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Former MakerDAO contributor announces $4M donation to Carnegie Mellon University for DeFi research

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Fri, 03 Jan 2020, 06:53 am UTC

Nikolai Mushegian, a former technical partner at MakerDAO and Carnegie Mellon alumnus, has announced a donation of 10,000 MKR tokens (approximately $4.3million) to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to support decentralized finance (DeFi) research.

As per the details shared by Mushegian in a blog post, he has already donated 3,200 MKR and “informally committed” another 6,800 MKR.

“The purpose of this donation is to establish a research program for decentralized applications/protocols and game-theoretic mechanisms. Over the next few weeks we will set the research agenda and publish a concrete plan of action,” he said.

Mushegian said that the funds will be used to sponsor Master’s and Ph.D students working on a few key areas of research. Speaking about his intentions behind the donation, he said:

“The first is simply that it’s good karma. The second is that I am very concerned about the increasing rent-seeking behavior from some of the big players in this space, and also from existing banks and tech giants.”

DeFi Systems

According to Mushegian, DeFi systems will eventually replace the financial backbone of the economy.

Charles Lu, CEO of Findora, told TokenPost that he expects blockchain-based financial services to take major steps forward this year, as an open, universal standard for digital identity and reputation/credit-worthiness begins to emerge.

“While adoption of DeFi increased in 2019, it is still mostly limited to speculators and crypto-enthusiasts. The primary reason for this is that most systems today fail to integrate user identity and reputation. By introducing financial passports, next-generation identity infrastructure will offer complete user data privacy via selective disclosure credentials. A solid foundation for identity will enable credit and reputation, expanding open finance and banking to real users worldwide,” he said.

“Finally, in 2020, we will witness the next stage of enterprise adoption of blockchain technology. With a renewed sense of enthusiasm around blockchain’s deployment at enterprise level, and with many high profile companies leveraging the technology, there will be a pivot towards ensuring transparency, consumer protection, and regulatory compliance as adoption increases.”

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