Blockchain is spreading rapidly and the field of education is not being left out. Earlier there was news of top Chinese Universities using Blockchain to make educational resources available to all. The more recent news is that widely popular cryptocurrency start-up Ripple is shelling out millions to a few top universities to speed up adoption of Blockchain technology.
The company announced its tie-up with 17 schools on Monday, including the University of North Carolina, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania. Ripple has decided to donate $50 million for research and development in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments through the “University Blockchain Research Initiative” program. The company confirmed that the donation is in US dollars and not the cryptocurrency.
“As globalization increases, so does the demand for technological solutions and talent to solve the world’s hardest financial problems, such as retail remittances,” said Eric van Miltenburg, Ripple’s SVP of business operations.
The initiative was launched in part because of a demand for jobs said the company. More than 4,500 job openings with the terms “blockchain” or “cryptocurrency” were posted on LinkedIn last year, Ripple said, a 150% increase from a year earlier.
Ripple focuses on real-time transaction settlements for banks via blockchain. It has announced partnerships with U.S. money transfer giants MoneyGram and Western Union as well as American Express and Santander.
Ripple is, in fact, the official name of the San Francisco-based company which is developing a network for faster global financial payments. The digital token itself that financial institutions on the network can use to transact quickly is called XRP.
Some university research and projects will involve Ripple’s technology and the cryptocurrency XRP but it is not a requirement, the company said.
The cryptocurrency was trading near 65 cents Monday, according to CoinDesk. XRP is one of the worst performing digital currencies in 2018, down more than 70 percent year to date.
Ripple owns about 60 billion of the 100 billion XRP ever made, bringing its market cap based on Monday’s price and its holdings alone close to $39 billion.