MIT Sloan Fellows Blog

MIT Sloan Fellows, alumni, and faculty put themselves in situations around the world where they believe they can have the most impact—and dig in to uncover truth in uncertainty, reason in chaos, and tackle the tough challenges from refreshingly new vantages.

Blockchain as a Force Multiplier in Smart Cities and Beyond

Posted by MIT Sloan Fellows on March 4, 2019

Arwen COO David Fragale SF ’15 has spent the last several years advising governments, financial institutions, Fortune 100 companies, and startups about blockchain technologies. As cofounder of Atonomi, Fragale helped launch an Ethereum-based platform that provides trusted interoperability for internet-of-things (IoT) devices. “We registered the identity and reputations of devices on an immutable blockchain ledger,” he says. “By working with device manufacturers and infrastructure stakeholders, we were helping to create a universal trust environment that enables interoperability of billions of devices…
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Bridging the Gap Between Farming and Finance

Posted by MIT Sloan Fellows on March 4, 2019

When conceiving their new AI-powered agriculture financing venture Traive, cofounders Aline Oliveira Pezente SFMBA ’18 and Fabricio Pezente SFMBA ’18 were motivated by a startling fact. Global food demand will increase 70% in the next 30 years, with annual investments of at least $80 billion needed to keep up with the demand (according to a World Bank study). Much of the burden—and many of the opportunities for investment—lies with mid-range farming operations. Aline Pezente, who has spent her career in…
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Global Blockchain Hackathons

Posted by MIT Sloan Fellows on March 4, 2019

The spinoff effect of MIT research into blockchain technology is already influencing the development of new ventures. The Blockchain Challenge (TBC), cofounded by CTO Natalie Gil SF ’17 and CEO Silvana Lopez SF ’16, was inspired by both Gil’s independent research project under MIT Sloan Professor Simon Johnson during her year in the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program and Lopez’ desire to go beyond the hype. Launched in 2018, TBC unites global interdisciplinary teams—entrepreneurs, programmers, psychologists, economists, and others—to build…
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Blockchain Hype: Irrational Exuberance Redux

Posted by MIT Sloan Fellows on March 4, 2019

MIT Sloan Professor Stuart Madnick is not necessarily predicting a repeat of the dot-com bubble. He is concerned, however, that the proliferation of blockchain hype obscures some serious weaknesses in the technology and makes entrepreneurs overeager to adopt it. Madnick is only half joking when he says that the easiest ways to make money with a startup in the current climate is to put “blockchain” in the company name. Bloomberg.com reported on a version of this phenomenon in October 2017,…
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Seeking Evidence For and Against Blockchain Applications

Posted by MIT Sloan Fellows on March 4, 2019

“One of my favorite things about MIT is the enthusiasm people have here for talking through new ideas in an informal, friendly, and direct manner,” says MIT Sloan Professor Simon Johnson, faculty chair of the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program. “We have many such discussions and research projects underway at the Institute related to blockchain. It’s all very exciting and confusing at the moment, but we’ll gain clarity over time about which aspects of the technology deliver distinct value and…
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Cutting Through Blockchain Hype to Harvest Real Value

Posted by MIT Sloan Fellows on March 4, 2019

When it comes to miracle cures and silver bullets, we humans can be a susceptible lot. But if you are wary of falling in line behind the pied pipers of blockchain technology, you’re in good company. A growing contingent of researchers, business leaders, finance professionals, and tech experts are resisting the hype. At the same time, many who urge caution acknowledge the outsized potential of blockchain and are eager to determine how to exploit it for competitive and societal advantage.…
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Opinions expressed in this blog are that of individuals and do not reflect the general opinion of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and MIT Sloan.