Web 3 and the Future of the University Student Experience | University of Denver
And now we're going to jump into our second lightning round one of my favorite parts of this is getting to know maps. The web. 3 club president here at du an undergraduate student, and Lindsay and I were joking. We could hear Matt talk about this work for hours, because in our first meeting he was just having so much knowledge around this that we were writing notes furiously. So with that I'll introduce Matt Roman Nichols for his conversation around web 3 in the future of the University student experience at du. How's it going? Guys? Anyway. Nice to meet you all. Thank you all for coming out today. My name is Matthew Romo Nichols. I'm the current president for the web. 3 club at the University of Denver.
We founded the Web 3 Club last year with Jeremy Osborne and Peter White. They've now graduated and moved on to other endeavors essentially with the whole idea in providing an educational playground for students that interact safely with web, free and blockchain protocols and find out the real world implications in terms of their utility and potential applications in the future don't further guys, my individual talk today is to be focusing on blockchain and the future university experience, and how these technologies can change, how we interact as an individual student as canglomerates and as clubs with different events and alright how would you say other Webp protocols are going to continue to gain mass adoption in the near future. Going with further guys. I mean, I know Professor Charles touch on this topic in terms of what is the blockchain, and understanding the key features and functionality that students can benefit from honestly, Professor Charles, he did everything. So we don't need to touch this on the slide. It's more the last bit that I'm going to focus on right here in terms of the student benefit is the pseudo the pseudo anonymous identities that are associated with your onchain profile. And that's gonna be a huge benefit for students to be able to do essentially freely participate in these web- protocols without compromising under underlying validity.
One person identity as a student, and compromising their own personal information. Kind of go want to dive into a little bit more is breaking down the barriers in understanding the decentralized learning environments associated with Web 3. So one of the key things that web 3 will provide future university students, educators as well as educational institutions, is the accessibility to global educational resources. Currently from a graduate perspective, obtaining financing and research funding for a theoretical research. Grant is extremely. It's a centralized process in that you're having to source through like an individual faculty program.
Or you're having to work with a university, a group of individuals in terms of betting the individual research process. And it could be subjected to discriminate discriminatory efforts as a result of race biased sexual orientation. The underlying validity or description of the project that's being proposed, and the idea is that through having a decentralized learning environment such as an education-based dow or different web-free particles that are put on by universities, we're able to decentralize the ability to garner and vet research projects on a university level one thing that's really important to note guys is that through these education-based dows university students are able to have access to open platforms for sharing their knowledge and experts on the subject matter so essentially instead of having an individual student Id. Such as Matthew Owen Ankles, or Avery Hughes, or any arbitrary individual in the audience like Todd to a particular research idea, proposal. Essentially your individual identity could be tied to a hash as Professor Charles was saying, and essentially that hash has no identifying feature of that student, there their undergraduate or graduate classification status. Their major potential. Other underlying characteristic that could deter that particular group from obtaining funding in the future. So the one thing we try to really focus is the role of the information gatekeeper with academia in that historically it obviously evolved from the church to the government to mainstream media sources in terms of how is the general public able to access this transactional information on a day-to-day basis. So what we really try to do here is through these educational dows and through decentralizing the education process on a university level, we are able to essentially democratize and remove the influence of information gatekeepers within society that's really an important thing is that information and education is
awesome you're gonna be learning about things all day everyday, and I don't think it should be subjected to an individual country or ideology that has access to that information. So one thing that's really interesting is that once again, a lot of these ideas of academic-based dows and decentralizing earning environments are purely conceptual. However, in theory, many of these burning environments will be interoperable, in that we could have a University of Denver based doubt that allows for individual research projects that start in the University of Denver and allow for cross-institutional collaboration with other colorado universities. National universities and institutions that individuals can take advantage of. One thing that we wanted to talk about here is or potential use case that I've actually loved.
And we've actually dive into the last 3 or 4 months is pertaining to blockchain-based academic records. So one thing here, and I think this is coming off. Professor Charles and Professor Coleman's talk is the use of nfts in digital credentials, in verifying student experiences that will occur in the coming Decades. So little fun fact as a club last year. What we did was we went to eat Denver, which is the world's largest ethereum conference that's held in Denver every march February just depends on like the logistical hurdles that the developers have to overcome but great conference, highly recommended every single year. It's free to attend, but we attended East Denver last year at December this year, and then Bitcoin Miami, as part of a networking effort form additional club connections, and sponsorships for last Year's Hackathon, and we met with the founders of Po app. So essentially what a Po app is. And I think this is one of the coolest use cases for nfts within an educational context is understanding a poem is essentially a proof of attendance.
