Blockchain Workshop Position Statement

Author: Tariq B. Ahmad

My name is Tariq B. Ahmad. I am research scientist in the department of Astronomy at UMASS Amherst. I work at the intersection of security and parallel computing. I am PhD in Computer Engineering with focus on Parallel computing and Security/Cryptography. I am quite familiar with web tecnologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript, REST API) and I believe in their expressive power. I have analyzed the entire bitcoin blockchain using Big Data tools to track transaction fee in shortest time. Transaction fee is increasingly becoming important as the mining reward drops to 12.5 bitcoins. This open source work is available at I am also CEO of Antares Microelectronics LLC (, an Amherst MA based company working on cutting edge technologies. We have recently received $20,000 grant by Highland Capital Partners ( as part of their Cybersecurity factory summer program for startups ( to work on applications using blockchain technology.

I am interested in open source blockchain analytics on blockchain and other data sources using Big Data tools in a browser environment [1]. This can potentially help individuals and organizations such as law enforcement to visually track payments and other activities with in a browser. There is a clear lack of open source smart analytics on blockchain that combines various other data sources and effective visualization of output to reveal interesting patterns. For example, there is no easy way to find out double spent transactions in the blockchain if any. The likelihood of such transactions are pretty low but if the receiver of a bitcoin transaction does not wait for at least six confirmations, there is a possibility that a malicious sender might double spend thus denying a legitimate receiver. How can such transactions be queried and visualized in a browser? Further, how can any bitcoin receiver receive notification in a browser that he/she has received 6 confirmations on the blockchain? Note that commercial solutions exist but they cost thousands of dollars [2][3][4].

Another aspect is integration with other data sources brings issues related to interoperability, interchange format, storage and retrieval. Compute power is cheaper than ever before and cloud computing services are available with builtin Big Data tools and libraries. The remaining piece of the puzzle is to define interesting queries on the blockchain with associated data and visualize the results. In nutshell, can one query blockchain and see the results all with in the browser environment? What web technologies could be used to enable block chain analytics with in a browser? Assuming blockchain running on a cloud computer along with Big data tools, what are the key web technologies for this server side? How does the server scale for thousands of users firing off millions of queries?

These are all the important questions that I am interested in talking and learning.

It is interesting to see that this is somewhat included in the workshop topics under decentralized processing, computing and storage infrastructure. This is where I can contribute best. I am interested in networking with fellow attendees to materialize my goal of making open source blockchain analytics feasible. I am quite optimistic that my attendance will benefit me as well as other attendees.