The National FinTech Center at Morgan is a Center of Excellence and the hub of the HBCU Blockchain and FinTech Network that actively engages faculty and students at all HBCUs for research, curriculum, and education in Blockchain and FinTech. We support faculty and students at all HBCUs to develop their skills in various areas of FinTech including blockchain, cryptocurrencies, crypto economics, cybersecurity, payment systems, entrepreneurship, and related areas.
The National FinTech Center’s Vision and Mission
The National Center for the Study of Blockchain and Financial Technology (the FinTech Center) at Morgan State University is the national thought leader in the HBCU community in FinTech, blockchain, and cryptocurrency and is committed to making a positive impact by promoting innovation in research and education at HBCUs and within the broader community, through:
- Offering innovative educational programs, training, and certifications
- Engaging in and promoting competitive research and publishing
- Creating new courses, modifying existing courses, and developing new curricula
- Designing and implementing experiential learning activities
- Fostering broader financial literacy and access in the unbanked and underbanked communities through outreach and advocacy
Innovation in education and research is a top priority of the Center. This mission is founded on the ethical and cultural principles of the HBCU tradition, which inspire dedication to education and learning to nurture growth and accomplishment.
The FinTech Center will be a thought leader in Blockchain and FinTech education.
The FinTech Center will be a recognized leader among the nation’s most respected, admired, and trusted centers. In fulfilling this role, the Center will:
- Demonstrate national leadership in providing impactful programs and delivering excellent service
- Drive transformation and innovation in programs, and fully engage our faculty, students, and the community
- Contribute to the advancement of the frontiers of blockchain and FinTech through a significant ongoing commitment to research and education
- Expand and strengthen the Center’s regional, national, and international position as a model that delivers high-value services to a large network of HBCUs and the unbanked and underbanked communities,
To achieve this, the FinTech Center will:
- Build and foster relationships with the best and most respected business and industry leaders, researchers, academicians, professionals, and other academic centers
- Provide outreach to a broader and more diverse academic community, serving as a model for other organizations in providing a wide range of programs
- Maintain a secure financial base, including building a growing endowment, enhancing the FinTech Center’s long term sustainability, and ability to achieve its mission and vision
- Consider partnerships, collaborations, and affiliations with other leading high-quality organizations and other industry participants
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a specialized distributed database existing on multiple computers at the same time. Blockchains constantly grow as new sets of recordings, or ‘blocks’, are added to it. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to the previous block, so the blocks actually form a chain.
What Is Financial Technology?
Financial Technology (FinTech) combines innovative new technology with available resources in order to compete in the marketplace of traditional financial institutions and in the delivery of financial services
The FinTech application area of Blockchain can generally be described as a system that records and maintains transactions made in tokens such as cryptocurrencies (e.g., bitcoin, XRP) across several computers that are linked in a cryptographically protected peer-to-peer network. A wide range of financial applications become feasible with this architecture.
In February 2019, Morgan State University received a multi-year grant from Ripple, a leading Silicon Valley technology firm. The Ripple grant enables Morgan’s Center for the Study of Blockchain and Financial Technology (the FinTech Center) at the Graves School of Business and Management to join a global network of universities advancing the goals of Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI).
Morgan joins a select group of institutions in a worldwide effort designed to accelerate academic research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and FinTech security. The UBRI program fosters increased engagement and participation in curriculum development and research in Blockchain and Financial Technology among faculty, postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students.
The Center offers its programs to a wide variety of disciplines including but not limited to, the arts, law, sociology, accounting, computing, economics, engineering, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, supply chain, etc.
The Ripple grant underwrites a five-year academic partnership that brings course development and research initiatives to Morgan State University. In addition, the Center serves as a resource hub to support activities for faculty and students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) throughout the United States seeking to engage in FinTech and Blockchain. The Center sponsors research projects that address the complex problems of blockchain technology.
The FinTech Center sponsored the Inaugural Annual HBCU Blockchain Summit in May of 2019. Hosted the HBCU Curriculum Development Institute in November of 2019, a number of conferences and workshops, and gives seed funding to faculty developing specialized curricula and expanding academic courses.