The prestigious Princeton University has launched an initiative to explore the “decentralization of public power” using blockchain technology to explore the vast depths of its social possibilities.
For the launch, Bloomberg reported that the Princeton Venture Forward campaign received $20 million in donations from high-profile alumni Peter Bridger of Fortress Investment, Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, Pantera Capital CEO Daniel Morehead, and Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital.
The initiative is designed to explore how modern technologies, especially blockchain, can interfere with and change social norms, as other technologies such as the printing press and the Internet have done in the past. A March 11 video from the university states that “we are at a very early stage of understanding the opportunities and challenges” associated with cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
“The initiative will bring together scientists from different disciplines to understand the potential advantages and disadvantages of blockchain and other technologies, as well as their potential to disrupt the centers of public power.”
The Princeton’s Venture Forward Campaign is an attraction and fundraising campaign to engage the community and alumni, seek critical philanthropic support for the University, and spread Princeton’s defining principles and their impact on the world.
The university believes that a focus on decentralization will drive growth in three areas of study. The university said in an official statement that this will help it understand “the core engineering principles behind blockchain and related technologies”, discover new ways to use blockchain in finance, voting, news and elsewhere, and identify “impacts that such technologies may have for society.”
#PrincetonU launches an initiative on blockchain and its potential to disrupt and redistribute power in society, supported by Peter Brieger Jr ’86, @ethereumJoseph ’87, @dan_pantera ’87 and @novogratz ’87 in a combined big #VentureForward gift: https:// t.co/MZyEfSApL2 pic.twitter.com/w85CHzMPh4 — Princeton University (@Princeton), March 10, 2022
The Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will take over the new initiative under the leadership of Professor Jasvinder Pal Singh, who has been on the Blockstack PBC Board of Directors since 2019. can “result in the greatest benefit and the least harm,” according to the university’s statement.
Singh observed that computer scientists are facing a long and hard battle to figure out how to achieve consensus “between a distributed set of entities that do not trust each other”. He added that while bitcoin (BTC) has largely solved this problem, decentralization could very well be a new turning point for society.
“The decentralization of trust can be as powerful and transformative as the worldwide web. It could transform existing systems and lead to new applications that we can’t even imagine today.”
Related: University of Cambridge Launches Cryptocurrency Research Project with IMF and BIS
This is the second time in a few weeks that Princeton has shown its full-time involvement in the blockchain industry. On March 2, a partnership with the Metaverse Project and NFT Radio Caca (RACA) and the Princeton Blockchain Society was announced.