The MIT Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology founded in 1985 by architect Nicholas Negroponte and MIT president Jerome Wiesner.
The lab hosts a blockchain-focused research group, the Digital Currency Initiative (DCI), which was launched in 2015 and is directed by Neha Nerula. The DCI seeks to bring together academics from a range of disciplines to conduct research supporting the development of blockchain technology.
The group collaborates with other universities, students, professors and researchers. It produces academic papers, tests new use-cases and develops open source software related to blockchain technology. One of the organization’s primary objectives is to conduct research on core software and infrastructure regarding the security, stability, scalability and privacy of blockchain-based systems. Additionally, the initiative seeks to equip students with the tools to increase innovation in the sector.
Among other projects, the DCI has notably helped advance the research and development of Bitcoin Core. In 2015, Bitcoin Core developers Gavin Andresen, Cory Fields and Wladimir van der Laan joined the DCI project full-time after the previous provider of their funding, the Bitcoin Foundation, became unstable. Andresen later resigned from the initiative.