Blockchain is everywhere. It’s in the news, it’s in investment portfolios, it’s in startups across the world trying to wrangle its potential. It's a growing community here in Colorado, where the Ethereum Denver Meetup is one of the largest in the nation.
I’m not a blockchain expert, but after attending and speaking at the ETHDenver Hackathon + Workshops last week - attended by more than 1,500 people from 23 countries and 31 states - and meeting some of those ambitious entrepreneurs, it’s clear that we’ve barely scratched the surface.
It sparked my curiosity, as an advocate for diversity and inclusion in our tech workforce, for how it might reshape our community. What I’ve learned - so far - is that there’s significant potential to welcome underserved communities currently being left behind. At its core, blockchain is a means to democratize information and lower barriers of access so that anyone can be part of this massive, worldwide community.
That means there also should be room to help train anyone who has a desire to learn blockchain’s expanding, diverse applications. The movement has only gained steam within the past five years or so, but doors already are opening.
At the event, I shared the stage with Haseeb Rabbani from Blockgeeks, an online learning platform like many coding courses today, which connects learners to videos and exercises. Their work highlights what we need to be doing within our tech community: help our current and future workforce keep up with the rapid pace of technology through educational programs that are agile and fluid.
The systems and standards put in place to teach a technology as limitless as blockchain can be translated to programming, cyber security, data science and much more. Bitcoin and Ethereum are some of the most recognized application utilizing blockchain, but there are endless other cryptocurrencies, and even more industries ready to be disrupted by this technology.
Some believe blockchain could be used to collect taxes in 10 years, while others cite its potential for medical records, smart contracts and more. Venezuela recently launched its own cryptocurrency, called petro, to help its struggling economy rebound. Nobody can predict the future of blockchain, but right now, I want to know how we can tap into our underserved communities so that they can get in on the ground floor of blockchain.