In a bid to promote blockchain and cryptocurrency research, Ripple has committed USD $50 million to universities around the world. This comes at a time when prices and interest in cryptocurrency have taken a nosedive. According to a CNBC report, Bitcoin searches have plummeted by 75% since January and prices dropped by over 50% from last year. Bitcoin has not been the only victim, with Ethereum dropping by 70%, while Ripple is down by a whopping 87%. The ban on crypto ads by Google that was announced earlier this year has also not helped their case and has fueled the disinterest in the industry. The fall in interest and value has sparked concerns while Ripple believes it has found a way to keep the blockchain gospel alive.

The Blockchain Research Initiative

Ripple on its website described universities as the backbone of innovation and offer unique, independent perspectives that the private sector cannot. Ripple described themselves as uniquely suited to partner with the academic community and a mature institution to help lead the development of this ecosystem. Ripple, currently the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency has now committed USD $50 million to 17 universities around the world. Some of the universities to be funded include; Princeton, MIT, IIT Bombay, Korea University, and the University College of London.

The universities will be free to explore any topic of their liking while also partnering with Ripple. The company believes that they will be able to share insights over;
• Collaborative research and technical development that will stimulate widespread understanding and innovation in blockchain.
• Creating a new curriculum to meet high student demand for learning about blockchain, cryptocurrency and other FinTech topics.
• Stimulating ideas and dialogue among students, faculty, technologists and business leaders on topics of shared interest.

This is not the first time Ripple is making a donation having contributed USD $29 million to American public schools in January. This payment was however not made to promote cryptocurrency but to promote public education in America.

The USD $50 million committed to 17 universities is set to be donated in 2019 and will be the first wave of the research initiative. According to Ripple, the initiative will be dedicated to funding universities for academic research and initiatives related to blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments. The move has been welcomed by the universities and government authorities.

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