Monash and Collinstar sign multi-million dollar agreement to develop blockchain cryptocurrency


Dr Joseph Liu from Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology.

Monash University and Collinstar Capital have signed a multi-million-dollar deal to develop the blockchain cryptocurrency Hcash in a move that hopes to establish Hcash as a virtual cryptocurrency exchange.

Dr Joseph Liu from Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology and Dr Allen Au, from Hong Kong Polytechnic say the blockchain technology used to develop Hcash is superior to the bitcoin system. 

“The new lab will enable us to build practical blockchain-based solutions with rigorous security that can, in addition to digital currencies, be also applied in other application domains, such as digital health,” Monash Associate Professor Carsten Rudolph said.

The collaboration between Monash University and Collinstar Capital will see the development of a joint blockchain cryptocurrency research and development lab located at Monash’s Clayton campus and a node based at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

Dr Liu and Dr Au believe Hcash will be a connecting point for all existing blockchain systems, potentially allowing Hcash to function as a virtual cryptocurrency exchange. 

Up until now, existing cryptocurrencies can only be exchanged within their own system.

Dr Liu and Dr Au have worked together for more than ten years in the area of cryptography, and will continue their successful partnership with the establishment of this blockchain cryptocurrency Lab. 

“The long-term successful collaboration with Dr Au will form the foundation of this joint lab. We both believe this collaboration will continue to produce more significant research output, especially in the area of blockchain”, Dr Liu said.

Faculty of IT Dean Professor Jon Whittle said he is delighted that Dr Liu’s work has been recognised. “It is a testament to the wonderful young researchers we have in the Faculty of IT at Monash who are leading the way in disrupting almost every industrial sector through new digital technologies,” Professor Whittle said. 

Asset management firm Collinstar Capital is a market leader in Financial Technologies, specialising in blockchain infrastructure, digital currency investments, and relevant consulting services.  

Managing partner of Collinstar Captial, Mr Jacob Cheng said they were attracted to this partnership due to Dr Liu’s research into cryptocurrency as his research has formed the basis of one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world, Monero.

“The strong cryptographic background of Joseph and Allen will definitely push Hcash to the next level of success. This is exactly what we need and the joint lab will be a perfect match,” Mr Cheng, said.

Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, was developed in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, in 2008. 

The virtual currency is controlled by a decentralised network of users and allows people to pay for goods and services without involving banks and regulators. 

In this peer to peer system, digital transactions are recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain, which protects the identity of the user.

Since bitcoin was created, hundreds of other cryptocurrencies have sprung up, but bitcoin remains the best known and most widely used.

Background Information

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency, operating independently of a central bank.

Dr. Joseph Liu is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University. His research areas include cyber security, blockchain, applied cryptography and privacy-enhanced technology. His papers receive more than 3500 citations and his remarkable research in linkable ring signature forms the theory basis of one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world. He has served as the program chair for various security conferences and has published more than 130 papers in top conferences and journals. 

Dr. Allen Au is an assistant professor at the Department of Computing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dr. Au's research interests include information security, applied cryptography, accountable anonymity and blockchain. He has published over 100 refereed papers in top conferences, including the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) and the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS). His work has been cited over 2500 times. He is now serving as a committee member of the Hong Kong Blockchain Society R&D division.