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Julia Heitner for RippleX Developers

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XRPL Grants Expands Judging Committee

Pictured in header image (from top left): Klitos Christodoulou, Atefeh Mashatan, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Scott Chamberlain, Stefanie Roos, Elias Losif, Sean Bennett, and Aanchal Malhotra.

XRPL Grants today welcomes new judges to the selection process for Wave 2. Each judge is a respected member of their industry and among academia around the world, and includes a number of University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) partners.

XRPL Grants provides funding to software developers and small teams to build inclusive standards leveraging the XRP Ledger’s open source technology and innovate in the Internet of Value. For Wave 2, XRPL Grants has expanded its panel of judges to increase the level and diversity of expertise in judging.

Sean Bennett, Co-Founder at Stronghold (USA)
Stronghold is a San Francisco-based financial technology company creating virtual payment networks that enable instant settlement and interoperability between legacy and new payment networks. At Stronghold, Sean has focused on leading the development of retail and business payment products utilizing differing payment modes, from banking layer integrations to blockchain technology. Sean started building on XRP Ledger in 2014 as part of his first commercial venture in the distributed ledger space.

Scott Chamberlain, Entrepreneurial Fellow at Australian National University (Australia)
As an entrepreneurial fellow at the ANU College of Law, Scott researches and teaches about blockchain, smart contracts, and the impact of technology on law and legal practice. His work has been funded through Ripple’s UBRI. “I call my research the Lex Automagica Project. It asks whether and how blockchain, smart contracts, and AI can benefit society by automating legal relationships. In conjunction with some very smart programmers, I pick an area of legal friction and see if we can use technology to solve it.”

Klitos Christodoulou, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at University of Nicosia (Cyprus)
Dr. Christodoulou is an assistant professor in the Department of Digital Innovation at the University of Nicosia (UNIC). Klitos obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester, UK. He has been an adjunct staff member at the University of Manchester where he engaged in various research and teaching activities. He is also the Research Manager at the Institute For the Future (IFF) and the Scientific Lab leader of the Distributed Ledgers Research Center (DLRC) at IFF; a Center that aims towards fostering academic research on blockchains. His research interests span both Data Management challenges; with a focus on Machine Learning techniques, and Distributed Ledger Technologies; with an emphasis on Blockchain ledgers. Klitos teaches courses on Blockchain Applications and Blockchain Programming under UNIC’s MSc in Blockchain and Digital Currency programme.

Dr. Elias Losif, Assistant Professor at University of Nicosia (Cyprus)
Dr. Iosif is Assistant Professor at the Department of Digital Innovation, School of Business, University of Nicosia (UNIC), as well as scientific lab co-leader at the Distributed Ledgers Research Centre, Institute For the Future, UNIC. He is teaching at the MSc in Digital Currency offered by UNIC, which is the first degree programme globally on decentralized digital currencies and blockchains. Also, he is participating in a number of EC-funded projects focused on blockchain technologies as a senior researcher. Dr. Iosif has a PhD degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering. His areas of expertise include blockchain and machine learning (with focus on natural language processing and spoken dialogue systems). He has authored/co-authored over 65 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Aanchal Malhotra, PhD, Senior Software Engineer, Cryptography at RippleX (USA)
​​As a senior software engineer at Ripple, Aanchal’s work focuses on proposing & designing new features for the XRP Ledger. She applies theoretical tools such as cryptography, economics and game theory, and network measurements to improve the security & privacy of distributed systems. She is also a part-time lecturer at Northeastern University, serves as a reviewer at Security Area Directorate (IETF), an advisory committee representative for Ripple at W3C, and a board member at Travel Rule Information Sharing Alliance (TRISA). Prior to joining Ripple, Aanchal worked at Akamai, Cisco, Cloudflare and NlNet Labs (Amsterdam). Aanchal received her MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science with specialization in cyber security, from Boston University & has authored several peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Dr. Atefeh (Atty) Mashatan, Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor at Ryerson University (Canada)
Dr. Mashatan's research is focused on the development of novel cybersecurity designs based on emerging technologies such as IoT, Blockchain, and Quantum Computing. She investigates challenges and opportunities brought forward by these new technologies and how they change the threat landscape of cybersecurity. Mashatan’s expertise at the frontlines of the global cybersecurity field was recognized by SC Magazine in 2019, when she was named one of the top five Women of Influence in Security. In 2020, she received the Enterprise Blockchain Award in the category of New Frontiers in Blockchain Academic Research by Blockchain Research Institute.

Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Ph.D., Professor at Northeastern University (USA)
Cristina is a professor at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Science. Prior to joining Northeastern, she was a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University. Her research lies at the intersection of information security, distributed systems, and computer networks. The overarching goal of her work is designing and building practical distributed systems and network protocols that are robust to failures and attacks while coping with the resource constraints existent in computing systems and networks.

Dr. Stefanie Roos, Assistant Professor at TU Delft (Netherlands)
Dr. Roos is an assistant professor for distributed systems at TU Delft and the Delft Blockchain Lab. Her work deals with trade-offs between privacy, security, and performance in decentralized systems. She contributed to the censorship-resistant P2P network Freenet and designed SpeedyMurmurs, a routing algorithm for payment channel networks like Lightning. Her current research is focused on improving Layer-2 protocols for blockchains as well as designing more efficient anonymity systems.

If you are an expert interested in joining the XRPL Grants Judging Committee, please email with a CV and relevant experience to the XRP Ledger.

Are you a software developer? You could receive $10,000-$200,000 USD to build on the XRPL. The deadline for Wave 2 is November 4, 2021 at 11:59 PM PT. Learn more, and apply today!

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