BIS: Workshop on Blockchain Interoperability and Sharding

October 16, 2020 15:00 CEST

BIS, the first workshop on Blockchain Interoperability and Sharding, aims at exploring the challenges and opportunities the blockchain sharding has created and discusses interoperability between blockchain systems.


A common challenge that blockchain technologies need to tackle is scalability. Existing blockchain systems generally have high latency and can only have tens of transactions per second, whereas credit card companies such as Mastercard or Visa carry out thousands of transactions per second. One prominent solution to scalability for blockchains is to run many chains in parallel, often called sharding.

In the last decade, multiple blockchain protocols targeting different use cases and relying on a multitude of technologies have emerged. The majority of them are not compatible and cannot interoperate, which poses the risk of isolation, fragmentation of services, and eventually failure for end-user adoption.

This weakness contributes to other shortcomings of the decentralized web, such as scalability, and makes it impossible to provide a usable alternative to the centralized web, even in a setting where trusted third parties are obvious security holes.

During the last couple of years, the community has realized this challenge and is set to enable interaction between different chains through building interoperability mechanisms.

The goals of this workshop are to review the state-of-the-art research and practices, discuss existing challenges in terms of security and performance, trigger new research directions, and tighten collaborations between academia and pioneering projects who are familiar with practical challenges.

Workshop Chairs

Fatemeh Shirazi - Web3 Foundation
Eleftherios Kokoris-Kogias - IST Austria


Kristen Jäggi - Web3 Foundation
Sonja Lingchungtsang - Web3 Foundation

Event Information

Registration: The workshop will take place online. Attendance to the workshop is free of charge
Date: October 16, 2020

Tentative Schedule (all times are in CEST)

  • 3:00 pm — 3:30 pm
    Alexei Zamyatin
    Trustless Cross-Chain Communication Impossible, but incentive compatible?
    Imperial College London, UK - Interlay
    Watch video
  • 3:30 pm — 4:00 pm
    Pramod Viswanath
    Free2Shard: Identity free Sharding
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US
    Watch video
  • 4:00 pm — 4:30 pm
    Christopher Goes
    Sovereign to Sharded: The Shared Security Spectrum
    Interchain GmbH (Cosmos)
    Watch video
  • 4:30 pm — 5:00 pm
    Dankrad Feist
    Validity and the future of blockchains
    Ethereum Foundation (ETH2.0)
    Watch video
  • 5:00 pm — 5:30 pm
    Rachid Guerraoui
    “Bitcoin is an easy problem”
    EPFL, Switzerland
    Watch video
  • 5:30 pm — 6:00 pm
    Pedro Moreno-Sanchez
    Security, Privacy and Interoperability in Payment-Channel Hubs
    IMDEA, Spain
    Watch video
  • 6:00 pm — 6:30 pm
    George Danezis
    FastPay: High-Performance Byzantine Fault Tolerant Settlement
    University College London, UK - Facebook Novi
  • 6:30 pm — 7:00 pm
    Alistair Stewart
    Is Slashing a good idea? ...and how to apply it to scaling in proof of stake
    Web3 Foundation (Polkadot)
    Watch video