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Ledger: The First Bitcoin-Only Academic Journal

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The University of Pittsburgh has launched the world’s first blockchain technology- and cryptocurrency-focused, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Ledger will publish full-length, original research articles and interdisciplinary research on mathematics, computer science, engineering, law and economics. Bitcoin enthusiasts can read published materials on Ledger for free in the first issue next year.

The open-access journal will be updated quarterly by the Library System of the University of Pittsburgh. The announcement of Ledger: Call for Papers | 2015 September 15 stated, “Ledger timestamps all published articles in the Bitcoin blockchain, and encourages authors to digitally sign their manuscripts.”

The concept of a cryptocurrency focused scholarly journal was first introduced during a discussion between Dr. Peter R. Rizun and Professor Christopher E. Wilmer on bitcointalk.org,

The number of academic and full-length research papers on the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency tripled between 2013 to 2014, resulting in a rapid growth of interest from universities, academic institutions and Bitcoin enthusiasts.

The academic community agreed to the project and Ledger’s editorial board currently represents world-class academic institutions, organizations and universities, including Oxford, Stanford and MIT.

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“I wanted to build an academic and interdisciplinary communication channel that would allow bright minds in economics, sociology, physics, law and political science to contribute at the highest-level towards the evolution of Bitcoin,” Rizun said.

Unique Publishing Method

Ledger is a peer-reviewed journal which focuses on this generation’s most trending and sophisticated technologies – the blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The Ledger team decided to implement blockchain technology in its platform to store journals on the unforgeable and transparent Bitcoin blockchain.

The Ledger staff will take the manuscript, hash it cryptographically and integrate it on the Bitcoin blockchain, providing authors with an unalterable timestamp for their published materials. Authors could also include their digital signatures to approve it.

The new publication has generated a positive response among many influential figures in the Bitcoin industry, especially the cryptocurrency researchers and developers.  “I’m glad to see Ledger launch, and I am looking forward to absorbing the great research that will be published there,” said former lead Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen.

Anyone interested in submitting a paper to Ledger can visit the publication’s website. According to its Call for Papers, Ledger welcomes “papers of up to four thousand words detailing new ideas and perspectives on any relevant topic, including but not limited to the technical, social, economic, and philosophical developments and implications of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, public and decentralized ledgers, distributed consensus, and more.”