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Labs’ Haber honored with memorial meeting room in Estonia

Curt_Hopkins on ‎04-12-2016 07:25 AM


By Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

Most memorials, as per the word, are designed to sustain the memory of those of note who have passed away. Well, certainly Hewlett Packard Labs researcher Stuart Haber is a gentleman of note in our industry. He recently had a paper he co-authored accepted into ASPLOS 2016, for instance.

At last check, however, he had yet to shuffle off this coil, mortal or electromagnetic. Nevertheless, Haber is now the honoree of his very own conference room in Estonia.

For those who are unaware, Estonia is one of the most wired countries on earth. The small Baltic country has produced Skype, has the highest number of startups per capita according to the Wall Street Journal, and has 80 percent Internet penetration.

But what do Estonia and an innovative company called Guardtime have to do with Haber?

As Martin Sadler, VP and Director of Security and Manageability for Labs, said, “Guardtime is part of why Estonia is at the forefront of being a digital nation. Their underlying technology is based on blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin. And to recognize those on whose shoulders they believe they are standing, they’ve named their meeting rooms after key individuals in that technology’s development.”

The original Bitcoin paper, by “Satoshi Nakamoto,” mentions Haber’s work and builds on it.

One of the key questions with Bitcoin is how to make certain the digital currency does not get spent twice.

“The solution we propose begins with a timestamp server,” wrote Nakamoto. And that timestamp solution was based on Haber’s work. Two papers he co-authored are referenced in the paper’s footnotes. His paper on bit-string naming is also referenced.  

“Guardtime is a security firm that invented a technology called Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI),” Mike Gault, the company’s CEO, told Behind the Scenes. “Our research was heavily influenced by the original work by Haber on digital timestamping in the 90s. His work will become increasingly relevant in the coming years with the focus on post-quantum security as well as cryptocurrencies which are based on the foundations built by Haber and others in the Nineties.”

So there you have it. Labs researcher Stuart Haber is one of the keys to the development of blockchain (and therefore of Bitcoin) and therefore of Guardtime. And now he has a conference room named after him in Tallinn, Estonia.

Congratulations, Stuart!

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Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

Jill W Sweeney
on ‎04-23-2016 09:31 PM

What an honor indeed. Our colleague Stuart is blazing an amazing trail with blockchain technology. I love the tribute but would to suggest this is not a memorial, but an eponym or namesake that will underscore many years of new technological brilliance to come. Keep up the great articles, Curt. I really enjoy reading and sharing with my network.

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