LUMS and Stacks Pakistan Are Reshaping Pakistan’s Future Around Blockchain Technology

Muneeb Ali

Co-Founder, Stacks
February 22, 2021

What is now the Stacks ecosystem started in 2013 as a research project at Princeton University. Those academic roots continue to be of central importance to the founders of Stacks and central to the culture of several leading entities within the Stacks ecosystem. We remain committed to these roots and to the future engineers and entrepreneurs who will continue to drive this technology forward. As part of this commitment, we’re supporting LUMS with a Stacks research grant of 5 million STX tokens, worth approximately $3.6 million USD and over Rs560 million, that aims to fuel research on blockchain technology and distributed applications.

LUMS, one of Pakistan’s leading research universities, will use Hiro’s grant (formerly Blockstack PBC), to develop and build out educational programs that will enable faculty and students to research blockchain, cryptocurrencies, distributed-ledger technology and more. The program intends to have a decidedly practical feel, with a focus on emerging markets and others areas where these technologies can most successfully be applied.

Experienced in providing full-scale support for a wide variety of funded and collaborative projects, staff at the LUMS Office of Research will work closely with the faculty and researchers. Research and programming, moreover, will be carried out in cooperation with the LUMS Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE).

“Building and offering programmes in this field furthers our vision of being a progressive, 21st century university. This timely and generous gift will enable us to make a contribution to the emerging field of blockchain technology. This is definitely an exciting new phase that will further boost the pioneering work of our Computer Science faculty and will play a pivotal role in the evolution of the University,” said Dr. Farhat Haq, Provost LUMS.

LUMS programming will complement ongoing efforts by Stacks Pakistan, the Stacks chapter launched in late 2020, that is focusing on awareness, community building and advocacy of Stacks in Pakistan. The chapter has launched the ‘Stacks Developers Guild Program’, or SDG, in seven cities across Pakistan. Through a network of ambassadors, SDG leaders are playing a pivotal role in spreading awareness across universities in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Faisalabad and Abbottabad. A series of bootcamps, moreover, are being conducted on a national level to engage students and young professionals in developing decentralized applications.

Muneeb Ali, a LUMS alumnus, BS Computer Science 2003 and Founder of Stacks, added, “LUMS has always been a hub of cutting-edge research and innovations and I am proud to have a long association with the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering. Crypto networks are likely the biggest tech resolution since the internet itself. This new collaboration on crypto not just strengthens my association with LUMS but can prepare the next generation of engineers and entrepreneurs to architect the next generation of the internet by leveraging the blockchain technology.”

“The vision of Stacks is exciting, timely and very much needed as we enter the fourth industrial revolution where the ability to define and exchange digital assets in a transparent manner will be a key technology. This will not only enable new business models but is also expected to usher in a new era of novel distributed applications over blockchain. Stacks Pakistan is laying the foundations for this change and will immensely benefit Pakistan.” says Dr. Ihsan Ayyub Qazi, Associate Professor of Computer Science, LUMS and PI at the National Center for Big Data and Cloud Computing.

LUMS has a rich history of being a pioneer in technology and research. The University will use the funding to train the next-generation of scholars, engineers and entrepreneurs through new educational programmes involving interdisciplinary courses on blockchain and its applications. “We will also carry out research on uses of blockchain in novel applications especially in the context of emerging markets. LUMS has always been at the forefront of academic innovations, delivering quality education, and training students well-versed in the cutting-edge technologies. The collaboration with Stacks is another big step in our mission of embracing the impactful technologies into our curriculum and research agenda,” commented Dr. Zartash Afzal Uzmi, Associate Professor, Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, SBASSE.

The Pakistani community is growing steadily and will be served well by both the Stacks Pakistan Chapter and LUMS as they look to educate and inspire the next generation of blockchain technologists and entrepreneurs throughout the country.

More about LUMS

Founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit, LUMS has always been a pioneer in setting education trends. Over the past three decades, it has evolved to become a leading teaching and research university that offers undergraduate and graduate programs through its five schools of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, Law, and Education.

Just as the University has expanded to five Schools, the education model at LUMS has also evolved to enhance students’ academic exposure and diversify faculty’s teaching and research. Today, the expanse of research and teaching at the University truly offers its community ‘Learning Without Borders’ by breaking academic, geographic and socio-economic barriers to make education accessible to all.

LUMS continues to be an intellectual hub, rich with varying perspectives and transformative ideas. With an environment brimming with inclusion, unity, and boundless knowledge, learning continues in and beyond the campus walls with the aim to develop innovators, leaders and change-makers who can contribute to the community and build strong borderless networks. With around 4,500 students taught by over 300 faculty members contributing to global research and industry linkages, LUMS is involved in groundbreaking research; the university manages themed research through its centers working in diverse areas ranging from water, energy, and big data to indigenous languages and public policy.

The 14,000 strong alumni body at LUMS plays a prominent role in contributing towards the development of the community. LUMS alumni have seen great success, and make up the single highest group of Fulbright scholars in the world from any one university. Time and again, our graduates have displayed high levels of social and ethical responsibility in their respective fields both within Pakistan and internationally. Furthermore, they have shown a passionate commitment to serve those less fortunate than us.

Muneeb Ali

Co-Founder, Stacks

Dr. Muneeb Ali is the founder of Stacks, a decentralized network that brings apps and smart contracts to Bitcoin. He serves as the CEO of Hiro PBC, a Public Benefit Corp that builds developer tools for the Stacks blockchain. He has raised $75 million USD in funding from investors like Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, and others. Hiro (formerly Blockstack PBC) was featured in the CNBC's list of 100 promising startups to watch. Muneeb received his Ph.D. and Masters in Computer Science from Princeton University. His Ph.D. thesis was nominated for the ACM SIGCOMM dissertation award by Princeton University. Muneeb gives guest lectures on cloud computing at Princeton and his research publications have over 1,300 citations. He is one of the main characters in George Gilder's book Life After Google and was a technical advisor to the HBO show Silicon Valley.

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