DCI Event Encourages Gender, Racial Diversity in Blockchain Space


DCI Event Encourages Gender, Racial Diversity in Blockchain Space

The MIT Media Lab and its Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) have recently announced a week-long boot camp providing cryptocurrency education for women and underrepresented people of color.

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DCI, Kapor Center, and Xapo Helping Underrepresented People Join The Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Landscape

Mit_medialab_logoThe event has been sponsored by the Kapor Center for Social Impact and Xapo, who have donated $70,000 USD to cover students’ travelling costs such as flights and lodging. Part of this donation will also go towards the cost of organizing the boot camp event.

Students are encouraged to apply for the program, which is focused on “undergraduate sophomores, juniors, and non-graduating seniors at US institutions.” The week-long event will include classroom time and training aimed at cryptocurrency learning and innovation.

The organizers of the event say that a background in cryptocurrency knowledge isn’t expected, but those who have experience in the landscape and posses programming comprehension are encouraged to attend.

MIT Digital Currency Initiative’s Gina Vargas states:

The objective is to provide students with a foundation of topics underlying the technology.— In addition, the students will engage in discussions on entrepreneurship, leadership, strategies for applying to graduate school, and approaches to effective communication. Twenty-five students will be selected for the program. Selected students will receive up to $500 to cover air/train travel to Cambridge, MA. Room and board will be covered for all participants.

Students attending the week-long event will gain hands-on technical experience, engage in networking with leaders in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, and are encouraged to start clubs and promote the technology, as well as pursuing entrepreneurial, research and internship opportunities at their local schools.


The initiative says that they have been focusing on diversification and inclusion since 2015 with organizations such as the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Girls Who Code, National Center for Women & Information Technology, and the Microsoft-sponsored TEALS program. These educational resources have provided women and students of color with professional and academic networking opportunities.

DCI says that they have managed to help over 200 students and entrepreneurs globally so far, and aim to continue this effort in the future.

In June, the group collaborated with the Consensus event held by Coindesk, which sought to provide “over $100,000 in scholarships to women and people of color.”

Many “Consensus Scholars” attended the New York City conference, coming from different countries and cultures. The event enabled the students to network with industry leaders, startups, and programmers in the digital currency and blockchain technology space.

A few of the scholars who attended the NY Consensus event were so invigorated by it that they wrote about it in some blog posts. One post written on the blog DigiDólar a “dive into the Hispanic Millennial, money, and digital potential” exclaims:

There are some badass women doing some unreal work with blockchain and Bitcoin technology. For example, Elizabeth Rossiello, Co-Founder & CEO of BitPesa, has built a successful, low-cost platform for Africa that enables international transfers and payments. It uses Bitcoin for settlement with its global partners. Not to mention she speaks 5 languages and has 2 kids.

MIT Media Lab and the DCI believe this project and its many others can help motivate innovation during a “crucial” time in the blockchain technology’s development.

Applications to attend the event can be found here; registration closes on July 11.

Twenty-five students will be chosen to attend the program in Cambridge, MA, and will receive $500 USD for travel expenses. Digital Currency Initiative’s Gina Vargas says, “Innovation will happen when R&D is open to the widest breadth of ideas; so, the more diverse the community the best chance we have at success.”

Will you be attending any workshops or hackathons this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags in this story
Consensus, DCI, MIT media lab, Xapo

Images courtesy of Digital Currency Initiative Blog, Consensus, MIT Media Lab.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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