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Ripple, the company behind the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap, said that it launched a new $50 million fund to support university research into emerging technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency. The fund has been created in partnership with 17 reputable universities from across the world including Princeton, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University College London, the Australian National University, and higher education institutions in Brazil, India, Netherlands, South Korea, Cyprus, and Luxembourg.

Under the new project, the universities will be able to use financial resources from the fund called University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI).

The members will define research topics and priorities at their will. According to the announcement, the universities will work with Ripple to achieve the following:

  • Work on research and development that would support a deeper understanding of blockchain and would stimulate innovation.
  • Come up with curricula and programs to educate students on blockchain, digital currencies, and fintech subjects.
  • Encourage ideas and dialog among students and relevant entities on blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Eric van Miltenburg, senior vice president of Ripple’s Global Operations, said:

“The University Blockchain Research Initiative is an acknowledgement of the vital importance of the unique role universities will play in advancing our understanding and application of cryptography and blockchain technology. It also speaks to the reality that university graduates will fuel a continually evolving and maturing financial marketplace and workforce.”

Currently, UBRI is already supporting its partners work on different research programs. For instance, Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) is developing a program to study the policy impact of blockchain and digital currencies.

Elsewhere, under UBRI, Ripple is taking part in MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab’s new FinTech project, which includes over ten companies. The initiative revolves around topics like blockchain, digital currencies, cybersecurity and global payments.

Interestingly, in March, Ripple donated $29 million worth of its XRP tokens to thousands of US public schools. The donation was made via the DonorsChoose.org platform.

The complete list of universities is as follows:

  • Australian National University College of the Law
  • CITP at Princeton
  • CSAIL at MIT
  • Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)
  • Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil)
  • Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
  • IIT Bombay
  • International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H)
  • Korea University
  • McCombs School of Business, UT-Austin
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • UCL (University College London)
  • University of Luxembourg
  • University of Nicosia (Cyprus)
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Waterloo