Community Node Initiative Press Release

Arvin Villadelgado
Jul 18 · 4 min read

Today, we announce the launch of Blockchain at Berkeley’s Community Node Initiative with the mission to contribute back to the community by operating nodes for decentralized protocols. This enables us to take a more active role in the blockchain community. Over the next couple of months, we will start with a couple of nodes and through community engagement, we aim to host more.

We want to take advantage of the fact that we are all students motivated by innovation rather than profits. B@B brings a unique perspective to the community to ensure that the proper motivations are behind every single network decision. We also encourage our community to engage with us on Twitter, Facebook and email so that we can make decisions guided by your advice. Below are our motivations behind the inaugural nodes:

Bitcoin Node

Released in 2009, Bitcoin paved the way for being the first fully decentralized digital asset by implementing PoW. Created in response to the instability caused by fractional-reserve banking, Bitcoin opened the possibility for individuals to freely transact across a network psuedonomously. In addition to the wide-spread use in illegal markets such as the Silk Road, Bitcoin has allowed for low-cost remittances and has found demand in countries in Asia, South America and Africa where there are high levels of underbanked populations or a lack of reliable local currencies. Blockchain at Berkeley began as The Bitcoin Association in 2014 with a handful of individuals who were passionate about the technology and its potential use-case applications. Although the blockchain ecosystem has evolved to encompass much more than Bitcoin, it still remains the motivation for many to enter the industry and has reignited the cypherpunk ideology. We have chosen to run a Bitcoin node as a homage to our past and to guide us in our future.

Ethereum Node

Proposed as an idea in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum became a platform for startups and enterprises alike to develop decentralized applications or dapps. Ethereum created one of the biggest effects in the world of blockchain/crypto as it created opportunities for anyone to create Turing-complete smart contracts to reduce the middle-man in transactions between parties. Blockchain at Berkeley has relied upon the Ethereum network to develop scalable PoCs for Fortune-500 clients and we have lead research efforts to develop layer-two scalability solutions including Plasma. Additionally, we’ve taught hundreds of developers how to get started with solidity smart contract creation and execution. We have decided to include Ethereum in our launch as we look to engage further with the community to improve the network and increase its adoption.

ICON Public Representative (P-rep)

ICON aims to advance our society towards true hyperconnectivity. ICON is the largest blockchain project in South Korea by valuation and has more than 300,000 members in their community. ICON has been in development for over 2 years and has already made many notable accomplishments. For one, the South Korean government aims to use ICON to process information, issue documents, and carry out other key administrative activities. ICON’s team comes with people across the business, marketing, AI, and blockchain industries. Their advisors include Don Tapscott an author and business executive that has built his career on fostering technological innovation. We chose ICON in an effort to contribute to notable blockchain projects around the world. It is through community suggestions and support that we decided to pursue applying to be a P-rep in the ICON network. We look forward to engaging with the ICON community to launch the network in the coming months.

Since late 2018, Blockchain at Berkeley has been examining ways in which we can further engage the community locally and globally as well as contribute back to those that have helped us grow over the last 3 years. We are launching our Community Node Initiative to recommit our faith in the growing ecosystem. Over the next few months, we will be launching our ETH & BTC nodes, as well as engaging with the ICON community to earn their support and nomination to earn the responsibility of being a Public Representative.

With the rewards gained from the various nodes, we will be reinvesting the profits back into the community by:

  • Increasing node infrastructure to support current networks as well as committing to future networks
  • Hosting free events and meetups
  • Teaching free educational workshops throughout the Bay Area
  • Creating additional educational content for classes taught on UC Berkeley’s campus and online to ~100,000 students on EdX
  • Collaborating with community members on how we can best serve your needs to promote growth and innovation

As we look for future networks to support, we’d like to hear the community’s thoughts. If you have comments or suggestions please email us at external@blockchain.berkeley.edu.

Blockchain at Berkeley is a protocol-agnostic community organization based in Berkeley, CA. All decisions were made carefully by a unilateral team to ensure a productive contribution back into the community. All content is the sole views of Blockchain at Berkeley. Content expressed in this and by Blockchain at Berkeley is not to be taken as investment advice. For any questions please contact external@blockchain.berkeley.edu.

Blockchain at Berkeley

We are a student-run organization involved in blockchain tech-consulting, education and research at UC Berkeley. Contact us if you are interested in working together.

Arvin Villadelgado

Written by

Blockchain at Berkeley

We are a student-run organization involved in blockchain tech-consulting, education and research at UC Berkeley. Contact us if you are interested in working together.

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