The University of Arizona

Events & News

CS Colloquium

DateThursday, April 9, 2015
Time11:00 am
Concludes12:15 pm
LocationGould-Simpson 906
DetailsPlease join us for coffee and light refreshments at 11am in Gould-Simpson 906.

Faculty Host: John H. Hartman
SpeakerKen Shirriff

A Programmer Examines Bitcoin

Bitcoin has become a popular cryptocurrency recently, but its internal algorithms are less well known. This talk explains how the Bitcoin protocol works, from the high-level cryptography down to the network packets. I also describe hidden data I found stored in the Bitcoin system, analysis of Bitcoin attacks, and Bitcoin mining techniques from pencil-and-paper to an IBM mainframe.


Ken Shirriff is a programmer at a web search company in Mountain View, CA and writes a popular blog ( on reverse engineering everything from chargers to microprocessors. He has a PhD in distributed operating systems from UC Berkeley.