Blockchain technology, although practically available in many different
platforms currently, necessitates further research for it to fulfill its
whole potential and this is finally occurring. Pairing up with a new
prestigious Bitcoin start up, MIT has begun practical research projects
designed to help propel Blockchain technology into the present.
MIT has moved its blockchain research from the blackboard to the real
world through a partnership with distributed ledger tech startup
has long been involved in supporting the bitcoin and blockchain
industries through research, the aim of this project is to develop
blockchain, financial services and other enterprise data projects, the
director David Shrier, of MIT Connection Science, said he expects this
most recent step to attract a wide range of researchers, more than
doubling in size its first six months of operation.
Shrier told CoinDesk:
“It’s one thing to develop a four node test blockchain.
It’s quite another thing to hook up to a large scale global network of
As part of the research, which is currently being conducted by seven
students and professors, MIT is running a validator for the Ripple
Consensus Ledger, its permissioned distributed ledger system. The
validator is a server that confirms transactions on the network on which
the XRP digital asset sits.
Going back to early 2015, MIT has been involved in blockchain tech
most directly through support of bitcoin development through its Digital
Currency Initiative (DCI). Last month, the MIT DCI helped raise $900,000
to support bitcoin developers, with donors to the fund including
venture capitalist Fred Wilson and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman
MIT’s decision to use Ripple over alternatives was in part due to
what Shrier called the startup being “very well positioned” in
finance. He added that the university is also interested in exploring
“other different flavors” of blockchain.
Laying the foundation
However, MIT’s embrace of blockchain has roots in its longstanding support of open-source projects in general.
Since 2007, MIT’s Internet Trust Consortium, which includes UBS and
NTT Japan, has been developing open-source projects dedicated to helping
people more efficiently manage their data. Last year, the consortium
was moved under Shrier’s MIT Connection Science and began publishing
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