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Ripple funding blockchain projects

As part of the whole vision to make blockchain mainstream, like initiating someone into a cult, Ripple is really going all out. With the cryptocurrency circle not looking so good, Ripple Labs is definitely putting all its cards on the table for this one. Ripple Labs will be funding a blockchain research program worth $2 million at the McCombs School of Business.
The funding which will be for a five year period is Ripple’s way of supporting the school’s own Blockchain initiative, a both side win kind of deal. McCombs now joins a list of 17 tertiary institutions to be beneficiaries of Ripple’s 50 million dollar blockchain funding program. Senior veep of Global Operations at Ripple, Eric van Miltenburg spoke a bit on Ripple’s goal for such an investment

“Academia has traditionally been a critical driver of technical innovation. Our support of McCombs is an acknowledgment of the important role the school has the potential to play in advancing our understanding and application of cryptography and blockchain technology.”

Blockchain technology seems to have taken all the juice out of the news surrounding every other technological advancement within the last few months. It is basically a method of information storage whereby data is spread across several computers on a digital network instead of being horded on just one central system like what we have now in most places.
The killer feat of this tech is that it is incorruptible, at least according to what its proponents say and the fact that they haven’t been proven otherwise yet. The initial tests and uses of blockchain have been mainly for cryptocurrency transactions and a few others like hosting a presidential election in the African country of Sierra Leone. Beyond these, the advocates for the tech say it can be used in as many areas as banks, health centres, keeping national identity records, artificial intelligence etc.
McCombs blockchain program is aiming at “fostering blockchain technology research within UT”. It began in the early months of this year after the school hosted its first blockchain technology conference in Spring. The conference was meant to draw in people interested in he technology, and they managed to catch Ripple’s attention. Director of the initiative, one Fraacassi Cesare, addressed at the conference that

“That was the catalyst for really seeing that there was a lot of demand from students and industries and companies for having a central focus inside the business school to basically harness the demand for blockchain technology. We would like the initiative to be the outreach between the University and the companies that are working on blockchain technology. Austin is a pretty large hub (for) blockchain technology companies, so I see the initiative as a way to link faculty and students to those companies.”

Obviously what Ripple is really looking for is not just people who are ready to jump on a research so far as it’s not their money that funds it. The firm is looking to generate genuine interest in the field among people, and more specifically students in college (judging by how most of the ground-breaking tech we have today started in college dormitories). Alan Orwick of Texas Blockchain, also had his say on the matter of the funding
“I think students get anxious and excited when they see money get poured into places that they haven’t directly looked into. For the people that have not really been interested in blockchain technology before, I’m sure it’ll raise their effort.”

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