The Thiel Foundation has announced its 2016 Fellows with a new class of 29 people focusing on technology and software development. Thiel Fellows receive $100,000 to work on new projects that advance technology.
A member of the cryptocurrency community now has become a Thiel Fellow. Knoxville, IL resident Joey Krug, core developer from the Augur prediction market, has been named in the fellowship program.
The Thiel Foundation Adds a Cryptocurrency Member to Its Fellowship
Initiated in 2010, The Thiel Fellowship, created by billionaire Peter Thiel, chooses students under the age of twenty, and funds their projects while offering guidance.
Thiel, having former ties to Paypal and Facebook, announced the Fellowship at TechCrunch Disrupt in September 2010. His foundation has two other accelerators, which consist of Imitatio and Breakout Labs.
The Augur project is a decentralized prediction market based on Ethereum, and Joey Krug is one of the top developers within the team.
Augur’s platform was released on June 15, 2015, with an alpha version. Following alpha, the beta platform was published in early 2016 and also had a crowdfund for its native token.
The Augur project raised roughly 18,000 BTC and 1.1 million Ether, becoming one of the top 25 crowdfunded projects, according to Wikipedia.
Joey Kruger has been experimenting with programming and code for quite some time stating on Linkedin:
“I started programming with Applesoft BASIC after buying an Apple II GS on eBay, this grew into a love for computers, and I built and overclocked my own desktop my freshman year of high school. A few years back I soldered together an Apple I replica and programmed it in Apple I BASIC. I studied CS in college because I enjoy being able to translate my ideas into code.”
Augur will be one of the first cryptocurrency-related projects joining the Thiel Fellows program, receiving “mentorship and guidance” from former fellows, as well as the vast array of the “Thiel Foundation’s network of technology entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists.”
Jack Abraham, Executive Director of the Thiel Fellowship, said of the announcement:
“In the past few years we’ve seen a dramatic change in the way young people approach their potential.—Many are applying to the program with one or two companies already under their belts—they’ve become successful founders before they can even buy a beer. Our message may have seemed odd four or five years ago—some found it blasphemous to question how well American higher education was working, and to suggest entrepreneurship as an alternative path—but today even the colleges are waking up; top schools are creating their own incubators, crafting more flexible stop-out policies, and even raising venture capital funds. Young people now have more options than ever.”
The Augur project expects to have a full, live release at some point in 2016, creating an “Early Warning System for Everything” type of prediction market with no centralization or third-party interference.
Augur was also one of the first dApps built upon the Ethereum blockchain, and has gained attention from popular mainstream media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Politico, and Tech Crunch.
The $100,000 Thiel Fellowship award to lead developer Joey Krug should be a nice boost to the team’s confidence and capital as the project moves forward.
The Thiel Foundation reveals that, to date, “companies created by Thiel Fellows are together worth more than $1.4 billion.”
What do you think about the Thiel Fellowship announcement? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Augur, Linkedin, and Pixabay.
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