It’s been more than a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to the concept of the modern blockchain. But we’ve come a long way from the early days of bitcoin. Not only has the cryptocurrency market exploded, thanks to the use of this revolutionary technology, but private and public sector organizations are rapidly investing in modernizing their technology stacks around it.
Because of the rapid adoption speed and the fragmented nature of the technology, though, collaboration has been stilted until recently. Academic pursuits occurred in a silo separate from private corporation investment and government exploration. As the technology has matured, though, new blockchain organizations have launched to bridge these gaps, advocate for the technology and help establish international standards. Here are six of the most important of these organizations and what they offer the blockchain ecosystem.
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1. Cambridge Blockchain Forum.
Launched in 2018, the Cambridge Blockchain Hub and Cambridge Blockchain Forum, are a venture incubator and a think-tank, respectively, dedicated to blockchain policy. Some of the collaborators include Swisscom Blockchain, the British Business Federation Authority, Hedera Hashgraph, Samsung Catalyst Fund, TodaQ, Coinfirm, Keiretsu Forum and several others. The goal of the Hub is to explore new collaborations and ventures that bring together academia in Cambridge with public and private sector stakeholders to grow the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Founded by Jon Bradford, Hazem Danny Al Nakib, and chaired by Hermann Hauser KBE, the Cambridge Blockchain Forum is working toward identifying and addressing the UK’s strategic objectives around regulation and new implementations of blockchain technology across a variety of sectors that are solving real issues through a collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach. Current projects include regulatory gap analysis with the British Business Federation Authority, creating new draft legislation around blockchain and preparing use cases for public sector implementations that provide a tangible benefit to society.
2. Blockchain Research Institute.
Launched in 2017 by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World, the Blockchain Research Institute is a network of experts in the field who work together to address challenges perceived by the founders. Now a global think-tank, The Blockchain Research Institute works with top thought leaders in blockchain, as well as many large companies implementing the technology and world governments.
The think-tank is currently managing more than 100 research projects focused on technologies related to blockchain. Projects are all published online and distributed with multimedia for easier sharing in both public/private sector environments and academia. They focus on ten sectors that include energy and power, finance, government, healthcare, telecom, manufacturing, media, resources and mining, technology and retail.
3. Cleveland Blockchain and Digital Futures Hub.
Announced in late-2018, this new think-tank is the result of a partnership between Case Western and Cleveland State University. While not solely dedicated to blockchain, the research being conducted by this organization touches on several important areas including the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality and use of blockchain technology in both public and private sector applications.
The area has become well known in recent years for its investment in blockchain research and technology, with the founding of Blockland, which focuses on training new blockchain developers as well as launching new projects such as the Digital Futures Hub.
4. Slovenian Blockchain Think Tank.
Slovenia has been an early leader in Europe in adopting and exploring new applications for Blockchain technology. This was most notable after Prime Minister Miro Cerar gave a speech in October 2017 discussing the potential of blockchain and how Slovenia was investing in it. The result was the launch of a Blockchain Think Tank by the Slovenian Digital Coalition. This new think-tank was designed to focus on education, raising awareness in the EU and drafting new legislation around blockchain technology.
Slovenia has been an upward trajectory since it emerged from the fiscal crisis that ravaged much of Europe earlier this decade. They have seen slow and steady GDP growth for the last five years, and the government sees blockchain as an opportunity to take that growth to the next level.
Another European think-tank launched to address the growing importance of blockchain in the Union, this one was launched by Letzblock members to address token regulation, distributed ledger technologies and blockchain as a whole. Based in Luxembourg, this non-profit has experts from more than 15 countries performing research around blockchain technologies.
The new Think Tank was launched on Nov. 28, 2018 with the release of its first paper, “EU Token Regulation Paper.” The paper is an iteration of the Token Regulation Paper originally published by Blockchain Bundesverband in February 2018. The new paper is a European effort, with 50 professions in the space from throughout 20 European countries contributing.
6. CRYSTAL Centre.
Launched by the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing, CRYSTAL Centre stands for Cryptocurrency Strategy, Techniques and Algorithms. The academic research project is led by Assistant Professor Prateek Saxena and Associate Professor Keith Carter and is designed to help shape new technology initiatives related to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Only recently announced, the think tank aims to consist of 5-10 faculty members with expertise in fields such as program language design, distributed computing algorithms, security and market economics.
The research will be focused on a number of overlapping areas, with the goal being full academic transparency in their findings. Early project topics include verification and testing techniques, applications for blockchain, cryptocurrency, P2P network utilization in these systems and more. The organization also plans to hold several events including an annual workshop on research and business starting in 2019.