Protocol, so essentially like nfts, are non-fungible tokens, like in terms of the objective definition. And like, you know, when you're talking about like fungibility of a token like ethereum, like typical cryptocurrencies are fungible in nature. In that I can exchange one ether from one individual, move it to another individual, and there's no loss in value in that transfer, because 28, there's one ether, regardless of white wallet or public key. It's associated with, whereas with a po app in an Ft. There's fungibility concerns, I mean, there's non-fungible in that.
I could transfer one nft. From one individual, move it to another, and there could be a theoretical loss and value in that exchange, because maybe one nft possesses greater utility or alternative characteristics relative to other ones that are existing with blockchain so anyway, the idea that we really focused on a bitcoin of my name was the idea of using Po apps as an attendance-based university system. So a pop stands for a proof of attendance. Protocol. So the idea, it's essentially an nft that is mental upon interaction with the physical events. So in theory, we could have done it for today, essentially have a QR code essentially right by the door.
Individuals are essentially able to connect their public key, their wallet, their theme address, and it meant a pullup, essentially verifies that they were at. So the great thing about Popup is that it's enabled this new peer-to-peer form of social media platforms in the form of essentially like if I individual a and let's say I went to a broncos game. I went to a University of Denver watching symposium, I went to an avalanche game, and then I have another individual here. That's collected a Po at from the Minnesota wild a Vikings game, and let's say they went to a blockchain symposium at the unit.
Essentially they can find common characteristics between those Po apps and that, okay, may not be a broncos man. It's okay. No, no, no! Bronx fans and then there are Vikings, same. But the commonality between those 2 characteristics is the Nfl. And then same thing with the nhl. Okay, we have the wild here.
We have the avalanche here. The commonality is the nhl. And same thing here different universities, with the same industry, in blockchain topics. The idea is that through a Po app based social media platform, we're able to connect individuals based on verified experiences that they've actually engaged with rather than being catfish left right and center on tinder. So no more catfishing, no more man. Taito. So anyways, guys going a little bit further here in terms of understanding the actual use cases for poops in an academic setting.
The first thing that we conceptually came up with was the idea of a po-based attendance system for universities and I'm gonna touch on this for a second, for some of you guys who haven't been, you in college for the last 15 years. That's fine. Gonna talk about that. So I'll go a bit further here. I wanted. To. Actually, I'm going to put back and go back here.
Okay, do you do? Does anyone know what this is? I'm showing professors anything. Clicker. Yeah 100%. So anyone that's been in a lecture based academic setting understands that it is extremely unfeasible for professor teaching 200 individual students to actually take attendance on a lecture hall, because the backup, you know, I'm going in everyone comes in Ok, click a if you're you're here, in the class, great, and you look in the audience, there's 40 people there, and there's 200 and responses associated people saying in a class like that, yeah, math isn't mapping right now. So the idea is that essentially like I'm victim of this, I can say from here, but essentially the whole idea is that through a poet-based attendance system, you're able to essentially tie attendance for each student without compromising on their underlying identity to the number of Poets that they've collected in an individual class so essentially, pops are limited, based on the number of pops that can be essentially minted per address. So from a university perspective, you can associate my student Id, and like my 8, 7, 3 number, or my personal identity to this hash value. Okay, and obviously from an onching perspective. If you're to see that hash value, there's no way to correlate that to my, because there's no identifying features that are presented. So idea is that essentially a professor on their perspective could see individual ids that are associated with each student, and the hash values that correlate that student.
Id, and then see how many polls are minted. Associated with that public key. So, for example, at do we have 2 classes every week. It's the, you know, by we pick quarter structure. So if we had one Np. That was minted per class in a given quarter.
