Distributed.com spoke to Federici about driving
blockchain technology advancements through Ethereum education at Consensys
Academy, the criteria that enterprises should consider to maximize the potential
of blockchain technology and the future of distributed ledgers.
Starting the Academy
Federici explained that in the current Ethereum ecosystem — particularly
for developers and more technical roles — there is a shortage of people who have
a blockchain development skillset. Because the blockchain space is advancing so
rapidly, traditional education programs are not keeping up with the pace. So,
companies must resort to hiring talented developers and training them to become
adept at creating blockchain solutions.
“If there isn’t a comprehensive parallel education course for
Ethereum, then people in the ecosystem who are building solutions to disrupt
the space will not have all of the information that they need to come up with
the right solutions,” Federici said.
Because of the interoperability that Ethereum provides, Federici
believes that it would be limiting for the ecosystem if developers don’t know
how to effectively work with the Ethereum platform.
In the last six months, Federici and her team have focused on
developing the Ethereum ecosystem from three core angles: a developer program
focused on immersive training for the Ethereum blockchain, an MBA Venture Plan
Competition featuring teams from the top-nine global business schools (such as
Wharton) and a CLE-certified “Blockchain 101” course for lawyers launching in
Blockchain Technology Advancements
Over the next one to three years, Federici hopes to develop
accessible end-to-end education platforms for anyone who wants to learn about
Ethereum, such as developers, lawyers and regulators. ConsenSys Academy is also
working to demystify complex dynamics such as blockchain interface with machine
learning, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.
“ConsenSys Academy focuses on three areas: content, delivery and
incubation of education technology products that are based on the Ethereum
blockchain,” Federici said. “We, as ConsenSys, are positioned to innovate on
education content in distributed technology because we have the biggest
developer base in the Ethereum blockchain space.”
Federici believes that ConsenSys Academy is a driver for
blockchain technology advancements.
“ConsenSys Academy’s Developer and MBA programs next year will
only get bigger, better and more global given the interest we have seen out
there, as will ConsenSys Academy's other initiatives,” she said. “With each of
these programs, we’re enabling and unleashing high quality talent — developers,
business leaders, lawyers, regulators — to, in turn, serve as mentors in the
ecosystem and pay the gift of knowledge forward. Graduates of these programs
will exponentially ramp up development of real world solutions and will rethink
products, services, protocols and society’s incentive models — or even what
society itself means. These are very exciting times and ConsenSys Academy plans
to be an enabler of this disruption.”
Practical Blockchain Technology Applications
Although blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt a
variety of industries, such as supply chain management, healthcare, backend financial
services infrastructure and identity management, Federici reminds CTOs to be
weary of implementation.
“Everyone who is entrenched in the blockchain space will agree
that there is a lot out there that is just a hammer looking for a nail,” she
said. “We all agree that blockchain [technology] is not the solution to all the
world’s problems, but it is definitely the next revolution.”
Federici recommends asking fundamental questions such as:
a database required to implement the solution?
multiple people writing to the database simultaneously?
looking at a current business model, are all intermediaries fully trusted?
all decision-making intermediaries have aligned incentives?
kind of blockchain should be implemented: public, consortium or private?
the cost of implementing the blockchain solution going to outweigh the
The Future of Blockchains
Federici’s view on the future of blockchain technology is short
and sweet. When asked about her vision for blockchains in 2030, she replied:
“Today, most people use or interface with the internet in some
shape or form, regardless of their interest in technology. And they might not
know how it works at the granular, technical level. But it is ubiquitous.
Whether they understand the technology or not, the vast majority of people will
be operating on blockchains in the future.”