IOHK donates to Univesity of Wyoming's Blockchain R&D Lab

IOHK Donates $500,000 ADA to University of Wyoming’s Blockchain Lab

IOHK, the software company behind Cardano, announced on Feb 14 a donation of $500,000 in Cardano (ADA) to support and develop the University of Wyoming’s Blockchain Research and Development Lab.

Professor James Caldwell, Assistant Professor Mile Borowczak and Philip Schlump will co-direct the Advanced Blockchain Research and Development Lab.

Professor Borowczak told the media personnel that IOHK’s donation will support faculty and graduate students in developing practical applications for real-world blockchain use cases. He said:

This funding is meant to directly stimulate and develop a highly qualified workforce in the blockchain sector. Student researchers from undergraduate and graduate levels are at the core of this initiative. Our research and devlopment lab focuses on grounding all work in theory, while developing real-world products.

How this Funding will Benefit Blockchain R&D Lab?

IOHK, which was founded by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, is built around principles of peer-reviewed academic research. The company is committed to open-source software development, such as hardware for cryptography, authentication, and measures against counterfeiting.

For example, New Balance is using IOHK’s Cardano blockchain to authenticate its products for consumers. According to Professor Caldwell, IOHK’s donation will specifically help with researching practical applications of blockchain. It can include supply chain management, tracing the provenance of goods and the advancement of smart contracts.

He told the media that:

Our group of researchers will work on a number of projects related to advanced smart-contract development, hardware design and verification for cryptographically secure authentication devices.

Professor Caldwell also mentioned that UW’s blockchain R&D lab will operate in partnership with IOHK. The team will be working closely with Hoskinson and others on the IOHK research team.

Explaining his points, he comments that:

We expect to send students to visit the blockchain technology lab at the University of Edinburgh. Because it serves as the global headquarters for IOHK’s several university collaborations. This arrangement should work well, since IOHK is at the cutting edge of blockchain technology, and their research model and goals fit perfectly with an academic computer science department.

Professor Borowczak further points out that while UW has been offering blockchain-related courses since Jan 2018, the university has only been able to support students on an educational level. But the funding from IOHK will finally allow this to evolve.

He says:

Our students now have  the opportunity to help define, develop, and improve the future landscape of blockchain technology. There are many research funding opportunities developing in the blockchain space. But the difficulty is funding mutually beneficial partnerships that enable, balance, and respect academic research, student development, and the need for industry return on investment. This partnership leverages the strength, capabilities, and needs of our students, researchers, and IOHK partners.

Another Reason Why Wyoming is at the Forefront of Blockchain

IOHK’s impressive donation to UW also exhibits Wyoming’s potential as one of the leading and most accepting regions in the world for blockchain development.

In Jan 2019, Wyoming passed two house bills to create a regulatory framework to foster cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation. Following this, the Wyoming task force drafted a bill to define digital currencies as legal forms of money. Recently, Wyoming developed a series of rules for blockchain banks which addressed cryptocurrency-focused features such as forks, airdrops, and staking.

Caitlin Long, a former member of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, mentioned that IOHK’s donation will not only help advance university research but will also benefit the state of Wyoming as a whole.

She said:

IOHK’s $500,000 donation in the native Cardano cryptocurrency (ADA) will not just fun research into real-world uses of blockchain technology, but will also develop Wyoming further as a talent hub for software engineers, trained in the most advanced software development methods in the world.

IOHK Founder, Charles Hoskinson, also commented that Wyoming’s supporting business environment and positive attitude towards blockchain was another reason for investing in UW.

He adds to his comments:

The Wyoming Blockchain Task Force’s supportive business environment and the excellence of the University of Wyoming’s science research is what led IOHK to choose to invest here. We are incorporated here as a business and are very happy to play a small part in helping embed Wyoming’s position at the global heart of blockchain-based innovation.

So, what do you guys say? Will such donations boost Blockchain research and development? Do share your views in the comment section.