MIT to Tap Into Ripple Validator to Advance Consensus and Blockchain Research

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Connection Science, a research initiative that applies data and analytics to build better societies, today announced that it is the first academic institution in North America to participate in a global Byzantine consensus database. To advance the frontier of Blockchain research, MIT is running a validator for the Ripple Consensus Ledger, a distributed ledger that settles global transactions in real-time and is the foundational ledger for the digital asset XRP. Ripple validators are servers that confirm transactions on the network.

“In this new experiment with Ripple, we are taking MIT’s experiential research approach to the blockchain, and we anticipate this collaboration will provide us new opportunities to test and deploy data applications and research,” said MIT Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland. “We’re pleased that the Ripple team has fostered a substantive dialog with us about the future of finance through the decentralization of digital currencies and value.”

Led by Prof. Pentland and Managing Director David Shrier, MIT Connection Science is developing novel blockchain, financial services, and enterprise data projects and initiatives, including open-source code projects under the Internet Trust Consortium. In order to equip executives and entrepreneurs to navigate financial technology disruption, MIT Connection Science is also launching the “Future Commerce: fintech innovation” course online, in collaboration with online learning platform GetSmarter.

“We’re extremely excited for MIT to run a Ripple validator. Having a globally renowned institution like MIT contribute to the consensus process on Ripple fortifies the resiliency and security of the network. Beyond that, it’s incredible to have a partner we respect so much share the mission of enabling money to move like information does on the web today,” said Stefan Thomas, Chief Technology Officer at Ripple.

Ripple validators are lightweight systems equivalent to running an email server. According to Ripple, the Ripple network has never lost or reversed a single transaction in three years of production. Ripple’s technology has been deployed through real-money pilots with 30 different banks around the world, and recently closed 20 million ledgers, in comparison to Bitcoin – which has closed about 400,000 blocks.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC, Richard Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including DECENT.ch, Inchain, Humaniq, Chronobank, eGaas and others.

He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List. As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and crypto-currency and, consequently, has built a notable network inthe scene.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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