Vienna is known for its beautiful architecture and the waltz music composed by the Strauss family. While still proud of its tradition, the capital of Austria also wants to be known as a hotspot for new technologies. For this reason, the largest blockchain competence and research centre in the world, The COMET Center (K1) Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC), has been launched in Vienna.

COMET K1 Research Center – A Blockchain Development Engine for the World

The plans for the ABC COMET K1 Research Center were detailed in a press release. According to the academic director and coordinator of ABC, Alfred Taudes:

An interdisciplinary approach is necessary for comprehensive research into and use of blockchain technology which is why ABC partners from many different disciplines work together. The center is a great opportunity for Austria to stay in touch with the high-tech giants in the USA and Asia in this promising field.

The center will be focused on blockchain and related technologies, and the way they could be applied in the 4.0 industry, as well as in logistics, government, finances and energy. The proposed COMET K1 facility will collaborate both with existing COMET centres and with blockchain initiatives all over the world. The five focus areas of the blockchain competence centre are:

1. Cryptography, Technology & Security

This area will address the technical and theoretical foundations of distributed ledger technology (DLT). It will be led by Dr. Weippl, SBA Research, and will cover the following topics:

  • Cryptography, Mathematics
  • Types of DLTs
  • Protocols, Algorithms (Machine Consensus)
  • Tools/Frameworks for Development
  • Blockchain Code
  • Security
  • Quantum Cryptography

2. Cryptoeconomic Modelling & Blockchain Applications for Business

Under the leadership of Dr. Shermin Voshmgir of the Research Institute of Cryptoecomomics at WU Vienna, this key area will deal with:

  • Economic foundations of DLT enabled business models
  • DLT and sustainability in economic systems
  • Monetary aspects of DLT
  • DLT and finance
  • DLT, innovation and business process design.

3. Emerging Industries & Blockchains in Manufacturing

Focusing on the technological aspects of blockchain in industry 4.0 and the IoT, this area will be led by Prof. Fiedler and Dr. Moser, both of the University of Applied Sciences. The area will research aspects concerning:

  • Database Aspects/Single source of truth
  • Technological Aspects in Industry 4.0 and IoT
  • Data Based Decision Support

4. Data Science Methods for Blockchain Analytics & Predictions

Dr. Haslhofer of the Austrian Institute of Technology and Mag. Tarasiewicz of the Research Institute for Arts and Technology will lead this key area, which will focus on areas such as:

  • Blockchain Analytics Platform
  • Smart Contract Analytics and ICO Tracking
  • Market Understanding & Predictions
  • Empirical Analysis of Off-Chain Transaction Technologies
  • Centralisation Tendencies in Distributed Ledgers
  • Blockchain Monitoring for Governance and Sustainable Chain Quality

5. Legal and Political Implications

Prof. Kalls of WU Vienna will lead the fifth key area of COMET K1 Center. This area will study:

  • Legal aspects of the use of DLT
  • Governance and Smart Contracts
  • DLT and investment
  • Information Privacy and Information Security
  • Tax law
  • Politics.

Austrian Blockchain Center in Numbers

The driving force behind the new blockchain competence centre in Vienna is an advanced organisation which brings together scholars, businesses and institutions from all over the world.

At the moment, the members of ABC include 21 scientific institutions, 16 international institutions/companies, as well as 54 local companies.

The Austrian Blockchain Center promotes the development of blockchain technology through scientific research and identification of real life application cases.