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Syracuse University’s Worldwide Innovation Technology Entrepreneurship Club is planning to host an online introductory cryptocurrency and cloud workshop on April 9.

Red Hat, a software production company owned by IBM, is sponsoring the workshop, which is set to take place from 2 to 5 p.m. The event aims to teach students the basic fundamentals of cryptocurrency and blockchain cloud-related platforms, said Aishwarya Raj, the co-president of the WiTec club.

“We’re looking at everything holistically,” Raj said. “Once students go through the entire workshop, they should gain clarity within aspects of confusion to further build upon their skills.”

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that takes the form of tokens or coins. It is typically utilized through blockchain technology, a decentralized network that tracks individual currency transactions.

Lee McKnight, an associate professor in SU’s School of Information Studies and the faculty adviser of WiTec, said blockchain and cryptocurrencies are modern forms of the U.S. dollar designed to produce a more efficient international payment system. Blockchain systems are a new form of ‘trustless trust’ technology where users can make anonymous, but verifiable, transactions, he said.

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The first hour of the workshop will include hands-on cryptocurrency and blockchain training from student members of WiTec, Raj said. During the second half of the event, RedHat members will train students in using the company’s cloud technology, said Anishka Tahiliani, the other co-president of the club.

Tahiliani said the pandemic has caused a significant increase in cryptocurrency fluctuations, and the event will also provide students with the knowledge to deal with these situations. 

Raj said she hopes that the workshop can enhance the students’ skills, especially those looking for jobs in the technology field. 

Although most members of the club attend the iSchool, Raj and Tahiliani said they plan to potentially collaborate with other clubs within the school and SU’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management to further market their event. 

WiTec members perform research work and connect with technology organizations, Raj said. The club benefits from networking opportunities through technology, technical workshops and search projects. Events like the upcoming workshop are good resume builders and valuable learning experiences for members, she said. 

“We’re living in a digital world,” McKnight said. “We’re already using digital currency. This is the next wave of better, more efficient and uncrackable digital currencies.”



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