How Northwestern is taking on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency

Illustration by Olivia Abeta

As cryptocurrencies become more prevalent, teachers and students in the Northwest District are teaching their peers blockchain technology.

With the growing popularity of the blockchain and cryptocurrency, teachers and students in the Northwest region have embarked on their own initiatives to educate their peers about the global phenomenon.

McCormick, Professor Dunning Guo, said cryptocurrencies are becoming more common in everyday transactions. Crypto, like Dogecoin and Bitcoin, can be used to buy a variety of products made by companies such as AT&T and Starbucks, according to NASDAQ. report.

In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym for anonymous creators of bitcoin, created a new way to conduct transactions between parties without the need for an intermediary. Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Cardano use separate blockchains without the need for a central authority. Coins that are exchanged from one side to the other are recorded in a blockchain, essentially a transaction record. Blocks, collections of transactions, make up the blockchain and continue to be created as transactions are made.

Guo said cryptocurrency assets now cost two to three trillion US dollars and continue to grow annually.

“It’s real,” Guo said. “It’s an experiment in social and economic terms and a big experiment that democratizes the financial system in a way.”

Guo teaches Blockchain Fundamentals and Decentralization in the Electrical and Computer Engineering class, which examines the technologies required for decentralized blockchain applications such as Bitcoin.

The class began in 2021 to give students a deeper understanding of how the blockchain works. His focus is mainly on the technological aspects of the blockchain, not the economic ones.

Guo believes that Blockchain technology will continue to grow as it gives more power to the “little guy”.

“There students can come to study, but it’s more about the basics of the technology that makes systems possible,” Guo said.

Gua’s research focuses on systems without permission, where people join the lottery to try to write for a blockchain ledger. He said he was interested in how anonymity affects blockchain security, and said the systems are more reliable and help create new blocks without conflict.

NU Blockchain Group, a student organization, decided to interact with students on the use of blockchains through educational sessions, research groups and project groups. Club members can collaborate with local businesses and help them implement blockchain technology.

According to McCormick sophomore Mingze Jan, marketing chairman of the NU Blockchain Group, blockchains “will definitely have more applications in the future.”

There is also a misconception that bitcoin and other currencies are the only uses of the blockchain, said McCormick Jr. Tony Luo, president of NU Blockchain Group.

“Blockchain can do much more. These financial (instruments) that live on the blockchain are only part of the ecosystem, ”Luo ​​said.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jonahelkowitz

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