Ralph Merkle

RALPH MERKLE received his PhD from Stanford University in 1979, where he co-invented public key cryptography and invented Merkle Trees, the structural feature at the heart of blockchain and peer-to-peer network technologies, such as BitTorrent, Git, Bitcoin, and Ethereum. From 1988 until 1999 he worked with Xerox PARC, pursuing research in security and computational nanotechnology, after which becoming, among other things, a Nanotechnology Theorist at Zyvex until 2003, when he joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Professor of Computing until 2006. He is now Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a Director of Alcor, and Chair Emeritus of Nanotechnology at Singularity University. Among many other honours, he has received the Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology, the ACM’s Kanellakis Award, the IEEE Kobayashi Award, the RSA Award in Mathematics, and the IEEE Hamming Award; he is a Fellow of the IACR, a Fellow of the Computer History Museum, and a National Inventor’s Hall of Fame Inductee. Ralph Merkle has over eighteen patents, has published extensively, and has given hundreds of talks.