Students Creating Cyber Currency? All in a Day’s Work at The Tech Center



March 29, 2018

While most people have been trying to figure out what, exactly, bitcoins are, Microcomputer Technology students at The Tech Center have been busy figuring out ways to make them. And not only just make them, and other forms of cyber currency, but create them in the most cost-efficient way, according to their teacher, Dr. Joseph DeCicco.
 
For the record, according to the dictionary, bitcoins are “a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.” To create, or mine, bitcoins, a significant amount of electricity and computer power is needed.
 
“It is more than a regular PC can produce,” said DeCicco. So students have been creating, or “mining” other forms of cyber currency, such as Zcash, while pooling their resources to purchase more powerful tools.
 
“My students discovered that while their school PCs didn’t have the power, if they bought extra hardware and did some work on their own, they could make much more progress. They really have amazing passion, initiative and a great work ethic and have been able to figure out so much about the inner workings of this process,” DeCicco said.
 
Not satisfied with the length of hours in the school day, students Ryan Quinn (Lakeland), Alexander Perugini (Carmel), and Jesse See (Somers) pooled their resources and time to make the most out of their mining efforts, both inside of the classroom and out.
 
DeCicco taught the students the concepts and technology, and the students took off with their excitement for the project. “This type of cyber currency works the way the stock market works,” said Quinn. “But in the case of the stock market, you have to purchase stocks. With bitcoin or other cyber currency, we are creating or mining the currency ourselves.”
 
Using money he already accrued from cyber-currency mining, Perugini was able to purchase a new system board, where he and his fellow students can more effectively work on their project. Given the fact that at the current market rate, a bitcoin is worth almost $8,000, the students are pursuing a lucrative goal.
 
“I’ve never been that big of a fan of school,” said Quinn, “but this class is like the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory of classes--instead of candy it’s computers!”
 
Microcomputer Technology students Jesse See, Ryan Quinn, and Alexander Perugini