CEO of Elixxir
David Chaum is a renowned American computer scientist and cryptographer. He is known as a pioneer in cryptography and privacy-preserving technologies, and widely recognized as the inventor of digital cash. In the 90s, he came up with “ecash,” a digital currency issued by Deutsche Bank.
He holds a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley; his 1982 dissertation, titled "Computer Systems Established, Maintained, and Trusted by Mutually Suspicious Groups,” was recently credited as an early framework for blockchain technology; he is also known for a number of innovations of cryptography. His dissertation discussed many concepts like blind signatures, time-stamping chained data and chaining consensus blocks that resemble aspects of today’s blockchain.
Throughout the 1980s, Chaum proposed many ideas that emphasized a need for anonymity and privacy in communication, even developing an idea for a secure voting system with end-to-end encryption to prevent fraud. Chaum has maintained his passion for cryptography, privacy technology and digital anonymity into the present day. He is currently leading Elixxir and Praxxis to provide scalable digital sovereignty.
Additionally, Chaum has taught at NYU Graduate School of Business and UC Santa Barbara; he has also led a number of breakthrough projects such as the International Association for Cryptologic Research, the cryptography group at the Center for Mathematics and Computer Science in Amsterdam, DigiCash, the Voting Systems Institute and the Perspectiva Fund. In 2020, Chaum launched his latest endeavor: the XX coin, a digital currency that will support decentralized messaging.
Picture source: Heidi Gelover/The Wall Street Journal