• Duke Blockchain Lab

    Bringing Blockchain Technology to the Duke University Community

  • Who We Are

    Students, Professors, and Professionals Working Together

    Melissa Zhang

    Melissa (Trinity '17) is a recent graduate working as a software engineer at Coinbase in San Francisco. At Duke, she studied computer science and economics. She first became interested in blockchain technology after taking Cam Harvey's course, Innovation and Cryptoventures, in the spring of 2015. She was fascinated by the potential for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to help the unbanked in developing countries. She started the Blockchain Lab to give other students the resources to have an impact on their respective industries and eventually start their own ventures built on this powerful technology.

    Campbell Harvey

    Campbell R. Harvey is Professor of Finance at the Fuqua School of Business. He is the 2016 President of the American Finance Association. Professor Harvey teaches a blockchain-focused course called Innovation and Cryptoventures.

    Howie Rhee

    Howie Rhee serves two roles at Duke University. Since 2007, he has been the Managing Director at Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. After the creation of Duke’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E), he took on the additional role of Managing Director for Student and Alumni Affairs for Duke I&E. he is dedicated to making entrepreneurship at Duke University awesome. His programs at Duke include the Program for Entrepreneurs, Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs, the Duke Startup Challenge, the Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network, StartupConnect, and advising a number of student organizations.

    Dhruv Luthra

    Dhruv Luthra is a senior studying Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. His interest in technology led him to learn about blockchain and its revolutionary applications in finance and beyond. He hopes that the Duke Blockchain Lab will serve as springboard for innovative applications of blockchain by students. This past summer, Dhruv worked as a software engineering intern at Slack.

    David Zarge

    David is a senior at Duke studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Economics. After beginning following Bitcoin in 2013, he has since become interested in cryptocurrency's potential to revolutionize and disrupt financial systems and outdated transaction channels. David has spent the past two summers working in product development roles for W.L. Gore & Associates and GelTech Solutions.

    Jacob Baca

    Jacob is a Duke University Junior completing a major in Computer Science and Economics along with a certificate in Decision Sciences. Jacob first learned about blockchain technology after listening to a lecture given by Cam Harvey in early 2017. After only some time, Jacob’s true interest developed when he realized the potential for the technology to revolutionize every existing industry within the next few years, just like the internet did back in the 1990s. Because the technology is so new, very few people truly understand it, and for that reason Jacob believes that through just providing an opportunity to learn, this lab has the opportunity to spawn some of world’s next leaders in business and technology.

    Christopher Sides

    Chris is a junior at Duke studying Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering. After learning about bitcoin and other early cryptocurrencies in 2015, his interest has traversed a wide range between the potential anonymity with certain coins and the power to disrupt massive financial institutions with decentralized applications. Recently, he has been most excited about blockchain applications outside of the financial realm, such as identity verification and systems of online trust. His past summers have been spent working at Lightstep (2017), a distributed tracing startup, and Auris Surgical Robotics (2015).

    Brent Xu

    Brent Xu has an extensive background in entrepreneurship, capital markets, real estate, biomedical research, and insurance. Brent discovered Ethereum and ConsenSys while attending a class taught by Professor Campbell Harvey on Innovations and Cryptoventures. Brent’s current role at ConsenSys involves enterprise business development along with China expansion. As Head of Structured Finance, he leads a team tasked with utilizing blockchain technology to research and facilitate the creation of multiple debt products through blockchain based securitization. Brent received his Bachelor of Science in Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Philosophy from Duke University. He also received his Master’s in Management Science from the Duke Fuqua School of Business. He is currently very supportive of the Duke Blockchain lab and finding the best ways to allocate Ethereum to the lab in various capacities.

    Joey Santoro

    Joey is a junior majoring in Computer Science at Duke. He got involved in the lab by taking "Blockchain and Innovation," a half-credit house course taught by Dhruv, David, and Jacob. He was inspired by the potential for blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a natural progression to the internet by including trustless systems for transacting value. He has spent the summer of 2018 taking the ConsenSys Academy Developer program for certification in dApp development.

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