I obtained my doctoral degree (PhD) of engineering at the University of Leuven, Belgium. My research focused on improving the privacy of the citizen by using cryptography. I'm currently working at the research team of Smals, which provides IT services to Belgian governmental organizations. Every day, I continue my quest for improving privacy with cryptography, which has become even more relevant since the GDPR has come into force.

At Smals, I developed a deep understanding of blockchain and, more general, distributed ledger technology (DLT). My academic background in cryptography and privacy turned out to be a perfect match, since it helps me to approach this young and heavily hyped concept in a scientific and balanced way.

Meanwhile, I have built up many years of expertise, which I use to:

  • Innovate
    by devising advanced & creative solutions
  • Review

    proposals on their privacy, sec­urity, scalability, ...

  • Share

    knowledge & insights in articles, seminars, ...

  • Advise

    companies, e.g. in their blockchain strategy

My CV can be found here (update needed).

© Kelsey Ruys
Smals (Belgian Government)
I am part of the research team of Smals, which provides IT services to Belgian governmental institutions. I stimulate innovation by inventing and applying novel cryptographic concepts, by giving advise and by doing knowledge transfer such as seminars.

The last years, my main occupations were:
  • Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
  • Advanced cryptography
  • Anonymisation and pseudonymisation of PII (Personal Identifiable Information)
Currently, most of my time goes to blockchain / DLT:
  • I introduced the first technical knowledge about blockchain and smart contracts into the Belgian federal government.
  • I'm involved in several blockhain projects. For instance, I'm technical expert in the Validata project, which has been initiated by the Flemish government.
  • For several applications, I came up with novel blockchain-based approaches, which I described and analysed in detailed technical reports. This ensures that issues such as security, privacy and scalability are well covered. I have built several proofs-of-concept using different blockchain technologies. Currently we are in the process of bringing blockhain into a live production environment.
  • I'm an active member of the Belgian Blockchain Coalition, which is coordinated by BOSA (formerly known as Fedict).
  • I'm an active member of the Beltug Blockchain Task Force.
  • I advise and assist several governmental organization in their blockchain exploration process. I am blockchain-neutral, which means that I do not push a blockchain-based solution if the risks are too high or if better alternatives exist.
  • I'm currently writing two books about blockchain in collaboration with Larcier and researchers at the law department of a Belgian universities.
  • I have given multiple guest lectures at Belgian universities.
University of Leuven
In 2004 I obtained a Master in Informatics at the University of Leuven (with distinction) with a thesis entitled: "Group and Ring Signatures", which are two related cryptographic primitives to create digital signatures in the name of a group.

In 2009, I was awarded, as PhD student, the Best Paper Award at SECRYPT, the international conference on security and cryptography for my paper: Service and Timeframe Dependent Unlinkable One-Time Pseudonyms.

In 2011, I obtained at the University of Leuven my PhD of Engineering with a dissertation entitled: “Improving privacy in applications by managing the disclosure of personal properties”. The aim was to develop and facilitate the development of applications whereby the certified personal user data that are being disclosed to the service provider are minimized, while the latter still has sufficient information and guaranties to offer its services. Today, this is called self-sovereign identity. One of the key cryptographic tools in my reserach were attribute-based credentials, as well as the underlying zero-knowledge proofs.

The list of my academic publications can be found here.

During my time at the university, I have been teaching various courses for various student groups and I have been coaching theses of several master students, of which two obtained later a PhD as well. Occasionaly, there is still collabaration between the University of Leuven and me at Smals. I coached, for instance, during the academic year 2016-2017 a master student on his thesis "Kruisen van persoonsgegevens met maximale bescherming van de privacy (Linking together Personal Identifiable Data with Maximal Protection of the Privacy)".

In 2015 I passed flawlessly the online Coursera course Cryptography I offered by professor Dan Boneh, Stanford University.