The internet enabled people to easily call each other without a phone company, send a document without a mail carrier, or publish an article without a newspaper. As a result, more than 2.9 billion people depend on a decentralized communications protocol—the internet—to communicate with one another more efficiently. Similarly, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin enable permission-less innovation for entrepreneurs and technologists to build world-changing applications which answer the demand for global transactions that has been created by global communication. The Digital Currency Initiative strives to be a neutral leader of world-class research to push the boundaries of knowledge around cryptocurrency and its underlying distributed ledger technology. We seek to clarify the real-world impact of these technologies, inspired by their potential for public good and mindful of the risks and ethical questions attached to them. We act in support of the MIT and open-source cryptocurrency communities, and yet are open to collaborating with all sectors of society.