Princeton University is introducing an initiative on blockchain and its potential to interrupt and restructure power in society. Sustained by four alumni in a combined major gift to Princeton’s Venture Forward campaign, the initiative will call together scholars across disciplines to better comprehend the possible benefits and drawbacks of the technology.
The initiative will be centered in the School of Engineering and Applied Science while involving scholars and innovators across public policy, social sciences, economics, and the humanities. It will quicken essential research not only in the underlying technologies of decentralization but also the societal effects of those technologies. This work will create a vibrant environment for learning and teaching around these technologies and their effects.
The initiative received initial funding from four alumni who are leaders in investing, technology and blockchain. Lubin, whose Princeton degree was in electrical engineering and computer science, said that the main aim of the gift is to involve Princeton’s strength not only in engineering but also in the social sciences.
Blockchain, a digital ledger of transactions that is open for all to see and manage and yet is protected against making false entries, is rapidly being developed for uses beyond digital currencies. Many firms, for example, are using blockchain for managing and creating contracts. Some technologists trust blockchain as the basis for the next generation of the internet, known as Web3, in which disparate users not only generate content but also manage and own the distribution platforms.