Privacy, Identity and Payment in the Next Generation Internet at BFH: Innovation Tour Point Zero Forum

On the occasion of the Point Zero Forum's Innovation Tour, we will showcase the privacy-preserving GNU Taler payment system along with its various applications and extensions – as well as other payment- and digital identity related projects – that are currently being developed at the Bern University of Applied Sciences and its international partners as part of the NGI TALER EU project.

01.07.2024, 10am–12.30pm – Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne, Aarbergstrasse 46, Biel


  • Start date 01.07.2024, 10am–12.30pm
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  • Place Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne, Aarbergstrasse 46, Biel
  • Costs free of charge


10:00 Welcome
Peter Brunner, head of research Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering and Computer Science
10:05 NGI TALER: Payments with Informational Self-Determination for the Next Generation Internet

Prof. Dr. Christian Grothoff

NGI TALER is a consortium dedicated to launching and promoting the GNU Taler payment system in Europe. GNU Taler is a Free Software implementation of a self-custody digital cash payment system with strict privacy protections for payers and equally strict transparency and accountability for payees. The talk will give a brief overview of the technology and the direction of the project.

Christian Grothoff is professor for computer network security at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, researching future Internet architectures. He is co-founder of Taler Systems SA, a business focusing on the development of GNU Taler, a scalable and privacy-preserving digital payment system suitable for central bank digital currencies.

10:30 The Vital Role of Protected Confirmation

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Fehrensen

Hardware protected confirmation empowers user’s sole control over confirmation actions in digital space - even on a compromised devices.  It can be applied to a wide range of security critical operations such as “authentication”, “authentication with linking” (PSD2), “transaction confirmation” (e.g. EMV “3DS confirmation”), “shareholder voting”, “medical device steering”, “access un-locking”, “electronic signing” and many more. In addition, Protected Confirmation is becoming critical for multi-purpose authentication mechanisms such as the EUDI wallet and the Swiss EID planned for 2026.  Hardware protected confirmation was successfully piloted within the UBS e-banking in 2023.

Benjamin Fehrensen is Professor of IT Security and Privacy. He studied at the Technical University of Munich and the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. In 1999, he graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich with a summa cum laude degree in Theoretical Chemistry / Quantum Mechanics. He has an excellent knowledge of cybercrime and has worked in this area for the Competence Centre for Cybercrime Zurich and UBS AG in recent years. In addition to his new role as a lecturer, he is involved in applied research in the field of IT security and forensics at the Institute for Cybersecurity and Engineering (ICE).

10:45 Demonstration: Limits of Hardware Key Protection

Prof. Andreas Habegger

Advancements in hardware forensics and hacking pose significant challenges to Hardware Security Modules (HSMs). Techniques including side-channel attacks, fault injection, and physical manipulation of electronic devices are increasingly effective in extracting or inferring secrets safeguarded by certified HSMs, albeit often resulting in device destruction. While these methods historically demanded costly and specialized tools, they are gradually becoming more accessible to a wider audience. This session presents the cat and mouse game of making and breaking hardware security.

Andreas Habegger is Professor of Informatics and Head of the Master of Science in Engineering programme at BFH. He is a specialist in hardware and software development for embedded systems. He has a background as an electrical engineer specialising in embedded systems and hardware algorithms (FPGA programming /   HW/SW co-design).  At BFH he established the production process for SMD and COB/SMD mixed design electronics. He has developed and implemented a chip-off process for data extraction for smartphones, navigation systems, etc. for  authorities.


Posters, Demonstrations, Networking and Refreshments

Integration corner:

  • Demonstration: GNU Taler in Adobe E-commerce (Nic Eigel, BFH)
  • Demonstration: Point-of-sale with GNU Taler (Stefan Kuegel, Taler Systems)
  • Demonstration: Securing partially offline payments with OTP (Marc Stibane, Taler Systems)
  • Demonstration: Depolymerization: Taler for Bitcoin (Prof. Emmanuel Benoist, BFH)

Hardware corner:

  • Demonstration: Cashless2ecash (Joel Häberli, BFH)
  • Demonstration: The GNU Taler snack machine (Andreas Habegger, BFH)

 Research corner:

  • Poster: A system for privacy-preserving tax-deductable donations (Lukas Matyja and Johannes Casaburi, BFH)
  • Poster: Payments for the Internet of Things (Mikolai Gütschow, TU Dresden)
  • Poster: Programmable money: The case for age-restricted digital cash (Özgür Kesim, FU Berlin)
  • Poster: Tokens for unlinkable discounts and subscriptions (Christian Blättler, BFH)

CBDC corner:

  • Meet the author: Digital Euro: Friend or Foe? (Leon Schumacher, Taler Systems)
  • Demonstration: Real-time monitoring for GNU Taler (Cedric Zwahlen, BFH)
  • Poster: eNetzbon: regional digital currency with informational self-determination (Prof. Isidor Wallimann, Verein Soziale Ökonomie)

Digital identity corner:

  • Poster: SwissPass FIDO2 Protocol (Dominic Baumann and Coralie Rohrer, BFH)
  • Poster: Unlinkability of Verifiable Credentials in a practical approach (Joël Gabriel Robles Gasser, BFH)

Protect our financial freedom!
Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament

Crypto regulation must respect the right to anonymity. The digital euro is a problem and not the solution. Cash protects our financial freedom and limits on anonymous cash payments endanger it.


The Point Zero Forum annually convenes 2,000 central bankers, regulators, policymakers, industry leaders, technologists and investors to address the latest developments in financial technology and the future of finance.

This event is part of the Innovation Tour within the Point Zero Forum. Registration for multiple tours is possible. Transportation is individual.

view over Biel/Bienne Enlarge image
GNU Taler snack machine in Biel Enlarge image
GNU Taler snack machine in Biel Enlarge image

How to get there

Arrival by public transport

The Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne is located within two minutes walking distance from Biel/Bienne train station. You have a direct train from Zurich airport leaving at 7:48, arriving in Biel at 9:13. A later train leaves Zurich airport at 8:08 with a change in Zurich main station. This train leaves Zurich main station at 8:30, arriving in Biel at 9:43.

Arrival by car

Route planner

Parking on single days or for a few hours

Long-term or rental parking spaces

Possible in SIPBB, train station and Coop parkings according to availability