As it was announced on Stanford Engineering’s website on June 20, Stanford had created the Center for Blockchain Research. The center is supported in part by the Ethereum Foundation.
The work of the new center is aimed at researching and understanding the potential of the blockchain technology and its capacities to bring significant changes to people’s life, including the ways how individuals and businesses interact with each other and how financial transactions are carried out on the internet.
Dan Boneh, the Rajeev Motwani Professor in the School of Engineering, an expert on cryptography and computer security, who will lead the center said: “Blockchains will become increasingly critical to doing business globally. Stanford should be at the forefront of efforts to improve, apply and understand the many ripple effects of this technology”.
Thanks to the center, university scientists and industry leaders will have an opportunity to collaborate with a view to develop best practices for this promising sphere. The main research focus will be made on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.
But the center will also provide courses for future students and working professionals. These courses will help them to apply blockchain for developing financial instruments, protecting intellectual property and fulfilling many other tasks.
David Mazières, professor of computer science, who also heads the Center for Blockchain Research, believes that blockchain significantly lowers the barriers to creating tradeable, digital assets. “It allows individuals who don’t know each other, or even trust one another, to make irreversible transactions in a whole variety of fields in a safe and secure way”, added he.
On the web site created for the center we can see a list of sponsors who support the initiative. This group includes such organizations as the Ethereum Foundation, Protocol Labs and the Interchain Foundation. OmiseGO, DFINITY Stiftung and Polychain Capital are also providing their assistance to the research center.
Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin expresses his excitement about this new initiative on Twitter.
— Vitalik "Not giving away ETH" Buterin (@VitalikButerin) June 21, 2018
The preliminary blockchain research initiative will last for five years. And the research will be headed by highly reputable professors in the field of computer science, Dan Boneh and David Mazieres will be among of them. Other Stanford professors of engineering, particle physics, and law will also join the initiative.
It’s also worth mentioning that Stanford is not the only university in the US to pay attention to blockchain. Already in the beginning of the year it became known that some colleges and universities had started offering bitcoin and blockchain related courses.
Among them we can name such institutions of learning as Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Cornell, University of Maryland and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T).
An Australian research university has also launched a blockchain course this year and Ripple has allocated $50 million for support of blockchain education programs at seventeen universities globally.