VC Fred Wilson is a big proponent of Ethereum
My alma mater is doing some really good work in the area of digital currencies. MIT, via its Media Lab, has built something called the Digital Currency Initiative. The basic idea of the DCI is to bring together researchers and scientists from all over the world and from many different disciplines (cryptography, economics, privacy, distributed systems, etc) to collaborate on research and efforts to promote and develop digital currency and distributed ledger technologies. This is a institute wide initiative at MIT though its center of gravity is in the Media Lab.
Earlier this week, MIT’s DCI announced a $900,000 Bitcoin Developer Fund. The Gotham Gal and I were one of the financial backers of this fund which will pay the salaries of developers who work on the open source codebase that is at the core of the Bitcoin protocol. It is important to note that as a financial backer of this fund, we do not have any influence over these developers. That is true for all of the financial backers. In the true sense of “academic freedom” the Bitcoin Developer Fund has a “hands off” approach to the developers it supports. This quote is from the announcement:
The establishment of this fund enables us to offer positions in a neutral academic environment. This allows developers like Wlad, Cory and Gavin to work on code and develop new ideas that may be controversial, but can do so with the assurance that they won’t be fired for diversity of thought.
I would love to see this fund grow in size over time and be able to support a larger group of computer scientists and developers to work on forks of Bitcoin and other digital currencies like Ethereum. Diversity of thought is badly needed in this important new technology sector and we don’t have enough of it right now.
While I’m on the topic of diversity, DCI also announced $100,000 in “diversity scholarships” this week. Here are the details:
Fred Wilson (born August 20, 1961) is an American businessman, venture capitalist and blogger. Wilson is the co-founder of Union Square Ventures, a New York City-based venture capital firm with investments in Web 2.0 companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Zynga, Kickstarter, and 10gen.
n 2004 Wilson and Brad Burnham founded Union Square Ventures and have since invested in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Bug Labs, Meetup, Zynga, Covestor, del.icio.us, Etsy, FeedBurner, Heyzap, Indeed.com, Tacoda, Oddcast, Disqus, Zemanta, Work Market, and Clickable. TheFunded.com, a social networking site for technology entrepreneurs, rated him their favorite venture capitalist in 2007.