A cohort of motivated high school students from across the city visited SJC Brooklyn last week to dip their toes in the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain during an event sponsored by the Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management department.
The BlockVariable event showed students how blockchain — a decentralized ledger that holds a list of records in a faster, more transparent and authentic fashion — is used in different industries. It also touched on the mechanics of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
Led by Damien L. Duchamp, Ed.D., associate chair of the Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the interactive event showed students how blockchain is used in several fields.
Students broke into groups representing industries where blockchain is used, including music, real estate, fashion, law, professional sports, entertainment and cyber security. They were challenged to come up with ideas on how blockchain could be employed to improve their industries.
The students suggested that the music industry could use blockchain as a ledger to keep track of artist royalties and work with streaming services to stay on top of new music that is shared. The concept is similar to the business model of BlockTune, a remix monetization application.
The Blockchain Experience
Alex Torres, a teacher at Cambria Heights Academy for New Literacies in Queens, said the interactive nature of the BlockVariable event was a great experience for his students.
“They had to come up with their own ideas,” Torres said. “They were in the driver’s seat — I really liked that.”
He added that it was also good for students to see the blockchain technologies applied to various fields and not just computers.
Rounieo Perez, an 18-year-old from Inwood Early College For Health And Information Technologies, a Manhattan-based technical high school, said he enjoyed learning the ins and outs of cryptocurrencies during the event.
“We learned how this currency can impact the future,” Perez said. “As we get older, the currency is going to change from cash to digital.”
Jayla Tejeda, 15, who also attends Inwood Early College said she was grateful that the event opened her mind to cryptocurrencies — something she was unfamiliar with before her visit to St. Joseph’s.
“There’s so many cryptocurrencies,” Tejeda said. “I found that really interesting. I didn’t know much about this stuff before.”