RWC 2021

Jan 11-14 2021


Participation Guidelines

There are many ways you can participate in an IACR virtual conference. Your participation is valuable and we encourage you to add to the discussion. Like a face-to-face conference, virtual conferences are only as good as the interactions that occur there.

We recognize that a virtual conference is not a 1:1 substitute for a physical conference. However, we believe there are distinct advantages to having a virtual conference. These include a lack of space constraints, travel is not required, and the ability to attend all talks since they are recorded.

All conference attendees must register. When you participate in Q&A, chat, etc, you must do so using the name you are known by in your professional work. The code of conduct still applies in a virtual setting.

Schedule Structure

The conference is organized over 4 days, with approximately 5 hours per day. The conference will feature contributed talks, invited talks, organized social events, and lightning talks.

New Features

For RWC 2021, we have structured things a bit differently than the past virtual conferences IACR hosted in 2020. Our in-house social app is going to be the main hub for you during the conference (this will also be referred to as the conference portal).

In order to get to the Zoom links, you'll need to access the program via the conference portal. Zoom links will no longer appear on the program outside of the conference portal.

Conference Portal Tour

We've tried to make the social app as intuitive as possible, but we're only human. Here are some screenshots to help you out. There's also help text at the left when you're in the app (unless you're in a video room).

Screenshot of the list of video rooms. These rooms may change depending on the day.
This is the list of video rooms. These rooms will change throughout the conference.
Screenshot of the program within the social app.
The program within the conference portal (also known as the social app) looks slightly different from the one on the website. This is where you will find the Zoom links for talks.
Screenshot of the Zulip iframe within the social app.
You can access Zulip ( from within the conference portal.
Screenshot of what a video room looks like with two probably humans.
This is what a video room looks like with two people in it.
Screenshot of fullscreen mode when in a video room.
This is what the fullscreen button does when you're in a video room.
Screenshot of video settings modal.
The button in the upper right with the gear icon leads to video settings. You can choose your video/audio input, as well as a few other settings.

Ways to Participate

Live Sessions

Attendees will be able to ask questions of authors about their work, or to encourage interesting conversation amongst authors. These sessions will also be livestreamed on the IACR YouTube channel and are available for later viewing.

To ask a question during a session, we strongly recommend using the relevant stream on Zulip. It is also possible to ask questions using the Zoom chat, but this is less convenient for moderators.

Text and Video Chat

Much like at a face-to-face conference, we know that the best conversations can happen in the hallways or at coffee breaks. The IACR social app includes small video conference rooms to encourage this type of interaction. This app also has a text-based chat (Zulip), which includes a variety of streams organized by topic.


If you cannot or do not wish to participate live via Zoom, you will still have access to all talks on the IACR YouTube channel. A link to the RWC playlist will appear below when it is ready.

Social Events

We will provide some activities for people to enjoy during the social events, including Cards Against Cryptography. We have recruited some notable members of the community to hang out and chat about anything in a given hour with whoever shows up. All social activities are scheduled to take place via the conference portal and links will appear there.

Attending a Session

We are using Zoom for our sessions. The links are found in the portal app. You do not have to install Zoom software to attend! If you plan to attend a session using your browser, it needs to be one of the following:

  • Internet Explorer* 10 or higher
  • Chromium-based Microsoft Edge 80 or higher
  • Google Chrome 53.0.2785 or higher
  • Safari* 10.0.602.1.50 or higher
  • Firefox 76 or higher
  • Chromium (not officially supported by Zoom, but the IACR has tested it and it appears to work similarly to Chrome)

* Please note that Zoom officially recommends Chrome, Edge, or Firefox for full functionality. You may lack key features on other browsers.

If you wish to use the desktop client, there are options available for all operating systems.

How to enter a Zoom meeting with the web client.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Zoom account to attend conference sessions?

No. We offer entrance to our sessions for both attendees with Zoom accounts and those without.

How do I ask a question during the sessions?

We strongly encourage you to use the corresponding Zulip stream on or to ask it verbally during the session (when called on by moderators). Note that Zulip allows for other attendees to see your question and upvote it by reacting with emojis. Authors may answer verbally during the session or have a longer discussion on Zulip.

The session times are not convenient for me. What can I do?

Unfortunately, due to the wide variety of time zones IACR members live in, we cannot accommodate everyone. We strongly encourage those who cannot attend live events to still participate in the conference asynchronously.

Sessions and invited talks are streamed to YouTube and available for viewing after the fact. You can also participate in chat via Zulip. If you don't want to watch the talks alone, we suggest you to host a watch party for others in your time zone. Post watch party links on Zulip if you'd like to encourage others to join.

Zoom and YouTube have security and privacy issues. Does this mean the IACR endorses these technologies?

No. There is no perfect solution available. We opted for commercial options that had a high degree of reliability while offering the best user experience. The IACR acknowledges the security and privacy problems of each of these technologies, and our use of them is not to be considered an endorsement.