Building Blocks for a Better Future: How blockchain technology can transform systems of human organization

The technology behind bitcoin was not created for a small group of financiers to become extremely wealthy, but its real imprint in the world today has not yet reached far beyond that. For blockchain to realize its full potential, we must consider a diversity of use cases in which the elimination of middlemen can lead to transformative change. Social services, food production, and the arts present use cases as pertinent to our daily lives as decentralized finance. To guide these innovations into mainstream adoption, we must understand both their technical foundation and ideological impetus. This session will show how blockchain can make meaningful change in the world today and pose theoretical applications that may be drivers for seismic change in the near future.



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About the Presenter

Yan Digilov graduated from Rice University in 2011, where he studied mathematics and economics. As a student at Rice, he founded Amir, a nonprofit that uses garden education as a tool to teach social justice to youth across the US and Canada. After a brief stint in financial services, Mr. Digilov joined Firestarter, a firm that manages charitable giving portfolios for philanthropists and foundations. While working on a project in Somaliland, he first came across bitcoin as a tool to transfer money in regions without formal banking. He then published "Refugee Realities: Between National Challenges and Local Responsibilities in Houston, TX" through the Kinder Institute in 2018. Having come to Houston as a refugee from Russia, he worked with a diversity of immigrant communities to establish The Opportunity Fund, an interest-free loan portfolio for immigrant access to education.

Currently, Mr. Digilov has embraced the blockchain revolution and is exploring how it can impact the US labor movement. He also works as a smart contract architect for PandiFi, a startup working to revolutionize the mortgage asset industry.

Mr. Digilov is a professional mixed martial artist and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor for Paradigm Fight Team, which was founded by another Rice MBA alumnus. He also works as a film and media producer, having made three films since 2016. At present, he believes that the common needs of our communities necessitate dramatic change and sees immense potential for blockchain technologies to lead the way.



Smart Contract Development for Blockchain Applications


This course will teach students the foundations of smart contract development on the ethereum network. It is designed to inform students about the latest development tools and industry standards in the extremely dynamic landscape of smart contract development.




Diverse Applications of Blockchain Technology


This course explores how the innovations in blockchain technology can impact industries ranging from social service delivery to physical manufacturing. We will transform casual observers into active participants of the blockchain revolution by contextualizing the origins of those technologies and delving into a diversity of use cases based on student interests.



Very useful, helpful information presented by a knowledgable professional who was friendly and accessible.

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