Enrichment Grant Report: Kehan Zhou ’15

Kehan Zhou ’15 was selected to receive an Enrichment Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship to subsidize his trip to Berlin to attend a Bitcoin conference. You can read Kehan’s reflection below, read past grantee reflections here, and visit the PCSE website to learn more about all of our grant programs.


Inside Bitcoin Berlin Reflection: Kehan Zhou ’15 

bitcoinWith the support from the Student Enrichment Grant and the CSS department, I attended one of the biggest Bitcoin conferences in the World in Berlin. This conference brought together economists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs who work on Bitcoin enterprises. The result was many stimulating talks on the most advanced Bitcoin technology. 

Bitcoin is a digital currency that uses blockchain technology to achieve anonymity and security. It is the first digital currency that solved the problem of double spending where the same currency is spent twice. Compared to traditional currency, Bitcoin offers very fast payment that costs only a fraction of the traditional transaction fee. In addition, Bitcoin is a “smart money” which means that it is programmable like computer code. This allows it to accomplish many complicated payment schemes that traditional currency cannot achieve.

The conference discussed many interesting ideas on Bitcoin around the world. For example, one company is working on bringing space Bitcoin banking to Africa by allowing people to bank through satellite signals. Bitcoin technology can also support prediction market where any prediction can be bought and sold like a securities. The prediction could be the weather for tomorrow or the result of presidential elections. I truly believe that Bitcoin and blockchain technology are the future of money. While we are still in the trial and error phase, Bitcoin’s technology could revolutionize the way we use money and many other fields.

I want to thank the PCSE Enrichment Grant for supporting my trip and I would like to chat with anyone who is interested in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and share my experience with more people.