Neha Narula is the Director of the Digital Currency Initiative, a part of the MIT Media Lab focusing on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. While completing a PhD in computer science at MIT, she built fast, scalable distributed systems and databases. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Futures Council on Blockchain and has given a TED talk on the Future of Money.
In a previous life, Neha helped relaunch the news aggregator Digg and was a senior software engineer at Google. There, she designed Blobstore, a system for storing and serving petabytes of immutable data, and worked on Native Client, a way to run native code securely through a browser.
Alin S. Dragos | Head of Strategic Partnerships
Alin heads strategic partnerships for the Digital Currency Initiative, and also leads product management for the DCI's efforts on Layer 2 solutions for scaling public blockchains. Before MIT, he was a vice president at First Data Corporation, leading a family of products for banking the unbanked. In this role, he was responsible for a $200M P&L and an organization of ~200 employees. He also spent three years in the startup world, raising seed funds, scaling up business models and managing a post-acquisition integration. Alin holds an MBA from University of Arkansas and an MS from MIT.
Rhys Lindmark | Head of Community and Long-Term Societal Impact
Rhys Lindmark is focused on positively shaping our exponential, fragile, and abundant context. Within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, he’s focused on facilitating cross-project collaboration and stewarding a more compassionate culture. He also donates a percentage of his income to charity and is writing a book about how blockchain technology will change society. Follow @RhysLindmark on Twitter.
Robleh Ali | Research Scientist
Robleh Ali is a Research Scientist, his main focus is on how fiat currencies can be issued digitally outside the existing banking system and the role of central banks in such a system. The overall aim of the work is fundamentally reforming the financial system by changing the way money is issued.
Tadge Dryja | Research Scientist
A creator of the Lightning Network, one of the most promising Bitcoin scaling solutions, Tadge Dryja leads DCI research focused on the scaling and interoperability of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. Follow @tdryja on Twitter.
Madars Virza | Research Scientist
Madars recently completed his MIT PhD thesis on zero-knowledge cryptography. His publications on zkSNARKs laid the foundation for the Zerocash protocol. Madars has presented his work at conferences around the world. He is a scientist for both the A.I. Initiative and the Digital Currency Initiative at the Media Lab.
Wladimir van der Laan | Bitcoin Core Developer
Wladimir van der Laan is the Lead Maintainer of the Bitcoin repository on GitHub. Follow @laanwj on Github.
Cory Fields | Bitcoin Core Developer
Cory Fields is a Bitcoin Core lead developer. Previously, Cory served on the board of The XBMC Foundation and worked as a developer on XBMC. Follow @theuni on Github.
Gert-Jaap Glasbergen | Software Developer
Gert-Jaap is a DCI software developer from the Netherlands. His primary focus is on second layer solutions like the Lightning Network and Discreet Log Contracts.
Sophie Meralli | Project Manager
Sophie works on the application of zkLedger and zero-knowledge proofs to the world of Finance. Her primary focus is on the securitization market and the ability for investors to get anonymized performance analytics about their investments in near-real time. Sophie holds a Master of Science in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics and a Master of Business Administration from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Eilon Shalev | Project Manager
Eilon Shalev is a second-year MBA student at MIT Sloan. He is the Head of the Working Groups Program at the DCI. He is taking the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Track and co-leads the MIT Sloan Blockchain Club. Prior to MIT Sloan, Eilon served his country for 12.5 years. He wrote a novel at the age of 23 and was the first-ever Israeli to crowdfund a project in Israel, financing the publishing of his book.
Samantha Bates | Project Manager
Sam has a background in tech, law, and project management. She helps coordinate a variety of DCI projects including the MIT cryptocurrency journal.