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Our purpose is to create a future in which moving value across the Internet is as intuitive and efficient as moving information.
As with the Internet, blockchain technology has the potential to affect all aspects of business, from supply chains, to financial transactions, to audit trails. We can imagine a tipping point at which growing numbers of customers start to demand the autonomy, openness and new value-generating potential of digital currencies and blockchains.
But there is still a great deal of fundamental research and development needed if this technology is to deliver on these promises. And in that endeavor, academia has a vital role to play. Venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and a new breed of “crypto investors” have collectively invested billions in blockchain-based startups and so-called “ICOs,” at the same time that Wall Street banks, marquee technology companies and even government and international agencies have rushed to establish blockchain research labs. Yet leading experts in cryptography and economics are only now starting to weigh in on questions around the security of this technology and its broader impact on the economy.
That’s why the MIT Media Lab launched the MIT Digital Currency Initiative. The goal of the DCI is to bring together the brightest minds at MIT and elsewhere to conduct the research necessary to support the development of digital currency and blockchain technology.
Together with collaborators at other universities and research institutions, we are working with interdisciplinary groups of faculty, students, and research scientists to author research papers, run pilot use cases of the technology, and develop relevant open-source software.
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