UPDATE (28th September 22:25 BST): This piece has been updated with comment from Imperial College Professor William Knottenbelt.
Announced in the university’s summer newsletter, the Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering grew out of previous Imperial College efforts aimed at exploring bitcoin and the blockchain.
The university, founded in 1907, is considered one of the world’s top technical institutes.
The notice explained:
“With an overwhelming response from staff and students, the Centre will now coordinate research grants directed at designing and engineering improvements to the protocols that underpin blockchain technology. It will also coordinate application-based funding directed at prototyping chain-based solutions across multiple domains.”
The launch of the research center at Imperial College represents a growing interest amongst academic institutions in the technology.
Professor William Knottenbelt, of the university’s Department of Comptuing, will act as the Centre’s first director. When reached, he told CoinDesk in an email that the initiative represents “a due recognition of the exciting cryptocurrency-related work being carried out by staff and students across many departments” at Imperial College.
“We intend to focus on two areas: first, conducting research directed at designing and engineering improvements to the protocols underpinning blockchain technology,” he continued. “Second, exploring novel blockchain-based applications across mulitple domains. We look forward to considerably broadening our industrial and academic collaborations through the activities of this new centre.”