Kathryn Harrison, IBM’s Director of Global Product Management, was the conference’s keynote speaker. The inaugural Penn Blockchain conference involved speakers at the forefront of blockchain’s development and more than 300 attendees.

The conference held in Huntsman Hall examined how blockchain could impact society through decentralization across a variety of industries, from economic development, to entrepreneurship, to the fundamental ideas of money and trust. Dean of the Wharton School Geoffrey Garrett, who gave a keynote speech to open the conference, describes blockchain as “an alternative way to do money.”

“The notion of a decentralized, verifiable, and encrypted ledger shared by everybody is a really enticing one,” Garrett said.   The ‘fintech’ trend has caught on at Wharton, but many students want more These Wharton startup founders want to provide an alternative to student loans Conference co-chairs and 2018 Wharton graduate students Abhinav Prateek and Jitin Jain also founded Penn Blockchain club, which they made sure included members from diverse backgrounds.

“The interest and enthusiasm of the Penn community has motivated us to achieve more and more,” Jain added. Garrett agreed with Jain, emphasizing the importance of student-led activities on campus in his welcome keynote speech.

  “Student-led activities are unbelievably important and they actually play this innovation role in the University, and it is a role that I increasingly embrace,” Garrett said. “This genuinely is an innovation in the way the University of Pennsylvania works.”  Garrett then stressed that the development of blockchain technology should be a collective effort, which would benefit from the expertise of people from vastly different fields of study. Read more from thedp.com…

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