This is the first in a series of interviews with our MouseBelt University Ambassadors. Our university program participants come from over 100+ schools in 24 countries! We wanted to highlight some of the awesome students working hard to make blockchain a global revolution:
Norbert Amankwaa Adomako is the founder and president of KNUST Blockchain Hub - a student run organization at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. As an advisor, event organizer, and speaker with 3 years or working experience in blockchain, he's helped educate countless people in blockchain technology.
What is your major in school?
How did you first become interested in blockchain?
I got interested in blockchain in 2016 when I completed highschool. Right after highschool! A friend of mine introduced me to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and at the time the price was very, very low. It was then that I saw that the blockchain was a very good technology, and we wanted to see if we could help build on it since we knew it could be helpful worldwide. We saw blockchain was important, but many people in my hometown, for example, are very slow to adopt new technology. So the focus became educating people in our community. Teaching people became the priority: introducing them to the basics of the technology, teaching them how to send coins, how to set up blockchain and cryptocurrency wallets, etc. You could say that I've been into blockchain education since 2016.
So how were you engaging with Bitcoin and Blockchain? You and were friends were using it for payments? This was on your mobile phones? What was the situation?
Yes. Me and my friends used to trade on major exchanges, and we made some losses and profits (at the same time) because of course market fluctuations! As we've been trading, we have started following major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, Stellar, IoTA - almost all major cryptocurrencies, and this has helped us learn about the different types of blockchains out there. We are still learning too.
Tell me more about some of the activities you have done with your club so far: What kind of events do you host? What kind of people show up?
We have held a lot of seminars on our campus - we even went as big as doing television interviews! We invite doctors, lecturers, and have them speak about their acquaintance with blockchain technology and what they see the use cases are, in which industries this technology could be useful, etc.. We just reopened last week, so we haven't held an event yet this year, but we have a bunch of plans to keep the events alive at this institution. So far, our computer science students are involved, communications students are involved, and they are all eager to help rally around blockchain education!
You would say that there is a high demand around blockchain education?
Yes, of course. There is a very big demand from students because it is so new, and there is certainly a lot of hype around it, a lot of money, a lot of innovation. Most people just see things here and there about it on their phones, and they are interested but they aren't technical. So those of us who have those technical skills will teach them the basics of blockchain technology. We also have more advanced seminars for those of us who want more technical education. Some get referred to the engineering courses, which are extremely helpful. It's important to us.
Do you think your University itself is behind this? Would they want to fund these classes if they could get people to teach them?
I can't speak for the University for now, unless I do some consultations and write some letters. It's a long process for incorporating such a new curriculum, but I will try and help consult them of course! Perhaps our chancellor could help us get some teachers!
Do you have professors interested in what you are doing?
Yes! We have some professors attend our seminars, and they are very impressed and eager to learn as well..
What excites you most about blockchain? Do you have a favorite use case? A favorite project?
Many are interesting. But I'll have to ask you to wait to see our own project we are building in the pitch competition! A lot of them bring these technologies to places like Africa; I'll leave it at that!
What are your predictions for blockchain/bitcoin in 2020?
Haha! I'm not too sure, but I expect to see places like Africa really start to get on board, and certainly I see the price of Bitcoin shooting up this year. By the end of the year we should see 16k BTC!
Well thank you for chatting with us, and good luck!
KNUST Blockchain Hub's mission is to bring blockchain education to the people and to incubate ideas that solve real life problems using blockchain technology. Follow them on twitter!
MouseBelt University accelerates the next generation of blockchain projects from the ground up. We help students with everything from meetups and hackathons to cutting-edge research and entrepreneurship. Learn more at https://mousebelt.university