Saturday, 04 July 2020

Rutgers cryptocurrency club distributes hundreds of dollars in Bitcoin at first involvement fair

RutgersBit is the process of sending its members to conferences that explore the many different applications of cryptocurrency.

The popularization of cryptocurrency has led to the creation of a new club on campus.

RutgersBit, a student organization based on exploring the concepts and technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, participated in its first involvement fair this Monday — officially opening itself up to the Rutgers student body.

The Fall 2018 semester will be the first in which RutgersBit will be recognized as an official student organization. Over the last year, the club has prepared to commence operations and provide the Rutgers student body with the opportunity to learn about and experience the world of cryptocurrency.

Christian Buren, president and Rutgers Business School sophomore, is looking forward to the club’s first two semesters as an official student organization. Though it cannot yet host speakers on campus, it has already been in contact with many experts and organizations willing to provide students the opportunity to further their understanding of cryptocurrency in the near future.

“We recognize we are the most formal source of cryptocurrency and blockchain education at Rutgers,” he said. “We’ve taken up that responsibility, and we are going to be educating people in the fundamentals and basics of cryptocurrency and blockchain.”

As of this semester, the club has joined the Blockchain Education Network, a collective of university organizations that seek to promote blockchain education among students. It has also partnered with AirdropX and Moonshot.Express — projects involved with Bitcoin that advocate for its potential applications.

These organizations came together to create a global “airdrop,” where students would have access to a cryptocurrency wallet and receive a small quantity of Bitcoin by scanning a QR code on flyers handed out around campuses. RutgersBit participated in the airdrop that occurred this Monday and distributed hundreds of dollars in Bitcoin to students during the involvement fair.

Blockchain, the main technological concept behind many online currencies such as Bitcoin, was invented in 2009, following the release of a paper describing its concept on the Bitcoin website. Many other decentralized online monies that use similar technology fall under the umbrella of “cryptocurrencies.”

Since last year, RutgersBit has been actively recruiting students interested in blockchain technology. It has reached out to potential speakers in various fields of interest and contacted organizations with ties to the Rutgers Business School.

The club is looking to send its members to cryptocurrency and blockchain conferences that explore different applications of the technology. The organization already sent a small group to a conference this summer and hopes to send larger groups to future events.

It has also sought partnerships with various projects and professors on campus. In the coming semesters, the club hopes to grow its membership and even create a permanent institution within Rutgers devoted to educating students on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

No prior knowledge about Bitcoin or blockchain is required to join the club, Buren said.

“RutgersBit is looking forward to introducing more students to the dynamic worlds of cryptocurrency and blockchain and how this technology is disrupting and optimizing businesses everywhere," Buren said.

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