Stefan Brands

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Stefan Brands
Scientific career
Fields Cryptography
Institutions CWI
University of Utrecht
McGill University School of Computer Science
Doctoral advisors Adi Shamir
Henk van Tilborg

Dr. Stefan Brands is a cryptographer specialized in electronic cash and digital identity. He is best known for designing the protocols underlying Microsoft's U-Prove technology. Prior to Microsoft, DigiCash[1][2] and Zero-Knowledge Systems[3] implemented related protocols developed by Brands for anonymous electronic cash with double-spending traceability. The same protocols were implemented by large European banks and IT organizations in the CAFE and OPERA projects[4] to test smartcard-based electronic cash.

Brands has headed privacy technology start-up Credentica (2002-2008), and has been a Principal Architect at Microsoft (2008-2010). He has served as an adjunct professor at McGill University (2000-2010) and as an advisor to Canada's and Ontario's data protection commissioners (2006-2007), and serves on the advisory board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (since 2009). Brands has extensively briefed, testified before, and provided consultancy to top-level government organizations in North-America and Europe, notably on privacy and security issues relating to e-government, e-health, and national security infrastructure protection.[citation needed]

Brands obtained his PhD at Eindhoven University of Technology for his dissertation "Rethinking Public Key Infrastructures and Digital Certificates," published by MIT Press.[5]


  1. ^ “Minting” electronic cash by David Chaum and Stefan Brands, in: IEEE Spectrum special issue on electronic money, February 1997.
  2. ^ How DigiCash Blew Everything, NEXT magazine, January 1999.
  3. ^ Wall Street Journal: Zero-Knowledge Is Hoping to Cash In On Move to Anonymous Funds for Web. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on October 3, 2015.
  4. ^ About the CAFE project, April 1996.
  5. ^ Rethinking Public Key Infrastructures and Digital Certificates: Building In Privacy, MIT Press 2000, ISBN 0-262-02491-8

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