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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Cryptocurrency start-up funding $50M in university partnerships

By David Schwartz
Published: June 12th, 2018

Ripple, a cryptocurrency start-up, announced $50 million in new research partnering with 17 universities in an effort to stimulate innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrencies and digital payment systems.

The 17 schools that will participate in what Ripple is calling the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) include MIT, Princeton, UNC Chapel Hill, the University of Pennsylvania, the University College of London and Korea University. The universities will be paid in dollars and  will determine their own research topics, Ripple said in a statement. They will also partner with the cryptocurrency company to “stimulate widespread understanding” of blockchain through research and their curricula.

UBRI is in part a play for creating a talent pipeline, with demand for skilled workers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency arenas surging.

“As the traditional backbone of innovation, universities uniquely offer an independence and rigor that the private sector cannot. They also are responsible for training the workforce of the future, helping to address the demand for technological solutions and talent to solve the world’s hardest financial problems,” Ripple officials said.

The company’s cryptocurrency is called XRP, which was recently trading at about $0.58. Still, with a market cap of more than $22 billion, the company is a well-funded partner.

And it’s not the only cryptocurrency company looking to universities for research. In February 2017, Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum, invested $1 million in blockchain technology research labs at the University of Edinburgh and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. And last month, distributed-ledger solutions company poured $3 million into Virginia Tech’s computer science department to create a blockchain-focused curriculum.

Source: edscoop

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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