Blockchains — lists of digital records (blocks) that are connected and protected using cryptography — are commonly associated with crypto-currencies like BitCoin. But as HWS Blockchain Alliance president and founder Andrew Seski ’18 explains, the technology’s potential is much bigger than that.
“We’re looking at the ability to drag and drop infrastructure into third world countries and it goes far beyond the day-to-day applications of buying and selling utility tokens,” Seski said in a recent interview recorded live at the Nasdaq Market Site in Times Square.
To tackle the importance and implications of blockchain technology, the HWS Blockchain Alliance is positioned at the intersection of academia and innovation, offering quality informational resources and an interdisciplinary engagement with blockchain technology. Established in early 2018, the student club exists to teach, consult and network in this growth space to position the Colleges on the cutting edge of changing technological landscapes.
Speaking with Gregg Greenberg of SCN Corporate Connect, which offers on-demand financial news and information around small market capitalization, Seski underscored the HWS alliance’s “focus on education” to address misconceptions and misinformation about crypto-currencies and the blockchain and the ways “developed nations can give back.”
“The blockchain is the infrastructure — it’s the technology behind these crypto currencies that allows for the removal of [third-party] institutions to create this kind of peer-to-peer transaction,” Seski said. “Between countries, it allows for free exchange of information, for an unhackable ledger to transact and allow funds to flow between countries with much less friction.”
While the campus group will remain educationally focused, Seski anticipates that it will expand its scope and that students from a variety of academic areas will “take on different ideas, projects and partnerships to utilize the technology. The idea of the club is as much for education as it is as a platform for students to pursue individual passions within developing technological landscapes.”
Working with senior John Zirnkilton, Seski hopes to publish a paper on the new potential to continuously value bespoke derivatives using smart contracts and blockchain technology. After earlier meetings, the club is considering its first project aimed at blockchain solutions for environmental sustainability.
An economics major and entrepreneurial studies minor, Seski is a member of Bampton House and the student board of directors at the Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship.