Bernhard Haslhofer from the Complexity Science Hub earns second place in the Houska award


Bernhard Haslhofer Earns Second Place in Houska Prize

Prestigious recognition for the Complexity Science Hub and the research project “CryptoFinance” in the category of Non-University Research.

Last night marked the 19th annual Houska Prize ceremony, where awards were presented across three categories. Bernhard Haslhofer secured second place and was awarded 60,000 Euros for his research into innovative financial technologies.

Haslhofer remarks, “I am honored to be awarded second place in the Houska Prize, which is not only a great honor but also a reflection of our team’s outstanding work over the past few years. This award will support our continued research further to progress our understanding of the complexity of cryptoasset ecosystems.”

The financial landscape has undergone significant changes in recent years, with the emergence of crypto assets such as Bitcoin alongside traditional currencies. This shift presents both opportunities and challenges, particularly in the realm of cybercrime. Bernhard Haslhofer, explaining the need for better understanding, states, “Currently, there is a lack of clarity concerning the intricacies of this highly complex system, its dependencies, and its overall stability.”

To address this, Haslhofer and his team at the Complexity Science Hub are working on the “CryptoFinance – Insights into the Complexity of Cryptoasset Ecosystems” project. They are developing a modeling approach to analyze transaction flows in systems like Bitcoin and Ethereum in detail.

The societal relevance of this work is evident in collaborations with law enforcement agencies to investigate cybercrime and trace financial flows related to illicit activities such as child exploitation on the dark web, among others.

To manage the vast amount of data effectively, the scientists have launched the spin-off Iknaio and created the open-source platform “GraphSense,” capable of processing billions of transactions. In this way, the research findings are being applied globally, contributing to a more secure economic landscape both nationally and internationally.


The Houska Prize was established by the B&C Private Foundation in 2005 to promote economically relevant research and innovations. It honors the most outstanding domestic research projects every year.

With a total endowment of 750,000 euros, the Houska Prize of the B&C Private Foundation is the largest private award for applied research in Austria. This aims to strengthen Austria’s standing as a business location.

This year, there were a total of 73 submissions. Five projects each in the categories of “University Research,” “Non-University Research,” and “Research & Development in SMEs,” were nominated by an expert jury, competing for the domestic “Research Oscar.”



Visualizing interactions between accounts happening on the Ethereum chain.

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