Panelists at she(256) conference

Blockchain comes to campus

June 1, 2018
This article appeared in Berkeley Engineer magazine, Spring 2018

Even to the most casual observer, the past year has been filled with all kinds of news about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. From dramatic market booms and busts, to regulatory rumors and Congressional hearings, blockchain has become all the rage.

Blockchain is also becoming popular on campus. The student group Blockchain at Berkeley, which started as a bitcoin interest group in 2014, has grown into a movement of sorts. Students interested in engineering, business and technology law are working on consulting projects; the group counts corporations like Airbus, Qualcomm and BMW as clients. Other student groups are building startups, including the decentralized social media platform Sapien, which raised $12 million in funding in two hours through an initial coin offering.

Many of Blockchain at Berkeley’s 300 participants are focused on educating other students. The club has also organized high-level conferences and hosts a popular meet-up that is open to the larger community. “Students have the potential to change the trajectory of this industry,” said Anthony DiPrinzio, a political economy major and head of consulting and business development for Blockchain at Berkeley. “We are actually making a tangible mark on this space.”