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Students In Bitcoin

9 Oct 2014

College Crypto Network aims to inform young people about blockchain technology and give students a chance to become more involved with their local Bitcoin community. CCN has created a network not only for students, but academics and young entrepreneurs.

For students, getting involved with Bitcoin can be difficult. Unless you’re smart and skilled enough to develop the protocol, or were lucky enough to have bought a few many years ago, it can feel like we’ve already missed the party.

Many of my friends talk about how “cool” and “disruptive” Bitcoin is, but almost no one uses or truly understands it. For some, “Bitcoin” is a buzzword, a social accessory mentioned at parties to impress acquaintances. To further my dismay, many other university students are simply indifferent to Bitcoin. Thankfully, something is being done.

The College Crypto Network (CCN) was founded in Michigan, in March 2014 by a group of students passionate about bringing Bitcoin and blockchain technology to their local university campuses. The goal was to educate, provide resources, and get interested people connected. Since then, CCN has spread to every continent on the planet except Antarctica (they’re working on delivering a Skyhook bitcoin machine there though), and now provides students from around the world a place to chat, share ideas, and work on Bitcoin projects. CCN has created a network not only for students, but academics and young entrepreneurs.

“The College Cryptocurrency Network (CCN) is an international nonprofit organisation dedicated to forming a robust network of college clubs for cryptocurrency education, mining, trading, and start-ups.”
— – collegecrypto.org

Universities are a place teeming with all sorts of people, from your local socialist alternative kids, to hippies, computer nerds and socialites. Young people have always been activists, and now a channel exists to allow those who are passionate about cryptocurrency to come together and voice their passion. CCN has done a lot of work in its short lifetime, facilitating MIT’s “Bitcoin airdrop”, appearing at Bitcoin conferences and organising hackathons in collaboration with the nascent Bitcoin industry.

At university campuses, speakers have been arranged, Bitcoin ATMs delivered, and local businesses assisted in accepting bitcoin. The goal is clear — inform young people about blockchain technology and give students a chance to become more involved with their local Bitcoin community. The next project is even more ambitious: bringing bitcoin to every citizen of the island nation of Dominica.

“It’s been an amazing year, seeing us grow from 3 University Bitcoin clubs to an international network of over 100, ready make huge advancements in this technological revolution. I look forward to the innovations these connections will spark."
— – Daniel Bloch, Co-founder CCN

In my opinion, the importance of bringing Bitcoin to students and young people alike cannot be understated; it is us who will inherit the technology once it reaches fruition. All the promise of “an internet of things” and a fairer global banking system will be realised or fail in our lifetimes.

Regardless, the potential is there, even if mainstream media still talks myopically about Silk Road, bitcoin’s price volatility and the collapse of Mt Gox. Young people need to be told more about the Bitcoin (with a capital “b”), which has the potential to bring about social good, and less about the currency, bitcoin. Students who miss the opportunity that’s right beneath their noses today will wish they had been told when about it when they were at university, and The College Crypto Network’s mission is to make sure that never happens.


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