Blockchain gets a boost in universities from Ripple investment

Blockchain gets a boost in universities from Ripple investment
Universities can launch blockchain research projects and courses thanks to the investment. Source: Shutterstock

Cryptocurrency extraordinaire, Ripple, is bringing blockchain to students through a US$50 million investment to fund blockchain course development and research projects at 17 global universities.

The University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) aims to accelerate developments in blockchain, cryptocurrencies and digital payments, as well as allow universities to create blockchain-specific courses in response to student and employer demand, Ripple released on their blog.

According to a recent report, the demand for blockchain freelancers has increased 6,000 percent in the first three months of 2018 compared to 2017 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

“Remember when “the cloud” started to gain traction as more and more companies recognized what it was and how it could be used? Blockchain technology is on pace to follow suit,” reads the report.

Initially developed to secure cryptocurrency payments, blockchain is now being used to streamline almost every industry from binding legal contracts to buying bacon (yes, really), so no matter what field you’re invested in, a background in blockchain can be your ticket to employment after graduation.

Tamar Menteshashvili, blockchain technology and financial innovations researcher at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, told Study International: “Blockchain is a technology that has potential to disrupt many industries. Yet, currently it poses a number of interesting intellectual puzzles that need to be solved in order to achieve the realization of its full potential.

“That is where students can contribute, while at the same time greatly broadening their career horizons. It is a next-generation technology that will continue to offer a vast variety of possibilities. While choosing blockchain as a research point, each student is joining a cohort of future-engineers.”

In response to blockchain’s boom, universities have already begun offering courses in the technology for ambitious students who want a slice of employable pie.

Prestigious Ivy League colleges such as Princeton University and Stanford, and Russell Group universities in the UK including the University of Edinburgh,  run online courses in the sector.

Blockchain-focussed courses could be your entry point to any industry. Source: Shutterstock

University offerings are set to increase thanks to Ripple’s investment in 17 universities worldwide including Korea University, UCL, The University of Pennsylvania, and others across the Americas, Asia and Europe.

“As the traditional backbone of innovation, universities uniquely offer an independence and rigor that the private sector cannot,” Ripple wrote in the announcement.

“They also are responsible for training the workforce of the future, helping to address the demand for technological solutions and talent to solve the world’s hardest financial problems.”

“Now is the perfect time to support research and study in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments at universities around the world.”

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