BOG 2019: Hogeg Blockchain Research Institute Inaugurated
New technologies are constantly being introduced, but only seldom emerges one that can truly turn our world around. Such is the technology of blockchain, which stands at the heart of TAU’s new Hogeg Blockchain Research Institute. The Institute was founded by Moshe Hogeg, a young Israeli entrepreneur who was one of the first to see the potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain, and is also known to many as the owner of Beitar Jerusalem soccer team. It will promote research, teaching and dissemination of knowledge regarding the technology and its applications.
The Institute was inaugurated in a festive ceremony held in the Raya and Josef Jaglom Auditorium as part of TAU’s 2019 Board of Governors meeting. Prof. Moshe Zviran, Dean of the Coller School of Management, chaired the event and Prof. Dan Amiram, Head of the Institute, presented its goals and vision for advancing knowledge along with academic-industry partnerships.
Outgoing TAU President Joseph Klafter noted that the Institute is one of only a handful of similar ones. “Thanks to Moshe’s generosity, TAU can now claim another major advantage in positioning the Coller School at the forefront of entrepreneurship and innovation in Israel and worldwide,” he said.
Moshe Hogeg emphasized the importance of maintaining Israel’s high-tech edge, and spoke about his vision for the future: “Twenty years from now, my son will not talk about blockchain as if it’s the issue. It will become an enabling technology that is intertwined in every aspect of his technological and digital life, and even beyond that – similarly to how we now regard the internet as a basic part of our lives.”
And indeed, while many people know it as the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain’s potential uses extend far beyond digital currencies. Blockchain allows consumers and suppliers to connect directly, removing the need for a third party. Using cryptography to keep exchanges secure, it provides a decentralized database of transactions that everyone on the network can see. This network is essentially a chain of computers that must all approve an exchange before it can be verified and recorded. Why is it so revolutionary? The technology can be implemented for every type of transaction involving value, including money, goods or information.
Dr. Jacob Mendel, Managing Director of the Institute, presented some of these potential and virtually limitless applications: “Besides simplifying financial transactions and trade, blockchain could serve for safely transferring confidential medical records, or to make voting processes more transparent. It will make any data system less vulnerable to both fraud and cyber-security threats, because of its decentralized nature,” he explained.