Ripple $50 Million Grant Puts Universities to Work on Blockchain

Ripple $50 Million Grant Puts Universities to Work on Blockchain

The technology company hopes the grant will spur research in a number of blockchain disciplines while creating a generation of future tech workers.

Wondering whether blockchain has captured the imagination of college students? Look no further than the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where nearly one-third of the MBA students in the Kenan-Flagler Business School class of 2019 are members of a blockchain club.

It’s not just the students. “At the faculty level interest in blockchain has grown campus-wide,” says Professor Eric Ghysels, who splits his time between the business school and UNC Chapel Hill’s economics department. The technology, Ghysels tells ThirtyK, is gaining attention from faculty in not only the business and economics departments but also in other UNC schools and departments, “from computer science to the law school.”

And that’s a good thing because if blockchain is to expand and even go mainstream there will be a need for workers to handle the many technical aspects. That’s where Ripple comes in.

UNC Chapel Hill is one of 17 universities located in the U.S. and around the world sharing in the $50 million University Blockchain Research Initiative from Ripple, the technology company behind a popular payment protocol and exchange network. Announced last week, the initiative’s goal is to “support and accelerate university research.” This will be done via a broad scope of subjects and disciplines involved in making blockchain a reality, from computer science and engineering to business, finance and the law as well as on how the technology is fostering new connections among them.

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