Mastercard and Ripple’s Xpring Join Industry Group to Promote Blockchain Education

Blockchain accelerator MouseBelt announced Tuesday it has welcomed 11 founding members into its Blockchain Education Alliance. In addition to the card network, the new members include the innovation arms of payments startup Ripple and crypto exchange Binance; and representatives from Neo, KuCoin and ethereum scaling solution Matic Network.

Mastercard has joined a working group that supports blockchain education and research in universities around the world.

They will join the 13 companies, including Stellar, TRON and Wanchain, that became part of the alliance when it was announced in October.

The Blockchain Education Alliance is part of MouseBelt’s university program, an initiative to train the next generation of blockchain developers in more than 80 student associations all around the world. Members provide funding and educational resources that help students and professors develop curriculums and stay up-to-date with industry developments.

“The members all share our ethos: The best way to invest in the space is to make long-term investments in education”, said Ashlie Meredith, director of MouseBelt University. “The better the education, the better developers and projects we will see.”

The Alliance began as an affiliation of more than 13 universities in North America but has expanded to include roughly 70 schools across the Americas, as well as in Asia and Europe.

Warren Paul Anderson, head of developer relations at Ripple’s Xpring incubator, said joining the alliance allowed it to prepare prospective developers with the skills and resources they need.

“Mousebelt’s mission to promote blockchain technology at the curriculum level within universities is directly aligned with that of Xpring,” he said.

Mastercard is one of the world’s largest payment providers, handling more than $14 trillion worth of payments every year. Over the past few years, the company has made several forays into blockchain technology, most notably as one of the founding members of Facebook’s Libra Association.

Together with its main competitor Visa, Mastercard left the association in October. CEO Ajay Banga said this month he had pulled the company out of Libra because of concerns surrounding the project’s regulatory status and long-term viability.

Mastercard has not commented on why it joined the Blockchain Education Alliance. CoinDesk has approached the company for comment and will update if we hear back.

Japanese Financial Giant SBI Holdings Considers Paying Dividends in XRP

Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings is considering to pay shareholder dividends in the form of XRP tokens, following the same practice by its subsidiary MorningStar.
After MorningStar started offering its shareholders dividends in XRP earlier this year, SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao revealed that the company is now considering to follow suit, Cointelegraph Japan reported on Dec. 5.

SBI would launch the program during the fiscal year ending in March 2020, with Kitao further stating that it is opt-in.

MorningStar’s XRP dividends grew SBI’s crypto business

MorningStar Japan, an independent financial investment research firm, first revealed its plans to incorporate XRP-based dividends in August 2019. At the time, the company said that it will offer 30 XRP to its shareholders if they hold a minimum of 100 shares by Sept. 30.

The launch of XRP dividends on MorningStar resulted in a growing number of daily applications for SBI’s cryptocurrency exchange, SBI VC Trade, Kitao reportedly stated.

SBI and Ripple have been major partners so far

The two firms have worked closely in the past, with SBI Holdings an active partner of Ripple via their joint venture SBI Ripple Asia, which was formed to promote XRP usage in Asian financial markets in 2016.

In a financial report released in late October 2019, SBI emphasized the increasing importance of Ripple’s technology in its remittance division SBI Remit as well as the development of Ripple’s xCurrent-based remittances.

Earlier in April, Kitao was appointed as an executive of Ripple Labs where he will “further promote blockchain and digital asset utilization at financial institutions in Japan and Asia, and strive to develop financial services with high customer benefit.”

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