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Singapore continues to establish itself at the forefront of innovation vis-à-vis cryptocurrency, blockchain, and other distributed ledger technologies. Doubling down on this commitment, the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing has recently announced the opening of an academic research lab and think tank called the CRYSTAL Centre.

Short for Cryptocurrency Strategy, Techniques, and Algorithms, the CRYSTAL Centre is being co-directed by Dean’s Chair Assistant Professor Prateek Saxena (Department of Computer Science) and Associate Professor Keith Barrett Carter (Department of Information Systems and Analytics).

Initially, the CRYSTAL Centre will comprise “between 5 and 10 faculty members and several scholars working in different research sub-areas,” according to a statement issued on Friday.

Some of the research topics the lab has pledged to focus on include scalable consensus protocols, privacy-preserving computation, and blockchain applications. To help ensure practicality, the CRYSTAL Centre will “engage in productive interaction with the industry to draw up new research problems and propose solutions to them.”

The founding members of the newly-established think tank hope to foster a relationship with a tech-savvy community, also. Efforts to do so have existed before the development of the CRYSTAL Centre, in fact, with the NUS-based team having already created the Blockchain Technical Reading Group in April.

One need only take a glance at the high calibre of organizations sponsoring the CRYSTAL Centre to understand that its self-described goal of eventually existing as “one of the world’s foremost centres for research on blockchains” is certainly no pipe dream.

Indeed, lending support are distinguished projects of the crypto ecosystem, Quantstamp (QSP), Kyber Network (KNC), and Zilliqa (ZIL). Two blockchain-oriented investment firms – Chainfund Capital and NEO Global Capital (NGC) – are also sponsoring, along with X-Order Research Institute and Tokyo-headquartered Tateru.

The Centre holds great promise in bringing scientific clarity to technical ideas, and plays a key role in advancing the many innovative use cases of blockchain technology.” – Roger Lim (Founding Partner, NGC)

Already, the CRYSTAL Centre has secured strategic partnerships with several of the budding industry’s most respectable names. Two such partners are similarly rooted in academia: Nanyang Technological University’s Blockchain at NTU and UC Berkeley’s Blockchain at Berkeley. Per Friday’s press release, the remaining partner is Dekrypt Capital, a prominent California-headquartered crypto investment firm.

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