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A network view of cryptocurrencies: the Bitcoin case-study [Lecture Series FS2020]


Prof. Dr. Tiziano Squartini (IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca)


30, June, 2020


Online Lecture

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Cryptocurrencies are distributed systems that allow exchanges of native tokens among participants. The public availability of their complete historical bookkeeping opens up an unprecedented possibility, i.e. that of analysing the static and the dynamical properties of their network representations throughout their entire history. In this talk, some of the most recent results concerning the structural properties of the Bitcoin Lightning Network (BLN) will be reviewed: the picture that emerges is that of a system whose size enlarges while becoming increasingly sparse and whose mesoscopic structural organization becomes increasingly compatible with a (statistically-significant) core-periphery structure. Such a peculiar topology is matched by a very uneven distribution of bitcoins, a result suggesting that the BLN is undergoing a “centralisation” process at different levels.


Prof. Dr. Tiziano Squartini

Tiziano Squartini is a theoretical physicist. He holds a Master Degree in Physics (2008) and a PhD Degree in Physics (2011) from the University of Siena (thesis title: “Information-theoretic approach to the analysis of complex networks”). During the biennium 2012-2013 he was Postdoctoral Researcher at the Lorentz-Institute for Theoretical Physics (Leiden, NL) under the supervision of Diego Garlaschelli. From January 2014 to October 2015 he was Postodoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Complex Systems “UOS Sapienza” in Rome, under the supervision of Luciano Pietronero. Since November 2015 he is Assistant Professor at the IMT School for Advanced Studies, in Lucca (within the NETWORKS Research Unit); since December 2018 he is a Tenure Track researcher within the same institute where he teaches the course “Advanced Topics in Network Theory”. He is PhD Board Member of the “Data Science” joint doctorate (in collaboration with Scuola Normale Superiore, Sant’Anna School, University of Pisa and National Research Council) and visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS – University of Amsterdam, NL). His research interests lie at the intersection between statistical physics and graph theory, both on the theoretical and on the applied side: some of the research topics pursued by him concern network reconstruction, systemic risk estimation in financial networks, (mis)information spreading on social networks and functional brain networks analysis. He currently collaborates with the Supervisory Policy Division of the Dutch National Bank, Bank of England and Bank of Mexico. He is author of around 50 publications in peer-reviewed international journals (including major ones like Nature Reviews Physics, Physical Review Letters, Physics Reports), peer-reviewed book chapters and of one co-authored monograph.


Time Speaker Event Title Presentations
17:00 -17:10Prof. Dr Claudio TessoneWelcome & Introduction
17:10 -18:00Prof. Dr. Tiziano SquartiniA network view of cryptocurrencies: the Bitcoin case-studyDownload
18:00 -18:15Q&A
18:10 -18:30Apéro