Algorand, the blockchain platform on which the eponymous cryptocurrency designed to be secure, scalable, and decentralized is based, has partnered with Bocconi University aimed at fostering the development of the new Algorand Fintech Lab, directed by Claudio Tebaldi.
Research areas will be those destined to be most affected by the innovative wave of fintech technologies most beneficial to society, with a focus on the relationship between digital currencies and central banks, monetary policy, and macroeconomics; crypto-assets and financial markets; decentralized finance, financial institutions and services; and finally, Blockchain and society.
Among the scholarly initiatives, the one that best embodies the desire to separate knowledge and marketing-focused storytelling is a collaborative wiki project, on the lab’s website. Since knowledge, in a rapidly evolving field, is often conveyed informally through social media, websites, and research, not always published, from different disciplines, the lab’s community will take charge of filtering that information, identifying and sedimenting the highest quality information. Students and junior researchers will be in charge of monitoring the flow, supplementing if necessary the most interesting information with bibliographies and contextual news, while more experienced researchers will play the role of validators, making that work available to the public.
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Algorand is a platform that overcomes the limitations of first-generation blockchain
Its founder is Italian Silvio Micali, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and winner of the Turing Prize, a sort of Nobel Prize in Computer Science. Thanks to Pure Proof of Stake, the innovative consensus-building system, it enables the establishment of a highly expandable, decentralized, and secure digital transaction ledger, while Algorand Standard Assets (ASA) make possible the so-called tokenization (i.e., standardized digital representation) of any type of asset, including currencies, coins, and stablecoins. The company has built the first pure, open source, permissionless blockchain protocol for the next generation of financial products.
Investors in Algorand include Eterna Capital, an operator specializing in blockchain investments, founded in London in the spring of 2018 by Italian Andrea Bonaceto (co-founder of HiredGrad, a staff recruitment platform supported by Imperial College Incubator, as well as co-author of the first Nft digital artworks made in collaboration with a robot) and three young former BlackRock analysts: Nassim Olive, Asim Ahmad, and Mattia Mrvosevic. Eterna Capital in late October 2020 launched with Albemarle Asset Management (a British investment boutique based in London and so far specialized in equity strategies) the new Venture Capital Eterna Blockchain II fund, which will invest in projects on distributed ledger technology.
Claudio Tebaldi, director of the new Algorand Fintech Lab, said, “We need to be able to filter a rapid and incessant flow of information, settling verified and useful knowledge,” he says “Financial innovation,” Tebaldi continues, “is not just engineering or IT innovation, but also social innovation, an area where widespread knowledge, reliable policies, and trust are central. If we build a well-made bridge, it will hold up regardless of what people who use it think about it, but a financial system needs the trust of the participants.”
Micali added, “Blockchain will soon be the cornerstone of the infrastructure of the new finance and will bring momentous changes to the markets. Collaboration between the private sector, academia, and the regulator is crucial so that the utility generated by this new technological dimension is maximized and brings tangible benefit to society at large.”
Last January, Folks Finance, an Italian fintech company that operates the leading over-secured lending protocol developed right on the Algorand blockchain, closed a $3 million funding round
It was led by Borderless Capital, the largest investor in the Algorand ecosystem, which is committed to providing a steady flow of capital to the Folks Finance protocol liquidity pools. Also participating in the capital raise were industry-leading venture capital firms such as Coinbase Ventures, OKX Blockdream Ventures, Genesis Capital, Youbi Capital, Algorand Foundation, Meld Ventures, Eterna Capital, 0x Ventures, Polymorphic Capital, Valhalla Capital, ZBS Capital, and Gains Associates.
Many leading finance and DeFi (decentralized finance) protocols belonging to the Algorand environment contributed to the Folks Finance round, including: Algomint, Tinyman, StakerDAO, MyAlgo, Venue One, xBacked, and Prismatic. Angel investors supporting Folks Finance include David Garcia, CEO of Borderless Capital, and Calvin Liu, former strategy lead at Compound.
Finally, recall that in November last year Algorand and InfoCert, a certification authority under Tinexta, entered into a partnership for blockchain-based digital identity, while in the previous March Siae (Società Italiana Autori ed Editori) launched together with Algorand the tokenization of copyright.
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First published in Be Beez, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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