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  • Who Am I?

    Patrick McCorry is the CEO of PISA Research.

    He was an Assistant Professor at King's College London in Cryptocurrencies and Security Engineering. As well, he was a researcher at University College London, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Newcastle University. Many moons ago, he also worked at IBM UK on the CICS Portfolio which is used by most banks in the world.

    His focus is cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, applied cryptography and decentralised systems. Patrick is the UK’s first PhD graduate in Cryptocurrencies and his work has recently appeared at Devcon3'4'5, Scaling Bitcoin 17'19', Breaking Bitcoin 17, CESC 17, BPASE 19 and SBC19 alongside numerous academic venues.

    How I learnt to become a cypherpunk


    Together with Chris Buckland, Sergi Delgado and Salvatore Ingala, our mission is to ensure millions of users can maintain self-custody of their coins while using services on the internet. Only off-chain protocols can ensure this goal will be achieved in a permissionless and global manner.

    Thanks to several grants from the Ethereum Foundation ($350k), Ethereum Community Fund ($100k), the Research Institute ($70k), and BinanceX ($15), we have sufficient funding to start building out the necessary off-chain infrastructure to help push forward internet-wide scalability.

    I had a short journey as an Assistant Professor. I love academia, I love research and I love supervising PhD students. However there are many systematic and deeply in-grained issues that exploits academics (and their students). Someday I'll write a blog post about it.

    I am eternally grateful to have worked with fantastic researchers, Andrew Miller and Sarah Meiklejohn, during the post-doc years. Generally, I focused on atomic swaps, consensus protocols, on-chain bribery and off-chain scalability

    Back in 2013 at Newcastle Uniersity, I decided to study Bitcoin, the money for the internet. I was advised twice against studying Bitcoin as most academics considered it a joke topic. It caught my interest as Bitcoin relied on distributed systems and cryptography to build a global payment system outside the realm of banks. Thanks to an advisor (Feng Hao) who was willing to take on risky topics, I had the opportunity to dedicate time to understanding how something like Bitcoin could work.

    Generally, I spent a lot of time in quirky chatrooms (#bitcoin-wizards), deep-diving into the code and getting involved with the global community. Over the course of the PhD, I focused on pseudonymous authentication and payment security until I discovered Ethereum. Since then, I have focused on how smart contracts can be leveraged to build cryptograpic protocols and to help the network scale via off-chain protocols.

    Graduated first in my class with 89% overall (1st Hons is 70%). Degree focused on applied cryptography, distributed systems, on-hands programming with web technologies and Java. Final dissertation was building a restaurant ordering system that connected the customer's device to the restaurant's till + kitchen.

    During 2011, I worked at IBM UK on the CICS Portfolio. This involved building eclipse task wizards and assembly programming for CPSM (CICSPlex System Management).

    Worked in five subway stores (Belfast + Newcastle upon Tyne) serving sandwiches. Part-time job during school and university.

    Training anyone interested in crypto

    Training Workshops

    10-week Cryptocurrency class (300+ attendance)

    Alongside Dr Sergi Delgado, Dr Luke Riley and Prof Peter McBurney, we offered a free 10-week course for software developers in London to attend. We covered in-depth topics for cryptocurrencies including the underlying data structures (UTXO, account-model), smart contract security, financial privacy, off-chain protocols and applied cryptography. All material can be found here.

    Enterprise cryptocurrency training workshops

    I offer technical deep-dives into Bitcoin, Ethereum and in general public blockchain eco-systems. Topics include applied cryptography, distributed systems (and consensus protocols), building and breaking smart contracts, data structures (UTXO/Account-based), off-chain scalability (lightning network + plasma), and new topics can be requested on-demand. Our most recent client was Fidelity Investments. Please get in touch at patrick@pisa.watch to find out more.

    Weekend developer workshop

    In collaboration with work on blockchain, I support the morning sessions of a two-day deep-dive developer bootcamp in London. We have trained over 500+ software developers since 2018 and thanks to Yoti, Blockchain.info and King's College London for sponsoring their venue from time to time.