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.

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“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.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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