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The Yale Cryptocurrency & Blockchain (Y-C&B) Project:

A Letter From the Co-Editor

On July 10, I planned to source a few Yale alumni for a minor piece on cryptocurrency and blockchain. I soon realized that hundreds of Yale alumni belong to the space and, more importantly, that it would be a shame to only represent a few of their voices- especially given their unbelievable breadth of backgrounds, work experiences, personal journeys, interests, and outlooks on the future of cryptocurrency/blockchain. Not to mention, their outpour of kindness, gratitude, and unparalleled eagerness to give back to the Yale community (special shoutout to Sandra Ro).
In the words of Alex Knight (YC ’15):
I think it’s important to differentiate between crypto and blockchain. They’re like a square and a rectangle: all cryptocurrencies, I believe, are built on a blockchain, but not all blockchains are, or rely on, cryptocurrencies. There are a lot of different “flavors” of the technology.
Both of these technological innovations, however, will affect a broad range of our political and social institutions in the coming years– in many cases for the better. It is paramount that both STEM and humanities students alike recognize that the world of tomorrow might not be the world of today, especially when it comes to politics and the political institutions that we take for granted. One of our very own alumni, Ian Panchèvre (YC ’15), wrote the first political history of Bitcoin ever while a student at Yale. I urge anyone who believes these emerging technologies to be either apolitical or non-political to read his senior thesis.
Ten days later, I’m proud to announce the launch of The Yale Politic’s Cryptocurrency & Blockchain (Y-C&B) project, a series of *90 Q&A interviews and profiles with Yale alumni and professors. The alumni interviewed for Y-C&B span more than 55 years from the classes of 1966 to 2021 and hail from 20 different Yale-affiliated programs.
Our hope is that Y-C&B:
Provides students with a concrete look into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain
Raises awareness of the diverse, multi-disciplinary possibilities within the space for humanities and STEM students alike, especially for those who are either unaware or uninterested at present
Builds a sense of community and encourages collaboration among the hundreds of Yale alumni and professors who share a common interest
Serves as a starting point for students, faculty, and alumni to explore administrative decisions and otherwise with respect to cryptocurrency and blockchain on Yale’s campus
Update (8/23/19): 52 interviews published, 11 ready to publish, and 27 in the works (scheduled). We will continue to publish around two Y-C&B interviews per day!
The completed interviews include the following individuals, to whom we are incredibly grateful:
John Henry Clippinger (YC ‘66): Co-founder of The Token Commons Foundation and Swythc.io, advisor to 15 cryptocurrency/blockchain startups, and formerly founded one of the very first natural language processing (NLP) software companies
Ted Lanpher (YC ’77): Co-founder of Pareto Network and Executive Consultant on blockchain technology
Dr. Ian Hall (YC ’77): IBM Executive Software Architect and Mentor at Blockchain Hackathon NYC
Dr. Lawrence Ma (YC ‘84): Founder & President of the Hong Kong Blockchain Society and Co-founder of Emali.io
Jeff Bandman (YC ‘84, Lecturer at Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs ‘18): CEO & Founder of BlockAgent, Founder & Principal of Bandman Advisors
Kristina Yee (YC ‘89): Consultant for M4 Associates and former Aite Group Senior Analyst focusing on FinTech, AML, RPA, fraud, cybersecurity, and blockchain
