The University of Oxford can stand up in prestige to any university in the world – it is now working toward a similar status in the blockchain scene.
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The first sign of blockchain at the university that a new student might encounter is the Oxford Blockchain Society. It is a student-run group, founded in 2016 with the aim of creating a network of like-minded individuals.
Meanwhile, Oxford’s blockchain research center is based at University College, the oldest of the institution’s 39 semi-autonomous colleges. It is headed by Bill Roscoe, a former head of the university’s computer science department. He began researching blockchain technology in Shenzhen, China in 2017.
The Oxford-Hainan Blockchain Research Institute, in China’s first licensed Blockchain Pilot Site, is associated with the blockchain research center back in Britain. The institute plans to establish a talent development program and a startup incubator. A team from the OxHainan institute won the best demo award at the IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems in 2020.
The Oxford Foundry, a center for entrepreneurial development associated with Oxford’s business school, has partnered with global crypto payments firm Ripple and its University Blockchain Research Initiative. Their joint project intends to provide educational resources that any students at the university can use to develop skills and grow in understanding. It also plans to teach the Python coding language to any interested students.
Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and counts Stephen Hawking among its illustrious alumni in the scientific community.
Perhaps helped by the academic institutions working within its borders, the U.K. has been able to position itself as a leading site of blockchain enterprise. The country’s financial regulator speculated last year that there could be several hundred firms already involved in cryptocurrency activities in the country. In this thoroughfare of crypto business, students might manage to step easily out of the classroom and directly into industry.