On June 4, the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) at Princeton announced its participation in the University Blockchain Research Initiative, a new $50 million program founded by Ripple to support academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.
CITP will receive a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment from Ripple to support research and fund graduate fellowships, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars. In addition to financial resources, Ripple has also committed to collaborating with university partners by providing strategic guidance and technical resources as needed.
Princeton is among the first group of seventeen universities to be included in this initiative, according to the company’s announcement. CITP faculty and students have been notably active in this subject area, making research and academic contributions including authoring a leading textbook on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies.
Edward W. Felten, CITP Director, notes, “There has been a surge of interest among Princeton students to advance their understanding of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. This partnership with Ripple will further enable CITP’s students and researchers to explore the nuances of real world applications of these technologies.”
Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple notes that each institution participating in the company’s university program will determine its own research topics and areas of focus, “Academia has traditionally been a critical driver of technical innovation. The University Blockchain Research Initiative is an acknowledgment of the vital importance of the unique role universities will play in advancing our understanding and application of cryptography and blockchain technology. It also speaks to the reality that university graduates will fuel a continually evolving and maturing financial marketplace and workforce.”
CITP and Ripple anticipate that, in keeping with CITP’s interdisciplinary nature, this initiative will engage students and faculty from a wide range of academic fields and backgrounds to produce interesting research and technical developments. In addition, the company and CITP hope the increase in knowledge sharing through this collaboration will fuel innovation and deepen understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies and their uses in the real world.
The Ripple announcement attracted significant media coverage such as here.