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Former MakerDAO partner gives $4.3m to his alma mater

By Charlotte Ricca

Nikolai Mushegian donates MKR tokens to Carnegie Mellon University for research into decentralised finance

A former technical partner for the MakerDAO project has donated 3,200 MKR tokens ($1.38m, £1m, €1.24m) to his former university, for research into decentralised finance.

Nikolai Mushegian has also “informally committed” another 6,800 MKR tokens to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) over the next one to three years. One MKR token is currently priced at around $427.

CMU was named one of the best computer science schools in the US by the US News and World Report.

According to Mushegian, CMU is home to “world-class experts” in areas that will be critical in the coming years, particularly algorithm design and game theory.

His money will be used to establish a research programme for Masters and PhD students into “decentralised applications/protocols and game-theoretic mechanisms”.

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

“Some of the patents being filed make a mockery of IP law and are an insult to the developers that built the underlying technologies that enable them.”

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 ‘generalised Uniswap’ was patented. It will only get worse,” said the former Google software engineer.

Mushegian is best known for his work on the Dai stablecoin system, which was launched in November by MakerDAO .

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