In theory, if you had 100% attendance, you should have 20 pops mented by the end of the year or the end of the quarter. And essentially what the teacher could do is essentially David. See a ledger associating every student id with the hash value and how many pop-s have been minted with that correlated Nft. And essentially determine a final legitimate attendance value without dealing with, you know, multiple responses associated with saying, you're in the building. But you're not actually building really cool use case for you guys. Sorry with this scope so one thing that's really important to understand here guys is going back to what Professor Coleman and what professor Charles are talking about is ownership of your own data. An existing web, 2. Protocols, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
Obviously these existing big tech giants maintain complete ownership of your data. And that's one of the ways that they monetize. They generate revenues, platforms obviously through the extrachange of personal data of individuals. So the whole idea is that by enabling these web 3 platforms, and enabling individuals and students to take back on their own ownership their own data, we're essentially able to provide a student centric experience by students being able to control their data on any arbitrary circumstance that they interact with on a university level. So one thing that's really interesting to understand is in a really big challenge in terms of implementing blockchain within academia is establishing a universal standard in education, credential verification. So, you know, they talk about interoperability between one educational institution to another and creating a universal standard in terms of if we are to create these decentralized, you know, research dows that essentially are channeling funds into these research projects through a non-discriminatory manner like? What are the avenues and rules that are created to govern these potential systems that haven't been created in theory. So one thing that's really important to note is that also we view, or I mean personally, again, it's not. I'm not reflecting.
The emergency view is that essentially the future university experience on chain is going to be through essentially an onchain profile that is updated through engagements and experiences that an individual student will engage with throughout their university experience. So, for example, you would come into the University of Denver, have your 8 7 number, and essentially have an additional identifying factors, such as that hash that is tied to your individual student, Id and as you engage throughout your university experience, you're able to go to different field trips and attend different conferences and attend just different events within the throughout the city, and essentially form profile through your Gpa. The activities that you engage with on campus as well as being able to verify your academic credentials on change. So that way, when you guys go to transition out of the University of Denver and move into a professional setting, essentially, you're able to verify your Gpa, your underlying academic academic and professional credentials without having to essentially lie and essentially it it'll help both the employers in terms of betting their individual. The talent in their within the university contexts, as well as it'll help university students in terms of projecting and legitimately verifying their university financials when they go to apply outside of university context.
So going further here. One thing I really want to talk about is the mass adoption of watching technologies in academia, in relation to artificial intelligence. Chat boxes, such as Chat gpt. So one common misconception associated with the mass adoption of particular technology is the chasm so obviously right here in terms of the context of boxing and cryptocurrencies I believe we're kind of right. About here from a regulatory in terms of like a mass stops perspective. You have the weirdos in the basement that are mining. Bitcoin back in 2010, 22,009 reading the white paper. And we have everyone here.
We have the chasm, and we have the early majority, late majority in lacards. And there's things social media is understanding. We're right around here for in terms of the adoption curve now, the one thing that's really interesting to talk about, and I never actually really consider this implication until a few weeks ago is understanding. You keep hearing about this this terminology, and what breathe? How do we onboard the next 1 billion individuals, how do we onboard the mass adoption? These potential global use cases of blockchain to where we're not having to explain to people like underlying utility blockchains, they just fundamentally understand it.
Same thing with a car like you don't understand how an engine or like the technical functionality of a car. They just know that I'm going from point A to Point B in a far more efficient manner than FM, and that's really fundamentally, that's all you need to know. So one thing we need to talk about is the fact that when you talk about Chat Gbt in AI applications there is no terminology in use of the word of like onboarding a billion users because it's automatically intuitive, you understand the inherent value of chat Gbt. The ability to synthesize information rather than just being recommended.
The most relevant articles. Taking these articles and generating the most relevant information people don't need to be sold on the idea of more efficiently synthesizing information, whereas I think, with watching a web through you're having to kind of poke people a little bit more in terms of like having to understand the value and understanding, utility, and essentially, you have all these outside noise from ftx. You know, centralized exchanges gemini, that are all failing. Last year, and that essentially contributes or I mean, it attracts the underlying focus and utility that's being presented from the technology really important to note one thing, that's really important to note is that as we cross this chasm, I truly believe that there's to be 4 factors that allow us to achieve mainstream adoption, institutional adoption of what 3 particles, and it comes in the form of 4 different catalysts that I think could occur in the next 2 to 3 years, the first one being I'm regulatory and legal frameworks you've seen the Biden Administration recently in the last 2, 3 weeks taken.
