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The McCombs School of Business is committed to cutting-edge research and innovation. The Blockchain Initiative at Texas McCombs is supporting blockchain research activities across the 40-acres campus.


  •  John Griffin, Professor of finance and member of the faculty advisory board of the Blockchain Initiative at Texas McCombs, and Amin Shams, phd student in finance and cryptocurrency expert, just released the paper "Is Bitcoin really Un-Tethered?" that received national and international media attention.  Amin Shams explains the findings of the paper in the video.
  •  Professors Rajiv Garg (IROM), Patrick Brockett (IROM), Linda Golden (Marketing), and PhD student Yuxin Zhang wrote a working paper titled “Predicting Cryptocurrency Movement: Analysis of Blockchain Transaction Graph”, where they propose an iterative learning model to predict the evolution of blockchain transactions based on its entire transaction history.
  •  Amin Shams, finance PhD student, is on the academic job market this year with a paper titled "What Drives the Covariation of Cryptocurrency Returns?". The paper shows that a single “connectivity” measure proxying for correlated demand shocks explains substantial covariation in the cross-section of cryptocurrency returns.
  •  Eric T. Meyer, dean of the School of Information, co-wrote a report that examines the potential impacts of blockchain technology on the art market. The report "The Art Market 2.0 Blockchain and Financialisation in Visual Arts" shows how blockchain technology can alleviate conflicts of interest in the art market, track art provenance, and provide easier collateralization of art. The financialization of the art market holds significant promises for artists.
  • Dr. Anjum Khurshid of Dell Medical School and Ashish Gadnis aim to describe one of the first applications of blockchain technology for addressing homelessness in the United States in their paper entitled "Using Blockchain to Create Transaction Identity for Persons Experiencing Homelessness in America: Policy Proposal". Their research looks to solve this by creating a digital identity for people experiencing homelessness and engaging emergency medical services and clinical providers. The authors argue that a lack of documentation to prove personal identity and the inability to access own records are major hurdles for empowering persons experiencing homelessness to be resilient and overcome the life challenges they face. Furthermore, it is argued that this lack of information causes misdiagnosis, duplication, and fragmentation in service delivery, which can be potentially addressed by blockchain technology.


The Blockchain Initiative accepts proposals to support research provides in the subject areas of blockchain and distributed systems, crypto-currency and digital payments, and cryptography as it relates to the above topic. All faculty and graduate students from across the University of Texas at Austin are invited to submit proposals. In the past, the initiative awarded four teams funding for a variety of research projects. Those projects include: "Robust Consensus and Block Structures" (led by Sriram Vishwanath), "The Value of Cryptocurrencies Based on Private and Permissioned Blockchains" (led by Andrew Whinston), "Predicting Cryptocurrency Movement" (led by Yuxin Zhang) and "Health Identity on Blockchain" (led by Anjum Khurshid).

Limited fellowships are also available to graduate students to support their blockchain research. Interested students should submit a letter, together with a recommendation letter from a UT sponsoring faculty, to the Blockchain Initiative email.