Ripple Continues Goodwill Flex with $50 Million Academic Initiative
San Francisco’s most well known crypto startup Ripple has declared the launch of a new blockchain research enterprise, the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), to stimulate academic research within the cryptoverse. To start, Ripple has pumped $50 million USD into the initiative, which so far consists of 17 elite universities from across the globe.
The primary focus of the UBRI will be to groom university students on topics of the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and fintech. Focusing on the bigger picture, the initiative could help minimize the current global shortfall of blockchain experts in the crypto ecosystem.
Boosting Academic Research Into the Blockchain
Continuing its bid to win hearts and minds to the crypto cause, Ripple’s making further inroads into the academic community with its new UBRI project.
Announcing the initiative, Ripple’s blog post read:
“We’re excited to announce the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), a collaboration with top universities around the world to support and accelerate academic research, technical development and innovation in the blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.”
To start, Ripple will provide $50 million — in cash, not XRP — along with experts and technical resources to partnering universities. These universities are spread all over the world, including the following institutions:
- Australia – Australian National University College of the Law
- Asia – Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, and Korea University
- North America – Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Oregon, and the University of Waterloo
- South America – Fundação Getulio Vargas
- Europe – Delft University of Technology, University College London, University of Luxembourg, and University of Nicosia
Shaping the Future While Addressing Present Concerns
As per the announcement, partnering universities will have free reign to choose their research focuses independently, building tailored curriculums for their students. The aim is to foster high student demand for exploring distributed ledger technology.
The company blog stated:
“From new business use cases — such as making cross-border payments faster, lower cost and more transparent — to uses of blockchain for good, students and faculty globally are emerging as major contributors to the creation of a more robust and valuable blockchain and payments ecosystem.”
Globally, the demand for blockchain-focused jobs is quickly on the rise as more employers look for individuals that possess expertise in the blockchain tech. Noting the demand, many universities around the world have started adding distributed ledger technology to the curriculum, but there’s certainly more to be done.
Ripple CEO Garlinghouse Feeling Confident
Just days ago, an emboldened Brad Garlinghouse said that bitcoin may become “the Napster of digital assets” — a reference to the inaugural music sharing play that eventually fell by the wayside.
That remains to be seen. But what is clear is that Garlinghouse thinks the OG shouldn’t get too comfortable.
It’s a sign of where Ripple’s leadership is at — emboldened and confident about all the moves they’ve been making as of late.
Indeed, Garlinghouse remarked earlier today:
“I have every confidence that major banks will use XRapid as a liquidity tool this calendar year. You know, by the end of next year I would certainly hope that we would see you know in the order of magnitude dozens. But, you know, we also need to continue to grow that eco-system, grow the liquidity, and it all comes back to if we’re solving a real problem for real customers.”
Is there need to launch more initiatives as such the UBRI? Share your views in the comments section.
Images via CNBC, UNC Global