a technical issue, but organizations, businesses, and governments are leveraging technology to both strengthen and undermine people’s trust. This digital manipulation has generated considerable interest in the use of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies to authenticate information sources and transactions.” 

The Symposium will feature a full day of panel discussions, breakout sessions, and keynotes. Featured speakers include:

  • Jean Camp, Indiana University Professor of Informatics and Director of Center for Security and Privacy in Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
  • Mark Yusko, Founder, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management
  • David Thaw, Assistant Professor of Law and Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School

General registration for the Symposium costs $100, while students can register for $50. Visit for details of the program and links to register.

The symposium will serve as a reintroduction of the SILS Knowledge Trust, a brand first introduced in 2005. The Knowledge Trust represents a commitment by the School to shape a critical role for 21st century knowledge professionals and to promote an informed public.