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Cardano’s IOG invests $4.5 million in research hub at the University of Edinburgh

Input Output Global (IOG), Cardano’s blockchain development arm, has decided to invest $4.5 million to establish a research hub in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh.

IOG’s goal is to expand the possibilities and development areas of blockchain technology. The vision of the team, led by leader and founder of Cardano Charles Hoskinson, focuses on conveying an academic approach related to the exploration of this “new” technology. 

Cardano’s program: an ambitious and forward-looking project

On the heels of already granted funding to Stanford and Carnegie-Mellon universities, the founders of Cardano Input Output Global (IOG) have decided to invest further in the future of blockchain. 

The new research hub, the Input Output Research Hub, has the main goal of promoting and accelerating blockchain research by funding new projects.

The hub will indeed enable researchers to come up with creative new solutions, fostering greater industry attention to fundamental research

As a twofold goal, it is intended to facilitate learning and access aimed at understanding how this technology works, for many still unexplored grounds.

The decision for such an investment is part of IOG’s broader academic program designed to bring the new Web3 closer to universities, thus fostering ever-greater synergy between the two worlds.

The hub will also be guided by a steering committee, composed of representatives from IOG and the universities. Its purpose is to review project proposals and allocate funding to the most promising ones.

This move could be of crucial importance for the expansion of the Cardano ecosystem. 

The beginning of the blockchain era and its development

The very first blockchain was Bitcoin and has been on the market since 2008. 

The real leap forward was later brought by Vitalik Buterin through his creation. As a matter of fact, Ethereum revolutionized the concept of blockchain by introducing the first programmable network.

The creation and composition of smart contracts made possible the emergence of new sectors, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) and the NFT market. 

These sectors, together with those of GameFi and decentralized insurance products, form the now well-known world of Web3.

Some of these are already more developed than others, especially that of DeFi, which has been the subject of heavy speculation by investors. 

Decentralized finance is the result of monetary evolution combined with the introduction of smart contracts. Hence, new platforms, so-called dApps (decentralized applications), have emerged.

The real news, however, is not only related to the influx of more wealth into the blockchain world. 

It is the new financial products that have overturned the concept of traditional finance, which is slowly bearing the brunt of decentralization

New ways of allocating one’s resources, different channels of earning, interest received in real-time and, last but not least, THE solution for all that part of the population defined as “unbanked.”

We are talking about those people who, thanks to blockchain, have now access to a range of financial services otherwise light years away. 

Starting from the simple opening of a line of credit, and concluding with the different opportunities and forms of investment created, we arrive at a new world.

Transparency, uncensorship and full control of one’s funds: this is the new movement that will accompany the world we know until the next revolution. 

The potential of blockchain: not just finance

Suffice it to say that the first-ever application of blockchain was precisely financial, with the introduction of a decentralized network that would support the use of the world’s first electronic currency, Bitcoin.

This is all due to Satoshi Nakamoto, whoever he/she (or they) are.  

Overall, however, blockchain as a technology still has a lot to offer and not all the potential has yet been tapped, let alone discovered. There is still a long way to go, but what is certain is the future!

Cardano’s vision

And this Charles Hoskinson knows well. Founded in 2017, Cardano has always taken a scientific and meticulous approach. This is precisely why, unlike other third-generation blockchains, its ecosystem is not yet fully developed.

Accomplice is the wait for the Vasil update, which is of utmost importance, in order to lay a solid foundation for the improvement of network scalability and efficiency. 

This explains why, unlike other third-generation blockchains, Cardano is growing very slowly. 

Now that the main phases of Cardano’s roadmap are over-except for Voltaire’s last-we can focus on spreading an idea that has all the makings of becoming an industry standard.

In this regard, Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOG and co-founder of Cardano, states: 

“IOG has been working with the University of Edinburgh for some time, and I am excited that this new research hub will allow us to continue to advance our industry. Working with leading institutions like Edinburgh to set up these blockchain research hubs is essential to our vision of making academic rigor an industry standard. Our end  goal with this hub is to allow blockchain development to grow more rapidly, based on new learnings that will emerge”.

These are the words of a man with a clear vision: the same man everyone has come to know through Cardano’s famous whiteboard

The development of DeFi in Cardano

Suffice it to say that Ethereum’s DeFi ecosystem began to take off in 2017 and, with ATH in the crypto market in November 2021, reached an LTV of $110 billion

At that time, Cardano’s DeFi sector was virtually worthless, while to date it boasts a TVL of about $53 million.

Paradoxically, its ATH of $326 million was reached in March 2022. In short, nowhere near Ethereum’s figures.

The most developed category so far is DEX, which makes sense because it allows for the foundation for the later creation of Lending & Borrowing platforms.

What is really interesting is that thanks to the composition of the Ouroboros protocol infrastructure, more complex solutions can be devised that cannot be developed on other blockchains. 

For example, thanks in part to the innovative EUTXO (Extended Unspent Transaction Output) accounting model, it would be possible to almost completely eliminate the risk of the so-called impermanent loss resulting from participation in liquidity pools in DEXs. 

Among the most interesting projects awaited by the Cardano community are certainly Liqwid and Maladex

Returning to the DeFi sector, unlike what many might think, the numbers bode well. Cardano is now a leading blockchain reference and a solid and well-established entity. This is confirmed by ADA, the network’s native crypto, which currently ranks ninth among the highest-capitalization cryptocurrencies. 

Hope for a better future

The fact that the most developed blockchain application area ever is still in the early stage of this network projects a vision of sustainable development on the horizon.

In light of recent events, such as the collapse of the Terra ecosystem, and the more recent failure of FTX, it is clear that the market needs a reality like Cardano’s. 

The market is at an all-time low, losing about 80 percent of its total value. Right now, everyone needs a big dose of confidence to jumpstart a market that has yet so much to give.

Eliano Martellucci
Eliano Martellucci
Eliano has a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration and is about to complete his master's studies in Finance at the University of Trento (UNITN). He got hooked on the crypto and blockchain world during the summer of 2017 and has not left it since then. He currently works as editor & SEO specialist at Cryptonomist, writes articles and invests, both in Blue Chip and early stage assets. Furthermore, he is working on his latest thesis project entitled: "A Study on crypto market Sentiment Analysis through Machine Learning algorithms in python."