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Armenia Launches First Blockchain Lab
November 8, as reported in Public Radio of Armenia, a New York-based blockchain technology company, Blocktech, has partnered with French University of Armenia (UFAR) to launch Armenia’s first academic Blockchain Lab.
The announcement published on the UFAR website, states, “Today we signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the French University in Armenia and ˝Blocktech˝ LLC. The purpose of this partnership is to establish a Blockchain Research Hub at UFAR and to collaborate on blockchain projects from a technological point of view, particularly in cryptocurrency.”
In collaboration with the UFAR’s departments of Finance and Law, as well as the recently established Department of Informatics and Applied Mathematics, the lab will conduct interdisciplinary research into the crypto-economic implications of blockchain technology.
"Technology is a major priority for the French University of Armenia heading into the next decade," said Kristina Sargsyan, Ph.D., from the Department of Informatics and Applied Mathematics, who is also the university's Program Coordinator for Industry Partnerships. "We are honored to partner with Blocktech given Nick Spanos's pioneering work in the blockchain industry and we are confident that this will expand opportunities for our students tremendously."
Research will cover topics relating to applications of decentralization, and as stated by Armenia of Radio “including smart contract development, bonding curves, token-curated registries, oracle and curation services on the Zap platform, and crypto-economic design patterns.” Through the Blocktech-UFAR partnership, students will be able to take courses in blockchain and cryptocurrency, both from technical and business angles, and will be mentored by industry technologists while working on real-world projects.
The Zap platform is a project of Nick Spanos, the CEO of Blocktech, the company UFAR have partnered with for the university course. Zap is a platform built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, taking advantage of smart contract capabilities to allow users to exchange and monetize data. This data falls into a variety of fields and has a number of applications, according to Zap this can include but is not limited to political data, election/vote results, sports betting, crypto prices, energy uses and public transportation.
Spanos also founded the Bitcoin Center in NYC in 2013, which was prominently featured in the Netflix documentary “Banking on Bitcoin” as it was supposedly the world’s first live cryptocurrency trading floor.
Spanos said, "The rise of blockchain has ushered in an entirely new ecosystem of commoditized trust," he continued, "Cryptoeconomics is the umbrella field through which we study human behavior and systems design in our new decentralized world. UFAR is the perfect partner for tackling this vital area of research."
Spanos and Blocktech have been involved in the Armenian sphere since he visited in January when he was invited to speak at the the National Assembly of Armenia and at the American University of Armenia, among other forums. After Spanos's visit, Blocktech opened an office in Yerevan, directed by Peter Mikkelsen, founder of the Nordic Blockchain Association. "The amount of passion for disruptive technologies and permissionless innovation that I have seen in Armenia is tremendous," said Mikkelsen, "especially in the aftermath of the peaceful velvet revolution. This partnership is exactly what is needed at this critical juncture."
The announcement comes just in time for the ChainPoint International Blockchain Conference, taking place November 14-15.