They've issued a Wells notice, Coinbase Fcc. Is doing. I mean, this are the Cfdc. Is doing finance for offering an illegal derivatives exchange in the United States, and so essentially, there's no regulatory clarity in terms of what is defining a cryptocurrency as security was defining cryptocurrency as a blockchain, I mean defining a security as a quantity regardless of who you speak. The Cftc.
Or the sec. There is no clarity in that manner so essentially one thing is going to be having regulatory and legal framework regarding the trade, and use of blockchains and cryptocurrencies within institutional settings education awareness and this is touching back on what professor coleman and Professor Charles are saying regarding that you have this huge chasm of understanding of the subject matter, in that you have these developers that are creating these exceptionally beneficial web-free particles, but having a user base that has no idea how to interact with that on a day to day basis so you need to close education, chasm, and essentially scalability and performance. I know we haven't touched on that a lot. But one of the biggest issues of blocking particles is the scalability in that. When you see a Bull Run and everyone starts to use the ethereum blockchain or use the Bitcoin blockchain transaction, bees skyrocket proportionately. Essentially, you think of all the transactions that are included in a block, or like in a blockchain? Is it? It's it's a public good, in a sense, but as block space as more individuals and more entities compete for that finite amount of block space inherently, individuals are going to be priced out of the market, just due to transaction, so it's how do we if we want this to be a truly global and global global technology that experiences mass adoption.
How are we going to ensure that individuals on price of the market like, could you imagine going as an individual like? Let's say we take a bankless individual, as Professor Charles was saying in Africa, and you go to engage in a transaction sending stable coins from point a to point B and you're unable to do so, because the transaction fees are so high. Idea is that understanding how we solve the scalability, dilemma on chain or off chain of the next 5 years, to be key in terms of instituting and engaging this institutional adoption, and then the last thing and I think this is the most important thing in terms of understanding like mainstream adoption within an institutional university setting is solving the web. 3. Ui. Ux. Dilemma. It sucks. It's just it's terrible, you know. Essentially like at the end of the day the big thing that we need to focus on from web free perspective is just technological efficiencies.
Take all the new, take all the noise, take all the articles, take everything out of it, and like out at the end of the day, essentially, I'm able to move value from point a to point. B, with a far greater underlying transaction ability. I don't compromise on my underlying my identity, and don't have to reveal it in a transaction process and essentially, you're moving it from pointing to point B, without essentially removing the middle name of the transaction fees associated and transferring that value so the one thing we really need to understand here is that essentially as Professor Charles said, you had the web, 2 web one, and you have web, 3 logins. So the whole idea is that the uux for web free currently is very fragmented.
And individuals really aren't frankly willing to assume all this additional knowledge. Basically they have to understand it. Save, let's say, 5, $6 in transaction piece. It's just the amount of knowledge that they have to know relative to the immediate financial benefits aren't worth there at the time being. So one thing that's really important to note here is this right? Here is the number one, cryptocurrency wallet on ethereum. Again. It's a multi-chain wallet it's called Metamask.
So essentially the way your gateway and the web free is by interacting with your individual public key into smart contract or a decentralized application. The most common way that individuals would do, that is, through Metamaska as an avenue. There's other walls that are offered, such as phantom, give notice safe. Other multi-sig walls, but just for the purpose of how you interact with web 3 particles.
It's 3 years. And one thing that's really important to note here is obviously like we said with web, one essentially, individuals were essentially able to access information through read-only formats without being able to write posts or interact with the Internet in a like in a content creator perspective and then web, 2 you're saying, essentially able to use your existing web. 2. Identity from giants, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other existing web, 2 giants to help connect to a swath of centralized applications controlled by big tech companies, and the idea is that now with the web 3 particles your id and your way to interact with these different protocols on a decentralized basis is 3 or one, and through your public key, so going a little bit further, here, guys, one thing that we need to talk about is advancing knowledge and protecting the efficiency data research exchanges that are going to rise as a result of web 2 tech web 3 technologies, talking a little bit further, I think one thing that's really important to understand is that I think everyone is using it like in a startup sense, using AI and blockchains. It's like buzzwords generate revenue for their idea, but not every web 3 idea needs to be built on a blockchain, and not every decentralized education.
