Ripple, a San Francisco-based technology company, is backing the initiative. Called the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), Ripple will commit over $50 million USD in funding to the schools for blockchain-related research.
Waterloo is the only Canadian university in the initiative. Each university in the initiative is able to determine its own research topics.
Each university will also collaborate with Ripple on research and technical development. The goal is to expand blockchain understanding and improve innovation in the technology.
Ripple will also work with universities to help develop curriculum to help educate students on blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Finally, the initiative will help to stimulate dialogue between students, faculty, business leaders and technologists about topics around blockchain.
“We know from recent world events and the experience of many of our partners that blockchain technologies will increasingly disrupt the way the world does business,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of the faculty of engineering.
Blockchain is relatively new. Cryptocurrencies commonly use it to manage transaction records. Blockchain is effectively a digital leger that contains records of transactions made using a currency. It’s secure and easy to track.
The technology could be the next big thing in the financial industry and potentially other industries as well. However, the full potential of blockchain has yet to be realized.
Due to this, a partnership with universities — places where ideas can flourish and the workforce of tomorrow is trained — will help insure blockchain technology continues to innovate.
Source: University of Waterloo