Imperial students could win up to £3,000 for their bitcoin projects.
Creating new forms of bitcoin technology will be the focus of a student competition, thanks to a new partnership.
Bitcoin technology is a type of digital currency, which does not rely on a bank’s central server to process payments, and that uses encryption technology to help prevent fraud. According to Ebay CEO John Donahoe, Bitcoins and other digital currencies will play an increasingly important role in internet payment platforms.
Imperial College Business School, in partnership with Entrepreneur First (EF) - a pre-seed investment programme - has established the Imperial/EF Bitcoin Prize Fund for students. The aim of the Fund is to encourage innovation in the field of blockchains – used to describe technologies such as bitcoin. Blockchain technology allows secure digital transactions without any central authority.
Students from across the College including those studying computing, engineering and business can apply to carry out projects under the Imperial/EF Bitcoin Prize Fund either as part of a group or individually. The projects will count towards credits for degree courses, and the best projects will win cash awards of up to £3,000. Grants of up to £500 will also be awarded to students to purchase equipment used in the projects.
Researchers from a range of departments at Imperial have formed the Imperial Bitcoin Forum (IBF), which will work alongside EF to provide mentoring and education to students who carry out the projects.
Dr Llewellyn Thomas, a researcher in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship group at the Business School, said: “We’re in an era of change and we’re all aware of the digital world that is around us. Bitcoins are just one of a new wave of innovations that could have impact on our daily lives. The Imperial/EF Bitcoin Prize Fund hopes to tap into the full potential of these technologies by giving students the opportunity to explore and innovate in the field of blockchains.”
Maxine Myers caught up with Dr Llewellyn Thomas to talk about the Imperial/EF Bitcoin Prize Funds. They discuss the potential of bitcoins as well as security and privacy issues around the digital currency.
For more information on the Imperial/EF Bitcoin Prize Funds
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