Jon Gordon (YC 90), Advisor on Blockchain Patent Prosecution for Haug Partners
Miko Matsumura (YC ‘91): Co-founder of Evercoin and General Partner at Gumi Cryptos Ventures
Jack Fonss (Yale SOM ‘91): Chief Architect of AccuShares’ IP Portfolio and Blockchain Technologies Inventor
JP Thieriot (YC ’91): CEO of Uphold, Leading Digital Money Platform
Aitan Goelman (YLS ’93): Partner and Head of Securities and Commodities Litigation Practice at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP and former Director of the Division of Enforcement at the CFTC
Jim Preissler (YC ‘93): Managing Partner & Board Member of Tritaurian Capital and co-founder of trade.io, Advisory Board Member of the Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Regulatory Task Force
William “Bill” Heyn (YC ’94): Chief Executive Officer of Tritaurian Capital and trade.io
Eric Dixon (YC ’94): Legal Advisor at Blockchain Technologies Corporation, Blocktech, and Zap Utility Token
Gari Singh (YC ’94): IBM Blockchain CTO
Jakub Rehor (YC ’95): Co-founder and CIO of LucyLabs CryptoFinance Firm
Will Janesch (YC ’95): Founder and CEO of TruSet
Sandra Ro (YC ‘96, Alumni Fund Board ‘12-‘18): Chief Executive Officer of the Global Blockchain Business Council, Founder & Managing Director at Vector Crypto Capital LLC
Tom Trowbridge (YC ’96): Co-founder and Former President of Hedera Hashgraph
Tim Ogilvie (YC ’98): Chief Executive Officer of Staked, CTO of Aurora EOS, Founder of Think Gaming, and Founder & CEO of AdBuyer.com
David Hoffman (YC ’98, Member of Yale Law School’s Cultural Cognition Project): Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School with experience in ICOs, blockchain, Bitcoin, fintech, and smart contracts
Kiana Daverington (YLS ‘98): Managing Partner & CIO of Acre of America Partners LP, Head of Digital Asset Mining & Blockchain Services at Frontline Data Services, Managing Member of crypto asset regulatory-compliance firm Daverington PLLC, and former Operations Manager and Counsel at BlackTower Capital cryptocurrency and digital asset investment firm
Dr. Tomicah Tillemann (YC ‘01):  founding Director of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator at New America, Chairman of the Global Blockchain Business Council, Chairman of the Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Steven Nam (YC ‘05): Managing Editor of the Stanford Journal of Blockchain Law & Policy; Member of CodeX Stanford Blockchain Group
Kelechukwu “K.C.” Osuji (YC ’05), Chief Compliance & AML Officer at TradeStation Crypto, Inc.
David Koepsell (Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics ’07): Co-founder of EncrypGen and Blockchain in Healthcare Global
John Song (SOM ’06), Director of Special Situations Investments for Angel Capital and Advisor to LucyLabs Crypto Firm
Yuri Cataldo (Yale School of Drama ‘08): Host of The Coin Chat and Author of Be Left Behind
Barrett Strickland (Yale Economics Department 08): Head of Analytics and Research at TokenTax
Vincent “Vince” McPhillip (YC ’10): Founder of Pi Network and the Stanford Blockchain Collective
Neal Reiter (Yale SOM ‘10): Lead for AML and Fraud Prevention at IdentityMind
Geoffrey See (Yale University Fellowship MA ‘10): General Manager & Head of Identity at Trusting Social, Chairman and former Founder & CEO of Choson Exchange, and Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum
Evin McMullen (YC ’12): Founder and Project Lead of Stow Protocol at ConsenSys
Angela Ramirez (YC ’13): Software Engineer at Livepeer
Daniel Levine (YC ‘13): Google Intern, Pear VC Fellow, and former SIG and Jane Street Trader
Jennifer Zhu Scott (Yale Public Policy & Leadership ‘13): Founding Principal, Radian Partners; Forbes World’s Top 50 Women in Tech; Consultant to Silicon Valley seasons 5 and 6
