The University of Arkansas has set up a blockchain research center with the goal to help Arkansas’ economy and to spread the adoption of cryptocurrency technology in the state, the educational institution announced on Thursday.
Blockchain has a significant potential that is still untouched by academic research and can help the local economy, the university explained
“The center will be a place that the university, government and industry can work together to reap the benefits of this emerging technology to benefit all of Arkansas with business development and the creation of new jobs,” the academic institution said.
The US university will teach students about cryptocurrency-related technology including how to build blockchain-based applications. The new center has a three-fold mission, according to the Matt Waller, the Dean of the University of Arkansas’ Walton College of Business, where the new blockchain division is incorporated:
to develop and establish research partnerships by conducting collaborative industry-university research;
to promote and enable the dissemination of knowledge about blockchains;
to accelerate industry adoption of blockchain technology.
The Blockchain Center of Excellence was approved by the university’s Board of Trustees and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in May and will start full-scale activities in the upcoming academic year.
Mary Lacity, author of the “A Manager’s Guide to Blockchain for Business, is the director of the new academic division. She thinks that blockchain has a lot of advantages relative to today’s systems.
“Specifically, blockchain applications promise a significant amount of business value, including transacting directly with trading partners, eliminating the need for reconciliations, instantly tracking and tracing assets, providing data provenance, settling transactions quickly and cheaply, controlling identity better, and enabling a security model that is fault tolerant, resilient and available,”Lacity said in the statement.
Earlier this year, two other US educational institutions established blockchain research centers: Columbia University partnered with technology giant IBM while Stanford University is aiming to research the practical, legal and societal challenges of cryptocurrency technology.