The publication of the pioneering white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto on Bitcoin in October 2008 and the creation of its reference implementation heralded a new era in cryptocurrencies and protocol-based digital token, with many other innovations having followed. By solving a myriad of technical and financial challenges, blockchain and Bitcoin protocols have also enabled the emergence of other imaginative and disruptive ideas and ventures.
Given that nascent aspect of these concepts and the startups they have spawned, it may be too early to judge the success, or the lack thereof, of many of them. Nonetheless, there is little doubt about the profound potential effect and future impact of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and digital tokens on financial services, technology, economics, trade, healthcare, and government, to name a few. In addition, there are many important questions in regard to ramifications in classical economics theories, monetary policies, role of central banks, economic growth, fiscal policies and tax collection, access to financial products, national sovereignty, cybersecurity, and others that are yet to be addressed.
In light of such dynamics, we have embarked on a number of academic and industry efforts to promote research, educations (both for students across Columbia University as well as professionals and executives), and development of promising technology ventures. As always, we take a multidisciplinary approach and bring together faculty and practitioners from business, engineering, economics, and law to tackle industry challenges as well as advance research and development in the field, with the hope of making meaningful contributions to the overall ecosystem.