The University of Sydney will establish a dedicated blockchain group after forming a partnership with smart contract and cyrptocurrency payments platform, Fantom.

Led by Associate Professor of Computer Science, Bernhard Scholz, the initial funding will support a specialised research group which will build a new programming toolchain through open source research and software artefacts. The group aims to create automatic bug-checking software for safer smart contract development.

“With the incredible research grant and support that we’ve received from Fantom, this project will help the University of Sydney deliver research papers, software artefacts, and opportunities in higher education that have never been seen before in the blockchain space,” said Professor Scholz.

“As educators, it’s our job to provide students with as much experience and as many tools as possible to succeed in the industries of today. Blockchain has played a dominant role in the evolution of programming, and we look forward to contributing its advancement through our work with Fantom.”

The partnership will sponsor post doctoral degrees and professors with the aim to increase blockchain-focused research and initiatives in higher education. It will also provide developers with the hands-on research experience necessary to develop programming language techniques and formal methods.

Based in South Korea, Fantom is smart contract platform that is creating efficiencies within cryptocurrency and is helping augment existing public distributed ledger technology.

Fantom recently raised USD$39.8 million (AUD$55 million) via an ICO in June this year. Investors include global crypto funds including 8 Decimal Capital, Hyperchain Capital and Signum Capital, as well as Perth-based Kosmos Capital and Renaissance Digital Assets.

According to Fantom CEO, Dr Byung Ik Ahn, the partnership will provide the opportunity to accelerate the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology, putting the University at the forefront of the industry.

“Fantom is very excited to partner with the University of Sydney, as we believe the experienced faculty and talented students are uniquely qualified to improve smart contract functionality and create a new programming language that can help advance the entire ecosystem,” he said.

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