Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) is more than a hundred years old and was founded by an emperor’s edict – but it has no trouble keeping up with the cutting edge of blockchain technology.
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The university’s Koguan School of Law has been spreading education and debate around blockchain since at least 2017, when its international student forum went by the title “Discovering Blockchain Technology.” Even then, before the bull run of 2019, the event was able to attract a partner from global accountancy PwC to speak on the topic.
One of SJTU’s research professors in the field of cryptocurrency is Zhen Liu. He also works as an advisor and cryptographer for Abelian, a project that says it is developing “a quantum-resistant, privacy-enabled cryptocurrency.”
The university operates a joint institute with the University of Michigan, organizing an annual entrepreneurship week featuring guest speakers from leading academic institutions across Asia, the U.S. and Europe. In the past, it has included presentations and discussions on blockchain and cryptocurrency.
SJTU has sent its alumni into a range of senior positions in the blockchain scene both in China and beyond. Its former students include the chief commercial officer of SpaceChain, a firm using blockchain technology to turn orbiting satellites into multi-user platforms; a partner at Global Blockchain Innovative Capital, an investment firm; and a project manager at digital asset exchange Binance.
Although China banned all cryptocurrency transactions in September 2021, that does not detract from the adoption of blockchain technology more widely in the country for alternative functions. The state has actually supported some blockchain firms, helping them to explore use cases in fields like medicine and energy. President Xi Jinping himself actually called upon China to adopt distributed ledger technologies in October 2019.