The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab’s first digital currency director is transitioning out of his role as the leader of the research initiative.
To be announced later today, former White House senior advisor Brian Forde will be migrating to MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he will serve as a senior lecturer and teach two classes on cryptocurrencies.
Forde cited other factors as influencing the decision, such as his desire to live in Los Angeles, his recent engagement and a forthcoming book.
Representatives of MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, first launched in 2015, reported that the transition has been pending for months, while Forde said he has been seeking to transition out since May.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Forde commented on how the MIT-based project has thus far played a key role in organizing events, funding development and embarking on research projects aimed at advancing blockchain technology.
He said he was perhaps most proud of the work done to promote student interest in the emerging technology, calling this the group’s “main priority”.
Representatives from the DCI said there are currently no plans in place to fill Forde’s role. MIT Media Lab remains under the leadership of director Joi Ito.
Tenure in review
Looking back, Forde acknowledged the sometimes difficult position of managing the expectations of the diverse set of stakeholders that make up the burgeoning bitcoin and blockchain industry.
For example, Forde said he was conscious of the need to strike a balance between appearing supportive and distracting from efforts organized by the open-source community, addressing criticism that the organization perhaps hasn’t been more public about its work.
“We were hesitant to host things at MIT, looking back now, or where looking at where the space is today, it’s grown so much over the last year and half that I think one of things we will do is take a more active role and facilitate events at MIT,” he said.
He went on to remark about the difficulty of choosing projects to sponsor given the demand placed on the MIT DCI following its launch. Still, Forde said he believes he was able to prioritize high-impact engagements, including work with Mexico’s Ministry of Finance as well as the Bank of England.
“These are projects that are just starting to see light.”
Brian Forde image via Wired