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Carnegie Mellon University Receives a Huge Donation from Nikolai Mushegian for Blockchain Research

Nikolai Mushegian, the former technical partner at blockchain project MakerDAO, donated 3,200 MKR to his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University.

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The Pittsburgh-based university is also set to receive another 6,800 MKR over the next 1 to 3 years to research dapps and protocols for Web3, Mushegian said.

While the detailed agenda and a concrete plan of action most likely won’t be available until the end of January, Mushegian said that the main use for the funds will be to sponsor master and Ph.D. students working on “a few key areas of research,” such as algorithm design and game theory.

A Strategic Investment

Mushegian said the purpose of his donation is to set up a research program for decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols and decentralized applications (dapps). The funds will be utilized for sponsoring research of Masters and Ph.D. students. The research agenda and a concrete plan of action are expected to get published over the next few weeks.

“I am very concerned about the increasing rent-seeking behavior from some of the big players in this space, and also from existing banks and tech giants,” said Mushegian, on his motive behind the donation.

Well Researched Dentralized Platforms to be Released Soon!

Mushegian believes that DeFi systems will eventually replace the financial backbone of the economy. “If you thought someone eating your lunch was bad, imagine if you discovered that ‘generalized Uniswap’ was patented. It will only get worse,” he said, adding that such systems belong in the public domain.

While the detailed agenda and a concrete plan of action most likely won’t be available until the end of January, Mushegian said that the main use for the funds will be to sponsor master and Ph.D. students working on “a few key areas of research,” such as algorithm design and game theory.

Mushegian said that the main thing that led him to set up the fund was the increasing “rent-seeking behavior” from some of the industry’s biggest players.

He added that as universities are not easily bothered by corporations, it’s the perfect place for doing research that will benefit the public. It also doesn’t hurt that academia attracts some of the best contributors and researchers in the blockchain industry, he seemed to imply in the post.

More Donations Rolling Out

The 3,200 MKR Mushegian paid out on Dec. 31, 2019, was just the first out many donations Carnegie Mellon University is set to receive. According to his website, Mushegian said that he has “informally committed” to donate another 6,800 MKR to the university.

The $2.8 million donation won’t be a one-time payout like the Dec. 31 one, but will be spread out over the next one to three years, Mushegian said.

According to information from Mushegian’s website, he specified the core mechanics of the original contract system spec for the Dai stablecoin system. “Since then Dai has been completed, formally specified with substantial proof coverage, fully documented and diagrammed, and deployed,” he said.

The MakerDao Theory

MakerDao is a decentralized lending facility built on the Ethereum blockchain. The Maker platform leverages Ethereum smart contracts to automate the functions of a lending platform, as well as its associated stable coin in a decentralized manner.

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