Cryptocurrency Club’s First Ever Meeting

This term, Andover students Quinn Domina ’24 and Chris Wong ’24 founded Cryptocurrency Club. The club plans to explore the various facets of cryptocurrency, a form of digital currency for online exchange that removes centralized institutions, such as banks and governments. There are various forms of cryptocurrency including Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs), Dogecoin, and Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency has spread since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009. According to The Hindu Business Line, cryptocurrency is projected to be as widespread as the Internet. Chris Wong ’24, co-president of Cryptocurrency Club, addressed the misconceptions that people have regarding cryptocurrency. Wong described that the role of Cryptocurrency Club on campus is to both provide a space for students to learn and to simultaneously dismantle these common perceptions.

“I think one big misconception about cryptocurrency is that it is just a speculative asset, right? I mean, that’s a big part of it. That’s why people get into it and that’s what it’s known for. But it’s so much more than that. I feel like that’s something that people really don’t appreciate enough, or it’s the side that people don’t get. It’s sort of our duty here, in the Cryptocurrency Club to bring that side and introduce them to that underlying technology… it really defies all [of] the current infrastructures or the present way of doing things,” said Wong.

While other financial clubs exist on campus, such as Andover Business Club (ABC) or Andover Economic Society, Cryptocurrency Club is attempting to offer something unique. Arden Berg ’24, a student working with the club, described the qualities which set the new club apart. Berg explained that Cryptocurrency Club will allow for a more in depth discussion on the specifics of cryptocurrency, unlike the more general financial clubs.

“Andover Economic Society, for instance, did have a meeting on crypto… [However, Cryptocurrency Club is] a large enough space that you can have, you know, ten meetings just on explaining Etherium. It’s sort of a place for doing that type of thing rather than just something quick,” said Berg.

Spaces surrounding cryptocurrency tend to be male dominated spaces. A 2021 report from Gemini, a popular crypto-exchange platform, disclosed that approximately 74 percent of current holders of cryptocurrency that use Gemini are men. Club advisor and Instructor in Chemistry Carl Sangree acknowledged the demographics and stereotypes surrounding cryptocurrency. He plans on working with those involved with the club to recruit a greater pool of members.

“[Cryptocurrency] is kind of something that the people who are into it are already really into it. And the people outside are kind of skeptical. It already skews heavily male in general, like, that’s kind of the stereotype, right?… Just advertising on PAnet probably wouldn’t be the best way to promote by itself but, you know, word of mouth, posters like other clubs do, and then, going to the club fair; I think it could all build a reputation similar to how other clubs also do outreach and build their reputations,” said Sangree.

As Sangree had hoped, students with various experience levels and from different demographics attended the meeting on Thursday. Melanie Glasier ’24, a member of the club, mentioned that she has little understanding of cryptocurrency. She feels as though the club will become a place for her to learn more.

“I have a more limited scope of cryptocurrency. I know a lot less than a lot of people who started the club. But I’m really excited to learn more. I think based on the first meeting, they seem like they’re going to kind of start in the beginning. They also talked a lot about how if you are interested in cryptocurrency, you can learn more about it, which I thought was really interesting,” said Glasier.

Wong added that because of the various levels of experience with cryptocurrency, he would work to make the content digestible for everyone. In his hopes for the club, Wong plans to combine current cryptocurrency news with basic information to appeal to all levels of expertise.

Wong said, “We can have discussions on current events, or relevant topics in the cryptocurrency world, we can dissect, and sort of, teach people more of the fundamentals… We can also take a more hands on approach and really teach them how to play in the [crypto] space [and] show them how easy it is for you. Just [for] people like you and me.”