Protocol in the future needs to be built directly on chain as well. So theoretically, there's multiple different solutions and multiple different avenues. Is that homeowner? I mean, so that that there's multiple different avenues that individual students or universities can pursue in terms of achieving this decentralized education network that we could in theory see in the next 5 10 years one thing that's really important to note is they believe on an institutional level, that blockchains can help. Streamline the peer review processes through New peer-to-peer global collaboration networks. Such as having secular education, dows in one country or one university, or one region connecting to one another, and not having to deal with the intermediate. Peer, review, process, so one thing that's going to expand on that is the also the incentivization of open access and data sharing protocols through university collaboration. So idea is that obviously you have secular funding networks that are dependent on like national economic conditions.
So obviously, you know the finaling efforts for a research project for a university student in, let's say, the Uk. Right now, where they're at 40 year high inflation. I think it's a 10% rate last month their ability to receive funding for their individual research projects would have a drastically less probability versus university student.
And then, Denver, I'm just economic variability between the 2 countries right now. Idea is that by taking these national and international barriers and decreasing them through these educational dows, we are able to democratize the access to these resources and funding protocols in the future, so one thing that's really important note is ending the non-discriminatory funding practices in academic research development. So I mean, I've obviously, I've been saying this earlier is that in the past you typically have to associate a research project or funding proposal with a group of students or physical identities, whereas through decentralized research dials and protocols. You're essentially able to smit through. You're essentially able to submit a project and it evaluated its feasibility based on a hash that's tied to the project's underlying identifying features.
And not reveal the underlying sponsors of of the work. So going a bit further here I have 4 individual recommendations for improving the web-free student experience in the future, going forward. And the first thing is going to be simplified on boarding and web. 2 integration. So you've seen some failed efforts in the last 3 to 4 months regarding Instagram and Meta's efforts in integrating Nfts onto their platform. Whether it's through profile, picture or sort of put our blue subscription. You pay dollars a month, then you're essentially able to verify your profile picture on chain through a token id.
So I think one thing it's gonna be really big here is creating some sort of mass adoption use case for blockchain technology, whether it's you're an education, Dow, whether it's the mass adoption of stable coins tokenization of your liquid assets hey? I mean there could be. You could be watching, gaming the next 3 4 years in terms of tokenization of like in-game tokens and artifacts that you're able to collect. There will just need to be some sort of simplified onboarding process, because at the end of the day people don't have enough time to care about the intricacies of maintaining private key security in learning how to how to integrate themselves within these web-free contexts so essentially we need to focus on the simplified onboarding of web. 2 integrations and give users avenues that can provide account, create well, it's set up key management with the key expectations of concepts, just public keys, properties and the educational resources needed to fully understand how to interact with these protocols, and then 2. The second thing is user friendly interfaces. Talking about public key private photography, but essentially, I don't know if you guys knew this. But if you lose the private key associated with your public key came over, turn the lights off, hear me home! Yeah, it's not bad. You don't want to lose your your private key. Essentially, that's kind of your social security number in the context of Web 3.
So creating some sort of user friendly interface. What's in the form of easy private key storage in a form of government regulation or text users in the event that they lose their private key and they lose their cryptocurrency assets that could be held in stable coins so really just focusing on designing an intuitive, designing, intuitive, and visually appealing applications. That make it easy for individuals to interact with on a day-to-day basis. Well, so they're able to take advantage of the technological efficiencies of blockchain without having to going a little bit further.
Another thing is contextual education. I think the best platform at the moment in terms of educating their user bases I mean, I hate centralized exchanges. I don't want to talk about Ftx right now, but Coinbase, essentially, what they do is they do a really good job of onboarding their users by forcing them to understand the web-free particles and currencies that they invest in by having different quizzes that offer like arbitrary small amounts of cryptocurrencies. Whether it's like hours of ether or $4 of Salana, or $5 a polygon. To fully understand the conceptuality and the benefit of the platform, and how they can benefit so that's another big thing.
And then, additionally, I would say, advocating on a local legislative letter level, Governor Jeremy Polis not to get political with anyone here in the room. He's very pro-chain in terms of being integration of blockchain within the my Colorado application driver's license, and then, essentially, they also talked about because we hadn't come here. Speak last year was regarding on chain governance for Colorado, voting. We have future legislative efforts between our Congressmen, our Congressmen on a State level. We're essentially able to verify generations in the future. What our legislators in the past have verified.
