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MIT Professor: The Key to Unlocking a Global Borderless Economy Rests with Blockchain

Reading Time: 2 minutes by on January 23, 2019 Bitcoin, Blockchain, Commentary, Ethereum, News

Speaking with Bloomberg’s Daybreak Asia radio show January 21, 2019, professor Silvio Micali of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spoke positively on the future of blockchain, believing that global blockchain development can lead to the establishment a truly borderless economy.

The Magic Number

According to the well-accredited and renowned professor, “until now they could only satisfy two out of the three” properties that would allow for blockchain to flourish as a financial-inclusion tool with significant global reach. For such a system to work, it requires decentralization, security, and scalability, to function simultaneously of which were failing to do so until very recently.

For Micali, progress can be made should the ever-plaguing issue of scalability be addressed:

“Once you have a truly decentralized secure and scalable platform, [you] are going to see a more inclusive and indeed a borderless economy rising in which anyone can participate with minimum effort, maximum confidence, [built upon] transparency and trust.”

Silvio Micali

MIT Professor Silvio Micali.

(Source: Xconomy)

When questioned on the issue of scalability, Micali describes centralized platforms as being able to scale easily despite their vulnerability to hacks. Decentralized systems, posits the professor, fare much better comparatively. He notes:

“Only a true decentralized system, where the power is really so spread that is going to be essentially practically impossible to attack them all and when you don’t need to trust this or that particular node, is going to bring actually the security we really need and deserve.”

Testing Grounds

Micali has spent a great deal of time working to solve the “blockchain trilemma” of decentralization, scalability, and security having founded a platform called Algorand, for which he also designed the protocol. In December 2018, Algorand, which claims its protocol to be a first-of-its-kind, was announced as one of the recipients to be included in a $100 million fund for blockchain and fintech companies by Algo Capital.

MIT is a hotbed for blockchain technology developments. In May 2018 the institute’s blockchain-devoted research community, The Digital Currency Initiative (DCI), experimented with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network in a bid to tackle the scalability issues. Interestingly, DCI believed that it could yield the same potential as the Ethereum network, should some “add-on protocols” be implemented via novel means.

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