The digital currency industry continues to be mired in controversy, as the lack of a governing body and bitcoin standards development pose plenty of security risks. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Media Lab Director Joi Ito is suggesting that the MIT create a neutral home for cryptocurrency technical coordination.
Ito has helped in the development of the internet itself, and is known for contributing to the start of the first commercial internet service provider in Japan and investing in Twitter’s Japanese services. He was also the former CEO of Creative Commons and has been a board member of the Open Source Initiative, ICANN, The Mozilla Foundation, Public Knowledge and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).
Need for Bitcoin Standards
According to Ito, having a neutral academic home for bitcoin discussions can give a lot more stability for the cryptocurrency. He hinted that they might announce some plans in the next couple of weeks and that they will be collaborating with other high profile MIT experts such as economist Simon Johnson and cryptographer Ron Rivest.
As it is, the closest thing to a governing body with bitcoin standards is the Bitcoin Foundation, which has also been subject to a lot of scandals lately. There has also been a lot of opposition to the foundation’s leadership position in the cryptocurrency industry. Even Bitcoin Foundation board member Olivier Janssens mentioned that the group is effectively bankrupt due to two years of ridiculous spending and poor decision-making.
“What I’d like to do as a contribution from MIT – and this is one of my first forays into going Institute-wide from the beginning, by bringing Simon Johnson for the economics and Ron Rivest for the crypto – is to try to come up with a non-commercial, neutral place for academics to talk about Bitcoin,” says Ito. “What I’m really trying to do is offer us as one of the neutral places to do this. And I do think academia plays a role.”