Princeton alumni Novogratz and Lubin help launch the university’s blockchain campaign

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Princeton University seeks to highlight through its novel Venture Forward campaign, the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies to disrupt and realign power across the society.

Princeton has said that four current crypto industry heavyweights, and the university’s alumni, have contributed to the initiative.

Peter L. Briger, Jr., is a 1986 graduate of Princeton and currently holds the co- CEO post at Fortress Investment Group. Joseph M. Lubin graduated in 1987 and is the co-founder of Ethereum and ConsenSys. Other 1987 graduates of the institution to donate to the initiative are Galaxy Digital CEO Michael E. Novogratz and Pantera Capital founder Daniel W. Morehead.

The donations, according to Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber, will help scholars and researchers “illuminate the impact of blockchain technology and its potential societal implications.”

Andrea Goldsmith, the dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Professor Jaswinder Pal Singh, a professor at the university, agree that blockchain, a technology that operates under no central control, has changed society.

Blockchain is a new platform for distributing power

Blockchain technology is now undoubtedly part of the mainstream society, with adoption across all sectors of the global economy serving to highlight this growth. 

This can be seen in the use of cryptocurrencies, smart contracts and other innovations, the institution said on Thursday. And like earlier technological innovations, blockchain and crypto is disruptive and have already seen a redistribution of power across financial, political, and economic shift lines.

“Technology has always disrupted power, but blockchain is a new platform for doing so. It is very exciting and important to think broadly and deeply about the applications it enables as we also generate innovations that push the boundaries of the technology itself,” Goldsmith said.

According to Lubin, the “collective understanding of both the benefits and drawbacks of digital technology has advanced greatly over the past two decades of digital innovation.” 

The Ethereum co-founder is bullish on Web3. In his view, it is a technology that offers society an opportunity to further leverage digital innovation for the benefit of everyone.

Singh, on his part, said that the global community is yet to fully grasp blockchain’s opportunities and potential drawbacks. We are an early stage, he noted, adding that “the decentralisation of trust may be just as powerful and transformative as the worldwide web.”

Getting it right, Singh explained, requires a lot of education and interdisciplinary research. Again, closely working with those in the fast-moving startup sector will be key.

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