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Ripple expands its University Blockchain Research Initiative to 11 more universities across the world

Jibin M George

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Ripple expands its University Blockchain Research Initiative to 11 more universities across the world
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In a step forward towards the better utility and application of the revolutionary blockchain technology, global financial settlements giant, Ripple has announced that it will now partner 11 more universities through its University Blockchain Research Initiative [UBRI]. The project, first launched in June 2018, now has partners in 29 universities across the world and works towards the fostering of research, innovation, and development in the field of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and real-time payment systems.

Using UBRI resources, partner universities and institutes now have the option to work towards fostering knowledge sharing in the field of blockchain and its associated technologies by organizing workshops, conferences, and academic round-tables. These activities will serve a dual function by not only generating a degree of awareness about what is still an emerging technology, but will also prepare the new generation of industry leaders and entrepreneurs to apply these associated technologies for better and efficient results.

The new partner universities are: Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, University of Kansas, University of Michigan, Morgan State University, National University of Singapore, Northeastern University, University of Sao Paulo, Institute for Fintech Research, and Tsinghua University

The UBRI is already partnered with premier universities and institutes such as University College, London, and IIT, Hyderabad.

The University Blockchain Research Initiative [UBRI] has identified universities and educational institutes as the best places to help cultivate such awareness and ingenuity about emerging technologies among the next generation, who can then go into the broader market and spread awareness about the same themselves.



The UBRI has also been useful in fostering strong academic and knowledge-sharing exchanges and collaborations between universities and academic institutions. UBRI has helped encourage cross-departmental collaborations, course-sharing programmes, and a range of student-led activities such as blockchain hackathons across its partner universities.

The success of Ripple and its University Blockchain Research Initiative were well-worded by Eric Van Miltenberg, Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Ripple, who said:

“In less than a year, our initial UBRI partners hit the ground running with the launch of new research projects, events, course offerings and more. Expanding the ecosystem to a more global, diversified network of UBRI partners will only continue to enrich these projects.”





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XRP

Ripple’s initiative invests in Bolt Labs to improve secondary payment channels and expand interoperability

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Ripple’s arm, Xpring which invests and incubates in companies and individuals which help improve the XRP ecosystem, invested in Bolt Labs. With the new investment, Xpring hopes to develop solutions that will help improve the security of secondary payment channels and increase the interoperability by integrating with the ILP.

Bolt is a private, off-chain scaling solution which was built on top of Z-cash, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency, has attracted more than a few well-known investors in the crypto-space and Ripple’s Xpring is one among them. In a blog, Bolt Labs said that their solution will focus not only on ZCash but also other publicly available cryptocurrencies that do not have inherent on-chain privacy features.

It also stated:

“The potential for these implementations to be networked together with technologies like Interledger opens the potential further for cross-chain interactions with these privacy guarantees baked in.”

The above statement suggests that they might have a “potential” implementation for these on Interledger Protocol [ILP]. ILP was created at Ripple developed by the Interledger W3C Community Group. ILP aims at connecting two different blockchains, to integrate two different ledgers and have seamless operations between them.



This would vastly benefit the payments industry, which is facing a revolution at the hands of a nascent technology like blockchain. Ripple, a payments provider, which is leveraging cryptocurrency and blockchain to facilitate faster payments, would benefit largely from this partnership. In addition, this could also signify a potential development on the  XRP Ledger and its on-chain/off-chain privacy and the currency, XRP.

A Twitter user @XRPCentre tweeted:

“If the solutions being developed by the company are able to improve the privacy of the ILP transactions, they would also be enhancing the privacy of XRP/ILP payments, which is a very demanded feature…. It’s all about interoperability and destroying network effects. If ILP succeeds in being the best protocol for cross-protocol/ledger transactions, you’d naturally search for the best asset therein.”





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