So greater transparency in the voting process. And I think it's a huge thing. You know. The questions in the United States these days about election integrity. And you know, centralization of these voting machines and control these, you know, voting companies democratizing the voting process in on Shane governance. So people can see how we interact with it. And then the last thing is improving. The transaction experience. Not many people understand the variable rate structure associated with ethereum blockchain in that one day I could get about 4 in the morning, and I could send a hundred 1 million Usdc. From point A to Point B and pay a 50 centcentet transaction fee, and the next day I could send that same store value 100 million dollars from point A to point B and pay, let's say, 5 $600 in transaction Fees.
So the whole idea, understanding the variable rate, fee structure, and making it so essentially, even if the network is theoretically functioning, it is always a accessible from a transaction cost perspective for any user. So what what's next? All that stuff brought? You guys one thing that's really important note is that it's really difficult to project web 3 developments in terms of if you would have talked to people 5 years ago, what would be the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market Cap. 2023, 2024. No one would have an idea like people wouldn't even get 50% of it. In terms of understanding, potential use cases and trends in web 3. So it's very difficult to project. It's kind of like the Internet late 19 nineties, early, 2 thousands in that. It's just kind of west where there's a bunch of these undefined protocols.
Individuals with a lot of ambition and promise in the area but there's really no final product that is really marketable to a group of consumers. So that's one thing that's really important to note. Second thing is obviously to be regulatory. Reform. I'd be surprised if we go into the next reelection cycle without having some sort of clarity on a regulation standpoint regarding you know the security status of individual cryptocurrencies within the ethereum I mean within web 3 as a whole, and then 3, and this could be key for onboardings, obviously improving the web free.
Ui ux experience to ensure that university students can have a seamless, safe and fruitful experience interacting with web 3 protocols while taking advantage of the technological efficiencies. And then just simple use cases in academia. I don't think you're going to go from no blockchain integration with any university context, to everything being run by dows and on chain governance within a university. Context so just simply use cases that could start the adoption of web blockchain protocols within web 3 such as like, I said, diploma issuance. So Peter Whites, who is our Vp. Sorry at the web.
3 club. Last year he went to Community College before he transferred to the University of Denver, and they essentially had a dual degree issuance through the community college, where he was issued a virtual diploma via. The ethereum, blockchain that he could present the token to employers as like a verifiable credential, and then also received the physical diploma that he could hang on as well take a picture with so that's one thing that's really important note. There is just understanding those potential use cases, like diploma issuance grade, verification, attendance particles like I showed you there that conceptual idea that we made of you know, having a pull-out based attendance system that is used for large-scale university colleges and then tokenization of academic achievements. So essentially, you could have your Id or your hash associated with the student Id. And then, when they graduate cum laude, they can essentially have that accreditation tied to that public key and verify.
Oh, I graduated from lobby. Now you didn't. It's like you didn't have the greatest students. Essentially, we're able to. I think it really helps from an employ perspective in that. You're not having. Students lie or exacerbate their education credentials to get a job you know, understanding that a lot of these employees don't do the backend checks to understand. Okay, did they actually get a 3, 5? Do they actually get a three-sided? Or are they just saying it to get past the initial screening process so that they can get me in your seat so I mean, it helps both employers embedding qualified verified talent as well as helping students bypass unqualified individuals that could directly take their future job opportunities and then medium term. I think, in terms of like watching developments in academia. You're going to be seeing robust, decentralized learning platforms I don't think it's necessarily gonna be only in a university context.
It could be for other applications, such as you have a decentralized platform. That teaches individuals how to interact with web 3. So it's a group of individuals that create web 3 lessons and videos that individuals can learn from and essentially based on the revenue. That's generated by interacting with those videos the revenue can be democratized amongst the creators in a way that Professor Coleman was sitting earlier, and then, additionally, you have, decent decentralized research funding platforms that I think will arise and then cross institutional collaborations. On chain that will improve resource, allocation between funding proposals and the end. We use it's ambitions that are achieved by universities.
Thank you all for discussion. Today. I really appreciate everyone.