Daryl Hok (YC ’14): EVP & COO at CertiK, blockchain cybersecurity
Jazear Brooks (YC ’14): Blockchain Architect at THORChain 
Nick Tomaino (SOM ’14): Founder and General Partner of 1confirmation, former Principal at Runa Capital, and former Business Developer at Coinbase
Dr. Philipp Hacker (YLS Master of Laws ’14): Humboldt Legal Scholar and Research Fellow at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies
Taurai Chinyamakobvu (Yale Mandela Washington Fellow ‘14): Edward S. Mason Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, former Managing Director of FloCash, and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Golix
Antonio Simeone (Yale Financial Markets Certificate ‘14): Chief Executive Officer of Euklid, Artificial Intelligence Advisor at The Aspen Institute, and former Co-founder of Luiss Bitcoin Lab (Discover Bitcoin), the first blockchain conservancy in Europe
Ali Banai (Yale Financial Markets Certificate ’14): WeWork Senior Business Lead and Adept Crypto Miner
Mercina Tillemann (YC ‘15): Chief Operating Officer of the Global Blockchain Business Council
Jeffrey Zirlin (YC ‘15): Growth Lead at Axie Infinity
Ian Panchèvre (YC ’15): Founder of Amplified Software, current Stanford Business School student, and former Founding Member of Intuit’s blockchain R&D team
Alex Knight (YC ‘15): Fellow at New America’s Blockchain Trust Accelerator and Student at Stanford Business School
Sarah Meyohas (Yale MFA ’15): Visual Artist, Forbes 30 under 30, and inventor of Bitchcoin
Nick Arora (Yale HCM ’15): Director of Medical Information at xCures and Advisor to Rymedi
Carlos Valderrama Narváez (Yale SOM ’16): Co-founder and Managing Partner at Legal Paradox
Haseeb Awan (Yale Financial Markets Certificate ‘16): Founder of Efani Inc. and former Co-founder of BitAccess Inc., which launched the first Bitcoin ATM
Richard Slenker (YC ’17): Business Operations at Fluidity.io
Daniel Yim (Yale SOM ‘17): Principal at Noblis; Head of Asia at Government Blockchain Association; former U.S. Navy Lieutenant
Sophia Zhao (Yale SOM ’17), Digital Currency Specialist at HBUS, Blue Ivy Ventures, and Tsai CITY
Agnes Budzyn (Yale Club Finance Committee ’17): Managing Director, Office of the CEO at ConsenSys, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and Biden Institute Policy Advisory Board
Jiawan “Jill” Ni (Yale SOM ’18): Director of the Blockchain Charity Foundation
Nikolas Guggenberger (Yale ISP ’18): New Executive Director of the Yale Information Society Project and Specialist on Blockchain Regulation
Agha Khan (Advisory Board of Yale OpenLabs ‘18): Blockchain and AI Strategist for Techstars, OpenLab, and KPMG
Mark A. Perelman (Yale SOM 19), IBM Business Development Intern in Blockchain and Digital Assets
Sergey Baloyan (Yale Financial Markets Certificate ‘19)
Among others, I would also like to extend my gratitude to the following alums for their support of this project!
Michael Dawson (YLS ’93)
George Chuang (Yale SOM ’95)
Neil Thakur (YC ’98)
Charles McGarraugh (YC ’00)
Tammer Riad (YC ’04)
Ranidu Linkage (YC ‘05)
Javier Gomez (Yale SOM ‘07)
Clarence Steven (YC ’08)
Matthew Levinson (YC ’10)
Alex Gillon (YC ’11)
Max Webster (YC ‘12)
Byron Edwards (YC ‘12)
Waleed Nassir (SOM ’15)
Russell Yee (Yale SOM ’16)
Patrick Quinn (Yale SOM ’16)
Anita Angelica Moore (Yale SOM ’16)
Yiannis Menelaou (Yale Financial Markets Certificate ‘16)
Gayla Burks (Yale SOM ’17)
Caleb Thompson (Yale SOM ’17)
Chris King (YC ’18)
Martin Wainstein (Yale Open Innovation Lab)
Hannah Webb (Yale SOM ’21)
Andy Bellah (YC ‘22)
Rifat Islam (YC ‘23)
Pablo Castro
Renu Bhatia (Yale SOM)
Jack Shaw (YC)

 

Stay tuned!
Eric Wallach
7/19/2019
Co-EIC, The Yale Politic