During the first week of 2019, Holberton School in New Haven, whose two-year higher education program aims to “drive the digital transformation revolution,” received a large cryptocurrency donation. On Monday it was announced that the cofounder of software suite the Scroll Network, Nathan Pitruzzello, donated $10,000 worth of digital currency to the Connecticut school that’s known for recording academic certificates on the BTC chain.
Connecticut Software Engineering School Receives a $10,000 BTC Donation
Holberton School New Haven, a two-year program training software engineers, revealed on Jan. 7 that the school had received a kind donation in cryptocurrency. The $10,000 BTC donation from Scroll Network’s cofounder Nathan Pitruzzello will be used to help qualifying students offset living expenses, the school detailed. Holberton helps students become full-stack software engineers by utilizing a collaborative project-based learning approach. According to Holberton, graduates from the school now work with blockchain startups and big name tech giants like Tesla, NASA, and Apple. During the announcement, Pitruzzello explained that cryptocurrency solutions and blockchain technology innovation is “about philanthropy.”
“I am committed to helping students build their startups and careers as a way of giving back to those that helped me get started,” said Pitruzzello. “Holberton’s approach to providing cutting-edge software engineering training to people from different backgrounds, including entrepreneurs like myself, as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds, has resonated with me from day one — I am very excited that this education model is launching next door to us right here in New Haven,” the Scroll Network founder added.
Blockchain-Backed Academic Certificates
Another interesting fact about the Holberton school is it was one of the first schools to deliver academic certificates that are secured and accessible via the BTC blockchain. Around three years ago, on Oct. 21, 2015, the New Haven software engineer program announced it was recording the certificates in order to “tackle the threats of false resumes and fake certificates.” “By having students’ certificates available in a public blockchain, Holberton School makes it easier for employers to check if a candidate is truly a graduate from the school,” Holberton stated at the time.
The well-known Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston also uses the BTC chain to record academic certificates through a program called Blockcerts launched in 2016. The following year, the MIT Registrar’s Office issued diplomas to 111 graduates using the blockchain platform. Holberton is unique because students are able to attend with no upfront tuition, but are asked to contribute a portion of their salary from post-Holberton employment. However, Holberton director Nadine Krause emphasized that students still need help with living expenses and the digital currency donation was very helpful.
“We’re honored that [Nathan Pitruzzello] chose to support Holberton students in this way and to help further our mission of making our program accessible to more people, regardless of an individual’s experience level or financial means,” Krause concluded.