PHBS University student placement a success
Welcome back to our blog. We’re pleased to announce that Extropy.io’s partnership with PHBS was a great success.
PHBS trialled a five week industrial placement for their students at Extropy. The placement offered an alternative form of education — learning through working. It was the first of its kind in PHBS’s history.
The students were studying for their masters in economics / management. Before starting their placement, they were taught by CEO Laurence Kirk. They learned about the history of blockchains and their components, platforms and applications, cryptoeconomics and how blockchains are used in finance. Additionally, the students were given the tools and techniques for developing their own smart contracts.
Upon successfully completing the course, they joined Extropy for their summer placement. They spent their time developing a project using distributed ledger technology before they presented their work to the lecturers and Head of School.
The students researched Central Bank Digital Currency using blockchain technology
On the first day, we ensured the students were settled in by providing them with a welcome pack and an introduction talk on Extropy.io — which covered our history, ideology and the work we’re involved in.
After settling them in, we gave our first presentation — An Introduction to Hyperledger. The presentation was designed to help them with their project. We looked at some business use cases and the benefits of utilising a Hyperledger framework.
After the presentation, we considered the use cases in enterprise blockchain and discussed project ideas. The students decided to use their combined strengths and research about Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) — an area that they found interesting during Laurence’s course.
The next day, the students were given a presentation on Agile methodology. Although the presentation wasn’t related to their course, it was beneficial to teach the students a set of skills which were relevant to the software development industry and developing a CBDC. We focused on some tools that would help them with collaboration, such as using a Kanban board and having daily standups.
As a result of Covid-19, some students returned back to their home countries. Agile methodology therefore became even more useful than previously expected — the techniques helped them work together and collaborate effectively, despite the challenges of working in different time zones.
Their CBDC was designed with Hyperledger Fabric
The students started their project by collating some theoretical and practical research on current CBDC’s and brainstormed the features of their own CBDC.
They were also given a practical tutorial on how to build a Hyperledger Fabric test network. We taught them about Fabric’s architecture — particularly the channels, chaincode, the role of nodes and how it promotes privacy and scalability. We went on to show them how to set up a network and create a channel, as well as deploy and change the chaincode via the command line interface.
Due to the time constraints (5 weeks for researching, designing and building the CBDC) there wasn’t enough time to complete the build, therefore we gave the students the architectural framework to use in their presentation.
Finally, we went through a practice-run with some final words of advice before their presentation.
The final presentation was a success
Extropy were invited to watch their presentation along with the Head of School and lecturers.
The students presented their project exceptionally well and it was a great success with the university. We were very pleased with their hard work.
After the presentation, the Head of School said that he was impressed with the presentation and their learning experience from the trial, therefore the placement is likely to take place again next year with a longer placement more likely.
Extropy.io are a consultancy for blockchain and cryptography based in Oxford, UK. We help businesses and startups realise the full potential of the blockchain and bring them cutting edge technology in a way that non-rocket scientists can understand.
We also teach blockchain and cryptography workshops and give talks at conferences worldwide.
If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.