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.

The Center’s growing outreach activities started with the following group of universities in May 2019