The blockchain industry is making significant strides in terms of innovation and technological advancement. Much of this advances can be attributed to science, which is helping to advance the industry by focusing its attention on new curricula, research and technical problem solving, knowledge sharing and convocation.
By partnering with universities around the world, Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) meets the demand for technological solutions and talent to solve key challenges in the global financial ecosystem. Since the program started two years ago, the initiative has achieved remarkable results with more than 180 research projects and 95 new or changed courses in 15 countries.
Today the program continues to grow as Ripple welcomes ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich, Ryerson University and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) to the UBRI network. The global initiative is now supporting 37 university partners in further accelerating academic research, technical development and innovation in the areas of blockchain, cryptocurrency, fintech and digital payments.
The Fintech Innovation Lab of the University of Zurich is launching the Center for Sustainable Digital Finance – the world’s first interdisciplinary research center in this area – to carry out digitization research in the field of financial services together with supervisory authorities, companies, financial institutions, consumers and beyond through its UBRI partnership. “What we do at the University of Zurich is not just something special, it is the future,” says Thomas Puschmann, Director of the Swiss Fintech Innovation Lab at the University of Zurich.
ETH Zurich is now researching information security and cryptography as well as new concepts and systems for payment transactions. “As we prepare for a new journey, UBRI’s support will be important in unlocking the power and potential of financial technology in Switzerland and beyond,” says Srdjan Čapkun, Professor of Systems Security at ETH Zurich.
UBRI also provides technical support for the university’s efforts to incorporate secure multi-party computation techniques into blockchain protocols and to model smart contracts. Many of these activities take place in cooperation with the Zurich Information Security and Data Protection Center (ZISC). Both Zurich-based universities are significantly involved in the further development of Fintech Switzerland, where the supervisory authorities have openly welcomed the use and innovation of digital assets.
The Cybersecurity Research Lab (CRL) at Ryerson University in Canada is working on Mosaïque, a system that uses data-driven distributed logic for decentralized networks. “We see our partnership with UBRI as an opportunity to use Ripple’s know-how in blockchain innovation to build a token-based payment path for Mosaïque,” says Dr. Atefeh Mashatan, director of the CRL. The payment option will work in conjunction with Mosaïque’s facilities for self-sovereign identity, decentralized workflows and process automation. The CRL has set itself the goal of building internal capacities in blockchain and fintech by setting up a Ripple Blockchain Collaboratory.
The blockchain sector in Mexico has grown 90% since 2018. Traditional companies are turning to blockchain solutions to reduce inefficiencies. In this case, more than 90% of adults in Mexico only use cash, and access to financial services is scarce and relatively expensive. Through this partnership with UBRI, ITAM will create new courses so that students are better prepared for Mexico’s astronomical demand for fintech and blockchain talent. Gustavo Salaiz, Fintech Professor at ITAM, says: “We want to make sure that students have an appropriate mix of skills for a world where data and transactions take place in distributed ledgers. Ripple’s UBRI will help us prepare our students for the digital financial services future. ”
UBRI partners are conducting more rigorous blockchain research, working together across departments and developing new use cases for financial technology – at a time when global demand for digital financial solutions is increasing. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, UBRI has enabled the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), University College London (UCL), and others to deepen research on how blockchain can address today’s socio-economic challenges in healthcare , Financial markets and payments – to name a few.
For example, Adrienne Harris, a professor at the University of Michigan and former senior advisor to the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House, highlighted the challenges U.S. citizens face when there is a delay in receiving IRS stimulus payments, and how to do it The use of blockchain and digital payments can accelerate these urgent payments.
To keep up with Ripple’s UBRI and its partners, you can take advantage of the recently launched All About Blockchain podcast for Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.