Unlocking the potential of blockchain technology – MIT News

Unlocking the potential of blockchain technology – MIT News

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a country of around 50,000 people spread across more than 1,000 islands in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. The country relies heavily on cross-border finance and trade, and the complexities of that system can make it difficult for citizens to get certain goods and financial services efficiently.

Now the federal government is seeking to become the first to issue a national digital currency using blockchain technology. Officials hope the move helps citizens avoid high transaction fees, simplifies compliance with international partners, and protects against inflation (the currency will have a fixed supply rate).

The new currency will be based on blockchain technology developed by Silvio Micali, the Ford Professor of Engineering in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and commercialized by Micali’s startup, Algorand.

There has been considerable hype around the potential for blockchain technology and associated cryptocurrencies to disrupt the way money and other assets move around the world. Skeptics of that vision say blockchain technologies are not sustainable or efficient enough for mass adoption.

Algorand believes it has solved those problems with a unique, scalable architecture that doesn’t sacrifice traditional benefits of blockchain technology like decentralization and security.

An increasing number of people are using Algorand for a wide range of applications,