Miami University Blockchain Club: the Largest Midwest Blockchain Initiative

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Microsoft. Facebook. Yahoo. Google. Dell. Reddit. What is the common denominator between all these companies?

They were all founded by college students.

These students attended prestigious schools such as Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Virginia, and the University of Texas. Some of them even dropped out once their companies started taking off. This spirit is the heart and soul of Miami University Blockchain Club. We are firm believers that as young, college-aged entrepreneurs, we can be the ones that will change the world as we know it. Many in MUBC own and operate their own companies already, and all of them are passionate about blockchain and recognize its business potential.

Pictured: Dana Schwartz
Pictured: Dana Schwartz
Betting on Blockchain — by the Blockchain Barbie

A prime example is the Blockchain Barbie. Before graduating from Miami in 2019, Dana Schwartz was Head of Blockchain Research for MUBC, and is proudly known as “the Blockchain Barbie”. Dana describes distributed ledger technology as, “the world’s most revolutionary technology” in her blog, where she tackles complex, technical topics by fitting them into a chic Gen-Z package, complete with a pink bow. Dana hopes her success will encourage more women to pursue technical occupations as the #WomenInTech movement gains momentum.

Co-founder and past President of MUBC Patrick Young built the club the ground up before his 2019 graduation from Miami University with a Bachelor’s in marketing. Patrick has pursued the fledgling field of cryptographically secured digital assets with reckless abandon. In January of 2018, he co-founded Block Key Capital, a digital asset hedge fund currently managing a six-figure balance invested in the cryptocurrency market. His ambitions at MUBC were quickly recognized- Patrick now works as the VP of Business Development at Custody Digital Group, which takes custody of digital assets and ensures they are stored in a secure and compliant manner. We have no doubt that Patrick Young will be at the forefront of institutional adoption of crypto assets.

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Patrick Young (second from the right) pictured with the founding partners of Block Key Capital
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Despite primarily serving client acquisitions at his company An Extra Hand, Jake Salerno knows when to get his hands dirty!

Jake Salerno, our VP of Marketing, is an entrepreneur at heart. He co-founded the Block Tribune, a Blockchain newsletter, at Miami University. Back home, Jake is a founding partner of An Extra Hand, an Odd Jobs company providing clients with local, able-bodied workers for arbitrary physical labor. Jake exudes charismatic confidence, always elevating those working with him. More than anyone else, he can pair quick wit with his technical intelligence to captivate any audience and convince them of the benefits of blockchain.

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MU Blockchain Club President Ashton Barger, pictured at the 1st Miami University Blockchain Conference on 02.17.2019

Ashton Barger, our current President, is bringing about Blockchain development and professional experience to the club while growing MUBC around campus and internationally. Ashton has an uncompromising drive to raise MUBC to new heights as he continues to secure more professional opportunities for MUBC’s members. In addition to leading one of the biggest and most influential clubs on campus, Ashton is the co-founder and CEO of blOX Consulting, a blockchain development consultancy founded in January of 2019 along with Billy Becker and Jack Gilcrest.

Not only is MUBC one of the biggest blockchain clubs in the nation, but we are one of six universities nationally offering a course on blockchain. The course’s author, Dr. Arthur Carvalho of Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, expertly navigates the fundamental technical concepts in small, digestible pieces. Students are then exposed to two of the most important Smart Contract frameworks: Ethereum and Hyperledger. Few universities can equip their students as well as ISA481: Blockchain for Business Applications has for our students.

What is MUBC?

The purpose of the Miami University Blockchain Club (MUBC) is to actively facilitate understanding of blockchain technology through group discussion, organized events, and guest speakers. MUBC serves to grow the understanding and acceptance of blockchain technology and its potential and current impact on a global and personal scale. MUBC aims to help members develop valuable connections in the blockchain space while encouraging members to pursue blockchain based interests, internships, and careers. Our core values are a belief in:

  • Building future leaders through knowledge and innovation of the blockchain ecosystem
  • Providing professional hands-on experience and advanced blockchain insight and education
  • Connecting future leaders at Miami University with the blockchain ecosystem, whether at a start up or a Fortune 500 company

MUBC’s reputation as an established organization was solidified by its hosting of the 2019 Miami University Blockchain Conference, a day-long conference that brought more than a half-dozen industry leaders and experts to the Wilks Theatre in the Armstrong Student Center to talk about blockchain, its uses, and its future in the business and technology sectors. This Fall, Miami University Blockchain Club will be hosting its first annual Blockchain Hackathon, dubbed the “Miami University Blockathon 2019”. Our hope is that the Blockathon provides both experimental and educational experience, while remaining impactful to local organizations. The Blockathon will be a 3 day immersive hackathon where students from Miami and other top undergraduates from around America will travel to Oxford to learn and to create. The MUBC Blockathon will be hosted at the Farmer School of Business from 6pm on Friday, September 20th to 3pm Sunday, September 22nd (tentatively). We are currently working on developing the theme for this event, and connecting with a local company to help focus on an area and use-case of the technology that our members can develop solutions for.

MUBC is a group of young, hungry learners looking to change the world. Don’t be surprised if in a couple years, one of the most influencing blockchain based companies will have been founded by college students from Miami University. (The one in Ohio, not Florida).

This article was written by Johnny Giroux, a writer for MUBC’s Medium Blog. Miami University Blockchain Club is one of the premier University Clubs and educational resources in the nation, with a membership of over 200 individuals, and offerings ranging from conferences, hackathons, projects, speakers, professional development, and research. MUBC believes in building future leaders by connecting them with the Blockchain Ecosystem to foster innovation. Reach us on any of our social media accounts and learn more on our Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and email. Edited and released by Jack Gilcrest on 08.04.2019.

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The purpose of the Miami University Blockchain Club (MUBC) is to actively facilitate an understanding of Blockchain Technology through whatever means available.

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