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Julia Heitner for RippleX Developers

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XRPL Grants Welcomes New Expert Judges for Wave 3

In XRPL Grants Wave 3, more than 170 applications were received for this wave’s theme of “Contributing to Open Source.” This focus encourages projects that will support the broader XRP Ledger (XRPL) community. All project submissions are reviewed by an expert panel of judges from academia and business globally. Finalists will be invited to interview and present to members of the Judging Committee and XRPL Grants Team, and Wave 3 awardees will be announced by July 2022.

Last month, Ripple announced a 1 Billion XRP extension to the XRPL Grants program to further support global developer projects on the XRP Ledger. Part of this commitment is the continued expansion of the XRPL Grants Judging Committee, bringing on new leaders and experts from across industry and academic institutions, including many representatives from University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) partners.

In addition to the continued support of our tenured Judges from Wave 2, including Scott Chamberlain, Klitos Christodoulou, Ph.D., Elliot Lee, Aanchal Malhotra, Ph.D., and Dr. Stefanie Roos, we’ve invited 13 new judges to support the review and selection of future XRPL Grant recipients.

Additional waves will be announced in the summer and fall 2022, including the introduction of new focused funds directed toward sustainability; diversity, equity and inclusion; and decentralized finance (DeFi). Updates will be shared on

Interested in joining the judging committee? Send your resume to as we continue to grow and diversify the judging panel to support upcoming funding waves.

New Judges for XRPL Grants Wave 3

View the complete current roster of judges.

Peter Adriaens, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Michigan; Director, Center for Smart Infrastructure Finance
Dr. Adriaens is Professor of Environmental Engineering, Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan His research and teaching focus on data-driven (digital) business and finance models for infrastructure, blockchain applications for smart cities infrastructure, and artificial intelligence/machine learning for asset pricing of sustainability premiums in bonds and equities. He is co-founder of Equarius® Risk Analytics, a financial technology firm focused on asset risk pricing from water exposure in securities and indexes linked to U.S., European and Japanese exchanges.

Andrea Carmignani
CEO and Co-Founder, Keyless
Andrea has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and organizer, with a strategy consulting background in top-tier management consulting firms where he helped start Middle East operations and sold $150 million of projects in digital health, while co-managing teams of 100+ consultants from 40+ different nationalities. He holds an MBA from INSEAD Business School and an M.Sc. in Economics, Business Administration and International Management from Luiss Guido Carli University (Italy).

Brian Dawson
Senior Director, Partner Success, Ripple
Brian oversees partner relations on the RippleX team at Ripple. He has more than 29 years of experience in software development and delivery in multiple domains, including strategy, product and engineering. His early career was spent in R&D and third-party relations at Sony Computer Entertainment America, eventually building the Worldwide Tools and Technology team. He is a technologist with a focus on helping humans to optimize software and technology for other humans.

Ali Emdad, Ph.D.
Associate Dean and professor, Graves Business School; Founder and Executive Director, National Center for the Study of Blockchain and FinTech (the FinTech Center)
Dr. Ali Emdad is the Associate Dean and Professor of Information Systems at the Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the founder and executive director of the National Center for the Study of Blockchain and FinTech (The FinTech Center), where he manages a multi-year Ripple grant. A 2007 Fulbright Scholar, Emdad holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and has completed executive management, leadership, and technical programs at Harvard, Yale, and MIT.

Yebo Feng
Research Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate, University of Oregon
Yebo is a research assistant and Ph.D. candidate in the Center for Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Oregon. His research interests include network security, distributed system security, DEX security, and privacy in blockchains. He is the recipient of the Best Paper Award of 2019 IEEE CNS and the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) Research Fellowship. He also serves as the reviewer of IEEE TDSC, ACM TKDD, and IEEE JSAC. During the last three years, many of his research projects have been funded by Ripple’s UBRI, including privacy-preserving detection of cryptojacking, network traffic measurement for blockchain systems, and an AMM-based DEX.

Chris Jimison
CTO, Forte
As Chief Technology Officer, Chris is on a mission to unlock the next era of gaming rooted in community economics at Forte. Chris was previously founder and CTO at Merigo, and has a long history in the games industry at companies such as DeNA, EA, and Sony.

Kamer Kaya, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Sabancı University
Kamer received his Ph.D. in cryptography from Bilkent University in 2009 and joined CERFACS, France, as a postgraduate researcher. In September 2011, he joined the Ohio State University, and in December 2013, he became a Research Assistant Professor. Since 2014, he has been working at Sabancı University, and since 2018, he is the founder and manager of Dakik Software Technologies which focuses on blockchain, high-performance computing, and machine learning.

Lukasz Kowalski
Lecturer, Industry Fellow, and Co-Director Blockchain X-Lab SCET, UC Berkeley
Luke has executed projects involving legal issues (antitrust, IP, audits, litigation), acquisitions (due diligence, integration, or divestitures), technical standards (document formats), government affairs (EU/US trade, IP reform, repatriation), and even managed functions like physical security, user interface design and accessibility.

He currently serves as a vice president in the corporate architecture group at Oracle. He holds several patents and professional certifications, serves as an ISO representative for the U.S. through ANSI and lectures frequently at conferences and universities. He is currently teaching a blockchain challenge lab at UC Berkeley's Engineering School and pursuing a distance learning Ph.D. at University of Leicester in his free time.

Dr. Kerby Lynch
Community Researcher and Program Manager, Ceres Policy Research
Dr. Lynch is a critical Black studies scholar of human geography and political economy. Dr. Lynch currently serves as a Program Manager for Ceres Policy Research and conducts community-based research in San Francisco. The focal point of Kerby's research aims to understand how political and economic determinants of the urban built environment inform African American subjectivity in the city. Dr. Lynch was a previous member of the Education department of Blockchain at Berkeley.

Marco Neri
XRPL Developer Advocate, Ripple
Marco has more than 10 years of experience working in the payment industry as a developer and project manager. He created Saldo in 2013, one of the first apps using the XRPL to move funds across borders targeting migrant workers in the United States. He is interested in financial inclusion, venture capital, decentralized systems, and digital assets.

Uchi Uchibeke
Director of Developer Relations, Coil
Uchi is leading Coil's strategy for developer engagement globally and building a community around web monetization, Interledger, and Coil's products globally. Prior to joining Coil, Uchi co-created a novel way of using blockchain for digital asset and identity management, filled Canadian and U.S. blockchain patents, and founded AfricaHacks, a hackathon and startup Incubation platform used by the government of Nigeria, Access Bank, and tech and startup communities for learning, creating and connecting. Additionally, Uchi is the Founder of Chimoney and a recipient of Wave 2 of XRPL Grants.

Julian Vergel de Dios
CTO, Heirloom
Julian is a software engineer and startup founder. He has spent his whole career working in the tech startup ecosystem in Los Angeles including being the first employee of a cryptocurrency startup in 2014. An entrepreneur at heart, he went on to found two startups: PocketList, and most recently Heirloom. He spends his free time looking for things to do that make him laugh.

Jan Zibelnik
Product Manager, Gatehub
Jan is a product manager at GateHub, the premier XRPL gateway and wallet for the Internet of Value. He focuses on the analysis and ideation of solutions on and around the XRP Ledger. He strives to create efficient and empowering user experiences that add value to end users and boost the adoption of new technologies. In his time at GateHub he has helped build innovative products and features like real-time payment streams via Interledger, the GateHub trade xApp which gives anyone access to the XRPL DEX and the first on-chain insurance solution for end-users on the XRPL called Wallet Protect.

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