The Institute for the Future at the University of Nicosia emphasises three key areas of research and education: Blockchain and Crypto Assets, the Metaverse, and Forecasting. The IFF was founded to explore the hypothesis that exponential technologies will cause rapidly accelerating societal change.

Advising European commission

on accelerating the development
of blockchain within the EU


in competitive European Commission research grants since 2017

largest team

of faculty and staff focused
on crypto-assets and blockchains

Joint research


Blockchain & Crypto Assets

The Institute for the Future at the University of Nicosia expands its focus within Blockchain and Crypto-assets to include a wide range of research areas. These encompass blockchain-based certifications, digital asset regulation and policy, skills development in blockchain, and strategies for wider blockchain adoption. Among other areas, IFF pioneers in benchmarking blockchain protocols, integrating large language models (LLMs) with Knowledge Graphs for generative AI, studying the evolution of LLM agents. This comprehensive approach ensures a deep exploration of decentralized technologies, aiming to advance understanding and application in critical societal and industrial domains.

Research Areas

Blockchain-based certifications

Digital asset regulation & policy

Blockchain skills development

Blockchain adoption

Decentralized social media

Decentralized energy networks

Industrial applications of blockchain

Decentralized science

Benchmarking blockchain protocols

Unifying LLMs & Knowledge Graphs for GenAI

Evolution of LLM agents

Valuation of non-fungible tokens

NFT gallery @ UNIC



to offer crypto and web3 education

to publish academic diplomas on the blockchain

to publish blockchain-
verifiable academic certificates as NFTs


In 2021, the University’s Department of Digital Innovation and its affiliated Institute For the Future launched the UNIC Open Metaverse Initiative, a new comprehensive initiative focused on the academic, research and policy issues relating to the metaverse, with a particular emphasis on open public systems and standards.This initiative builds on UNIC’s track record as the leading university in blockchain and crypto-assets.

As we move towards extended reality worlds fueled by decentralised technologies, the initiative aims to build new academic/training programmes, pioneer research toward open and interoperable architectures, foster innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as support NFTs on campus.

Academic / Training Programmes

  • MOOC on NFTs and the Metaverse
  • Master’s Degree in Metaverse

Innovation & Entrepreneurialism

  • Public launch of the first cohort of UNIC incubated NFT/metaverse startups
  • Annual cohorts of NFT/metaverse startups

& Policy

  • Center for an Open Metaverse (COM)
  • The Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA)

NFTs on Campus

  • The first permanent university gallery for NFTs
    (The Block Gallery)
  • NFTs as donations for student scholarship and research support


Forecasting is another pivotal area of focus at the Institute for the Future at the University of Nicosia, emphasizing the predictive power of data analysis in various sectors. This domain explores advanced methodologies and technologies to forecast trends and outcomes, aiming to equip students and researchers with the skills to anticipate future challenges and opportunities. Through rigorous academic and practical applications, the forecasting area seeks to enhance decision-making processes in business, government, and technology, fostering a forward-thinking mindset in addressing global issues.


The MOFC conducts cutting-edge forecasting research, provides business support and training with emphasis on: achieving accurate predictions, estimating the levels of uncertainty, avoiding costly mistakes and applying best forecasting practices to businesses. Forecasts are essential for all business decisions: from setting up appropriate inventory/service levels to credible budgets to evaluating long-term strategic investments.


The Makridakis Competitions (also known as the M Competitions) are a series of open competitions organized and led by forecasting researcher Prof. Spyros Makridakis, intending to evaluate and compare the accuracy of different forecasting methods. The M Competitions have attracted great interest, from both academics and practitioners, by providing objective evidence of the most appropriate way of forecasting various variables of interest.


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FUnded Projects

University Blockchain Research Initiative

The University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) is an initiative launched by Ripple; a globally recognized blockchain-based digital payment network. Launched in 2018, UBRI has been central to Ripple’s efforts to stimulate research and development (R&D) in the blockchain industry. UBRI achieves this by forming partnerships with leading universities across the globe, providing funding and resources that support blockchain-related research projects. Its broader mission lies in fostering student engagement and driving critical blockchain R&D in academia.

Validators Dashboard

At IFF, we are recognized for our expertise in seamless node operations, supporting a variety of consensus mechanisms. Our technical prowess and adaptability make us a trusted partner for leading entities in the blockchain ecosystem. Visit our dynamically updated dashboard to see how we actively contribute to the growth and stability of blockchain networks.

European Blockchain Observatory & Forum

The European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBOF) is a European Commission initiative aiming to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the EU, and so help cement Europe’s position as a global leader in this transformative new technology. IFF is responsible for helping the EUBOF in filling the gap that exists today between the supply of and demand for academic knowledge in the area of blockchain.

Submit a Research Proposal

Contribute to the forefront of transformative technology research by submitting your research proposal to the Institute for the Future at the University of Nicosia. We invite innovative thinkers and scholars to share their ideas and collaborate with us in exploring the potentials of blockchain, the metaverse, and forecasting. Join us in shaping the future by forwarding your proposals that can drive academic and practical advancements in these dynamic fields.


Validating the Blockchain Benchmarking Framework through Controlled Deployments of XRPL and Ethereum

M Touloupou, K Christodoulou, M Themistocleous. Validating the Blockchain Benchmarking Framework through Controlled Deployments of XRPL and Ethereum IEEE Access, 2024.

Blockchain-Based Implementation of National Census as a Supplementary Instrument for Enhanced Transparency, Accountability, Privacy, and Security

Pros and Cons of Integrating the Metaverse into Education: A Comprehensive Analysis

S Louca, S Chavan. Pros and Cons of Integrating the Metaverse into Education: A Comprehensive Analysis. 20th European Meditteranean and Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems, 2024

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