Monash University Establishes Blockchain Research Centre with Industry Affiliations
Australia’s Monash University in Melbourne has announced the launch of a blockchain research lab along with peer universities in the Asia-Pacific region. Joseph Liu has been appointed director of the Monash Blockchain Technology Centre (MBTC) and will coordinate efforts to improve blockchain adoption and awareness in the country, as reported by ZDNet, November 25, 2019.
Exploring International Blockchain Usage
With each passing day, there is more news of various industries looking to implement a blockchain to reduce the need for trust in their systems. Joseph Liu, director of the Monash Blockchain Technology Centre (MBTC) seems to completely understand that blockchains after multidisciplinary systems.
Monash University has had its own internal blockchain research lab for the last two years, but research efforts were only carried out by the university’s IT faculty. The establishment of a global blockchain center in the form of MBTC will enable other departments, whose disciplines could find utility in blockchain, to take part in the research and development process.
Liu believes tracking down the origin of food ingredients (supply chain) can be changed by blockchain; given Australia is a large exporter of food products, a blockchain can help establish the integrity of the ingredients and final goods for end-users in other countries.
Internally, Monash’s IT department has in-depth experience with blockchain. The internal lab has even built a cryptocurrency for fintech firm ColinStar Capital.
Academia, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency
Blockchain has gained widespread legitimacy through corporate and academic endorsements from large businessmen and revered professors. It is increasingly being viewed as a way to inherently boost the transparency of a system.
Cryptocurrencies on the other hand are being denied their claim to legitimacy by academia due to a number of factors ranging from volatility to alleged mass market manipulation.
Since cryptocurrency awareness exploded in late 2016 and early 2017, most organizations have found value in the underlying technology rather than the incentive-based economic systems built on top. As a result, it seems reasonable that universities are looking deeper into the blockchain phenomenon rather than cryptocurrencies. Only a few universities, like the University of Nicosia (UNIC), are truly focusing on digital currencies as a major innovation.