In Brief
Harvard Backs $50m Dapp Platform Built at Princeton

Harvard’s endowment has bought tokens denoting a stake in dapp platform Blockstack. With two other institutional investors, the Harvard Management Company owns Blockstack tokens worth around $11.5 million, reports Bloomberg. The company has raised around $50 million in total so far, it has announced.

Yesterday, Blockstack filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission applying to conduct a regulated token offering worth another $50 million, expected to be the first regulated offering of its kind.

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Blockstack is a development platform that supports 80 dappsand is looking to add more. They include Graphite, which is similar to Google Docs, and Sigle, a blogging tool. The company also organizes “developer meetups” in 42 separate locations around the world, to encourage dapp production. Its developer groups total more than 17,000 members.

Harvard’s stake has been reported as a signal of the financial establishment getting on board with crypto assets. So far, there has been scarce appetite for such assets among financial institutions, because of associations with money laundering and exit-scams. A paucity of regulation in the crypto sector has left too many ‘unknown unknowns’ for most large-scale investors.

Harvard's stake has been widely reported as a signal of the financial establishment getting on board with crypto assets.

Harvard’s investment in Blockstack does not necessarily indicate a shift in sentiment. The company has rare points in its favor. Not only is it actively seeking SEC regulation, but it was founded by computer scientists at Princeton. With this blockchain investment, Harvard’s appetite for risk has not even stretched beyond the Ivy League.

The day Harvard backs an anonymous coder with “pirate” in their name, change will really be afoot. But with Princeton academics embracing blockchain, the tech elite is rushing in where financial gatekeepers fear to trade.