Blockchain startup Citizens Reserve to collaborate with Duke University on blockchain initiative

Citizens Reserve, the high-tech startup that recently unveiled its blockchain-based “supply-chain-as-a-service” platform SUKU, has announced it will collaborate with Duke University to offer students a unique educational experience dedicated to the advancement of blockchain technology in business.

Citizens Reserve, led by former members of Deloitte’s Global Blockchain Practice, will pair their blockchain expertise and industry connections with Duke’s dedication to business education and business practice, to offer students the support needed to nurture a growing interest in the technology.

Together, they will create a new incubation lab on campus for students to work on blockchain projects, host blockchain-focused events, and connect with other students interested in learning about the technology. Additionally, Citizens Reserve will support Duke’s efforts to build a curriculum that educates students on the technology through in-class participation, online forums, and joint meetups, as well as provide access to work on real blockchain projects, and introductions to blockchain experts and potential jobs.

“As a Duke MBA alumnus, I am excited to spearhead this program, and help the next generation of blockchain advocates and leaders succeed. Many industries, including finance, supply chain, and healthcare, are already exploring the potential of blockchain technology, so it is more important than ever to provide students with the tools needed to develop the skills, connections, and knowledge employers will seek from tomorrow’s workforce.”

Yonathan Lapchik, Citizens Reserve CIO

Citizens Reserve will provide students with active blockchain projects on the SUKU platform, which they can work on in the lab. In collaboration with Duke Blockchain Lab and Fuqua’s Blockchain Club, this program will bring together MBA students and Computer Science majors to develop projects in technology, strategy, finance, game theory, and economics, helping them transform classroom theory into actual practice. The lab will come equipped with tools, such as mining rigs, that will enable students to explore various blockchain mechanisms. This will increase their exposure to the overall blockchain space, fostering collaboration, innovation, and implementation of projects with one another.

Campbell Harvey, who is a Professor of Finance at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, will serve as the faculty advisor to the program and help to build out an expanded blockchain course curriculum. He has been at the forefront of all blockchain initiatives at Duke University and has taught “Innovation and Cryptoventures,” a course on blockchain technology that covers both the mechanics of blockchains as well as practical applications, for the past five years. Harvey is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Fellow of the American Finance Association, who has published numerous scholarly articles on topics spanning investment finance, emerging markets, and computer science.

Professor Campbell Harvey said, “It is crucial that academic institutions be willing to collaborate with thought leaders in the blockchain industry, and we look forward to working with Citizens Reserve in this regard. Duke is very proactive in external collaborations and we are excited about the opportunity for our students to get hands-on, industry-relevant experience.”

The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to foster a vibrant blockchain community at Duke University, as well as provide students with internships and full-time jobs, so they can develop the vital skills and build the connections needed to become successful in this industry.

This news follows the recent announcement that Citizens Reserve partnered with Smartrac, a global market leader in RFID products and IoT solutions, to guarantee that products like meat, livestock, and vaccines will be carefully tracked and traced along their supply chain routes via unique digital identities. The combination of Smartrac’s solutions and blockchain technology ensures that a product’s provenance or origin cannot be tampered with, faked, or lost, and provides the necessary foundations for SUKU’s development. SUKU’s official launch is expected in 2019.

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