Today, Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) – the university’s premier blockchain accelerator program – welcomes the University of Capetown, Reykjavik University and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYU Abu Dhabi) to address key financial technology challenges and the advancing real world solutions for blockchain and cryptocurrency. The three additions join more than 35 global university partners who are already intensively involved in blockchain research and developing new use cases for fintech.
Founded in 2018, UBRI helps advance the blockchain industry by providing faculties and students with the technical tools and resources needed to thrive as part of the next generation of technical talent. Innovation and technological progress traditionally come from science. By supporting new curricula, research and technical problem solving, knowledge sharing and convocation, UBRI is leading the fintech workforce of the future.
For example, Yuliya Guseva of Rutgers Law School recently conducted research on the global enforcement of crypto, while Oxford’s Saïd Business School is launching a new initiative on Future Finance and Technology for which UBRI Ph.D. Research on Open Banking and Financial Wellness Innovation. To date, the UBRI has grown to include more than 280 research projects and 161 new or changed courses in 18 countries.
Today, the University of Cape Town, a leading research university in South Africa, joins Ripple’s UBRI as the first partner in Africa, offering Masters and Ph.D. Programs in financial technology. The University of Cape Town is teaching basic open payment protocols and blockchain technologies as part of its FinTech and Crypto course, for which the university is working with existing UBRI partners at Oxford University and MIT to develop a leading curriculum .
Students from the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics will also focus their research on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), addressing issues such as interoperability, financial inclusion and secure digital identity. Co-Pierre Georg, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town and Instructor for the MPhil in Financial Technology, explains: “Central banks around the world are studying the use of distributed ledgers to revamp their payments infrastructure, and nowhere is this more important than in Africa. With our large remittance sector and high cash costs, this grant will help us accelerate our activities in order to create the skills necessary to ensure the innovative strength of our financial services sector. “
NYU Abu Dhabi – UBRI’s first partner in the UAE – will also join universities such as the National University of Singapore, University College London, Stanford University and ETH Zurich, which will conduct research on CBDCs. NYU Abu Dhabi Social Sciences students will explore new use cases for digital assets in courses such as FinTech Innovation: Finance, Technology, Regulation and Cryptoeconomics. Ripple is also excited to be part of the Corporate Sprint Accelerator program developed by startAD, the startup accelerator operated by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi. By joining the Sprint Accelerator, UBRI will steer fintech and blockchain startups from all over the world to open up and grow the market in the UAE through pilot projects with innovative companies.
“Blockchain is the cornerstone of the digital transformation that will drive economic development in the coming decades. In fact, the global blockchain distributed ledger market size is projected to reach $ 137.29 billion by 2027 and grow by 62.7 percent from 2020 to 2027. “ said Ramesh Jagannathan, CEO of startAD and also Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship at NYU Abu Dhabi. “NYU Abu Dhabi and startAD aim to be at the forefront of research and implementation of new technologies in real-world applications, fueled by visionary government initiatives and groundbreaking initiatives like Ripple’s UBRI.”
With UBRI, schools like Reykjavik University can further accelerate academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency, fintech and digital payments. Reykjavik’s UBRI funding and partnership will support the School of Technology’s research into new industries and fintech applications using blockchain. “The relationship with Ripple UBRI will intensify our efforts to experiment with the models and services that we have explored in a practical setting using Ripple’s global network and professional platform. This is in line with our goals of connecting our academic research with industry and the practical environment. “ said Dr. Gisli Hjalmtysson, Dean of the School of Technology at Reykjavik University.
Reykjavik University will also work closely with Ripple’s Icelandic company, which serves as one of Ripple’s technical centers, to nurture technical talent in the area.
To learn more about Ripple’s UBRI and how its partners are developing new use cases with distributed ledger technology (DLT), turn on All About Blockchain.