On August 31, 2017, Microsoft announced it has joined the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3), comprised of faculty members at Cornell University, Cornell Tech, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Technion.
IC3 and Microsoft will work together to make the financial system more flexible, transparent, and secure by researching blockchain applications for enterprise adoption. Other industry partners include IBM, Intel, Fidelity Labs, and Digital Asset. IC3 continues to receive funding from a three-year $3 million National Science Foundation grant issued in 2015.
Yorke E. Rhodes III, Global Blockchain Business Strategist at Microsoft, elaborated on the partnership.
"As we continue our journey in blockchain, we have watched and read the work of the IC3 team and are impressed with their thinking and the perspective they bring to the community. We are very aligned with the approaches IC3 blockchain experts are taking to address scale, simplification, and other topics of interest for enterprise adoption. The synergies in their research fit well with our visions for enterprise scale blockchain solutions.”
Ari Juels, Co-Director of IC3 and professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in New York City, expressed a shared vision between Microsoft and the initiative. "IC3 was founded to advance blockchain science, technology and applications,” he said. “We’re delighted to work more closely with Microsoft’s blockchain experts, who share our vision of blockchain-based solutions for next generation financial services.”
"We are excited to work more closely with IC3 through this membership,” added Rhodes.