The new digital, decentralized economy needs academic validation

It is a pivotal moment in the development of the new digital economy. Interest in all things crypto keeps growing exponentially, and investment follows closely. There has arguably never been so much money poured into a product class that was so poorly understood, both by the wider public and by most investors. In lieu of actual understanding, stakeholders in the crypto space have to operate on reputation and trust instead. This necessity has given rise to a dangerous new con.

Unlike blatant scams like OneCoin or Bitconnect, today’s blockchain opportunists and confidence tricksters often play the faux science card. “Read our white paper here,” “Look at this research report we uploaded to arXiv,” “Download our dataset” — sounds legit, right? There is just one crucial element missing: academic validation.

Serguei Popov acquired his doctorate in mathematics from Moscow State University in 1997, and has held research and teaching positions at the University of Sao Paulo and the University of Campinas. Currently, he is a senior researcher at the University of Porto. His interest in crypto dates back to 2013 when he started applying his knowledge in general mathematics, probability and stochastic processes to distributed ledger technology. He is a co-founder of the Iota Foundation and member of the board of directors.