How to web3 in Uni?
Updated: Dec 14, 2022
This piece is brought to you by your frens over @CharmVerse. CharmVerse is a web3 operations platform for community contributors to coordinate day-to-day work, sign in with crypto wallets, and unlock workspaces with DAO tokens/NFTs. It brings onboarding, bounty management, proposals, project trackers, and data repositories into one place. Why should you create or join your university’s blockchain society? 👩🎓 Web3 is taking over the world, each week we see famous brands around the world joining the movement. This industry is growing at an impressive pace, crypto users grew from 10M to 100M in only 3 years, as portrayed in the chart below:
One of the pillars of crypto and web3 is community. This idea of being a part of something, a node in a network, the holder of a limited NFT, a contributor in a DAO, or simply a student in a blockchain club (throughout this piece, we make no difference between a club and a society). 👥 “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller As this curve grows, I believe that web3 natives must share with friends and family the powers of tokenization and decentralization, to empower individuals and introduce them to our geeky world. One way to go about that is by creating a blockchain club. Moreover, is there a better place to learn about web3 than in school? If we wait for the education system to include blockchain courses about its foundations and applications, I am worried our grandkids may still struggle to create their wallets. Last but not least, joining a blockchain club as a student allows you to directly expand your network down the rabbit hole. You can also connect with some of the speakers that the organizations bring on! And anyone involved in the space will confirm that you learn from the people around you in crypto. 🎓 "We are at the cutting edge of this industry by virtue of the fact it's new & not saturated. This is literally a once in a career/generation opportunity to be at the top of an industry, rather than starting from the lowest rungs. As such, I'd recommend anyone even vaguely interested to get into Web 3 asap, given it's probably one of the highest leverage career options now if you're looking to go far, earn a lot & learn quickly, etc." - anon Do you need a blockchain club in your uni or can you start on your own? 🧐 The answer is simple, no, you do not need to join a blockchain club to get in the space, but it surely will help you out. We remain firm believers that the best way to learn is by experience. So create your wallet, make transactions, join liquidity pools, get an NFT, join a DAO, create a workspace on CharmVerse, etc (this does not constitute financial advice in any way). For the rest of this piece, we will focus on the creation of a blockchain club more than joining existing blockchain clubs. What to do with a Blockchain Club? Structure, Challenges, web3 Education, & Post-grad Environment 📝 After interviewing some of our frens in US and UK universities, we found that: Structure & Challenges
A lot of web3 and blockchain clubs encountered issues around their legal and expenses structures. Moreover, most universities and colleges are reluctant to engage in this paradigm shift, as they only understand the downside, and care very little about the upside. BAF, the Blockchain Acceleration Foundation, encountered this problem a few years back and established their own non-profit and reached out directly to sponsors outside of the university (UC Santa Barbara). We interviewed Cameron Dennis, BAF's founder, and from his point of view: "the legal aspect is arguably one of the bigger problems when one starts a blockchain uni club. Today, BAF supports other blockchain uni clubs to get set up, but it can only do so much. For this, to work the leadership of the club needs to be persistent and committed!"
Next on our list, we interviewed Clemens Scherf, from the London Business School. Clemens is the founder and outgoing president of the LBS blockchain society. I was curious to hear about why they had co-presidents and not just one president. It turns out they structured their organization and leadership by departments: "going forward, the leadership team will consist of 2 co-presidents, 1 treasurer, and 1 chief of staff, who coordinates meetings and oversees marketing activities. The pillars have been reduced from 6 to 4, now consisting of ‘Blockchain 101’, ‘Web3 Labs’, ‘Research & Trading’, and ‘Partnerships & Careers’."
When building a blockchain club in a business school, where most people are into investing and not as much into the tech aspect of the blockchain, it creates a certain imbalance. As Benjamin Funk, ex-president of the Babson Blockchain Club: "having people that are curious about blockchain tech in the group gives opportunities for the club to specialize and create tangible value." What we suggest to business schools, and non-technical schools interested in creating their blockchain club is to create a rigorous application process and ensure that you gather a balanced and diverse group of people. This way, you will be able to create value (educational content, professional opportunities, projects) and scale it during your time in university and who knows maybe you will keep on doing so after you graduate!
Web3 Education & Post-grad Environment
A lot of blockchain clubs contribute as well to the web3 education of their members and ensure they get proper intros to the space. Some even go the step further and place students in protocols, companies, startups, etc. Giving the full experience to their students!
We have also seen students who graduated stay involved in the society, and get involved in programs in the likes of the @a16z Token Delegate Program at @MakerDAO, more here!
Best practices 📈
Creating a DAO for the club helps a lot when it comes to voting within the organization. We have seen clubs voting on leadership, major changes, allocation of budget, etc.
Do more than just host events, establish partnerships in the industry, and leverage job boards organized by DAOs. Through DAO bounties you can earn tokens for a couple of hours of work, and then be eligible to join the DAO in question (e.g. Seed Club, check out their job board here!).
Getting on Crypto Twitter (CT), to read about the latest updates, ambitions, and opinions from key actors in the space (we put together a list of influential DAO voices on CT, that you can find here). Besides, we strongly suggest creating a wallet and interacting with different protocols, because again, you learn by experience in web3!
Provide an intro to web3 course to people that join your society! Some great websites to check out are finematics.com & 0xilluminati.com.
Commitment, engagement, and persistence. Make sure to only get motivated and serious people to join the society! Some of the most functional blockchain clubs had bi-weekly meetings mandatory for all the leadership.
Giving autonomy to students to shape their roles in such a way that it benefits their careers as well as the overall mission of the club. Remember, web3 in uni should ideally propel you down the rabbit hole post-grad!
Tools to use 🛠 Today most of the blockchain uni clubs use Discord, Telegram, Notion, and Youtube. We recommend using:
Gather.town, a conference tool with little avatars to jump from meeting to meeting, or Huddle01.com, a web3-friendly Zoom.us.
CharmVerse.io for ops management.
Snapshot.org & AstroDAO.com for voting. If you don't feel like using yet another tool, CharmVerse has built-in Proposal and Voting functions.
Twitter to build an online presence and bunches.chat to chat with friends.
Thirdweb.com as a no-code tool to launch tokens (coins, NFTs, and more).
Mirror.xyz to write articles and paragraph.xyz to write newsletters.
Metaschool.so and 101.xyz for educating newbies in the blockchain club!
This piece was authored by Kamil Mouthon. Reach out to him on Twitter, if you're looking to partner with CharmVerse and hop on our discord if you have any questions! Big thanks to Benjamin, Noah, Clemens, Cameron, Salim, Mads, and other frens (who’d rather remain anonymous) for their contributions.