Ripple Introduces $50M University Blockchain Research Initiative

Blockchain, Education, News | June 4, 2018 By:

Distributed ledger firm Ripple has partnered with leading universities around the world to help lead development of the blockchain and payments ecosystem.

The program, called University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), will support academic research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments. Through the program, Ripple will donate $50 million to universities to help shape the workforce of the future.

The initial university partners include: Australian National University College of the Law, CITP at Princeton, CSAIL at MIT, Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil), Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, IIT Bombay, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H), Korea University, McCombs School of Business, UT-Austin, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The University of Pennsylvania, UCL (University College London), University of Luxembourg, University of Nicosia (Cyprus), University of Oregon, and University of Waterloo.

In addition to providing financial resources, Ripple is committed to collaborating with these universities by providing subject matter expertise and technical resources, as needed. The universities will determine its own research topics and areas of focus.

For example, Princeton University will create an UBRI program that will study the policy impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the US and around the world. At The University of Pennsylvania, UBRI will be supporting select MBA-MS candidates each year in a newly established Wharton-Engineering dual-degree program. This funding aims to prioritize students working on blockchain or cryptocurrency.

Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple, said UBRI is an acknowledgment of the vital importance of the unique role universities will play in advancing their understanding and application of cryptography and blockchain technology.

“UBRI speaks to the reality that university graduates will fuel a continually evolving and maturing financial marketplace and workforce,” said Miltenburg. “Much of the enthusiasm and activity to date around blockchain is disconnected from real use cases that result in clear benefits to businesses or civil society. While Ripple won’t dictate research parameters, we are excited to play a role in helping to support faculty and student-led projects that explore increasingly useful applications of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”