Proposal Title: Supporting students in blockchain through a climate conscious mining DAO run entirely by university students
Authors: Nicholas Harness & UBA’s research labs
Proposal: UBA is a coalition of 113 (and growing quickly) university level blockchain clubs who have come together to try and make the space more accessible for students. UBA functions very similarly to our friends over at EDUDAO who recommended we look into submitting a BitDAO proposal of our own. UBA was launched around a year ago with the goal of being like EDUDAO albeit a larger group open to all universities instead of the relatively small closed group of schools that make up EDUDAO (we even count a number of EDUDAO’s universities among our member schools). We hoped this strategy would lead to a more robust and inclusive organization that could grow interest in blockchain tech on university campuses around the world, and provide support for the new students who were “crypto curious” as we call it, but weren’t sure where or how to get started. We maintain partnerships with many of the largest companies in the space such as Solana, FTX, Uniswap, Bitmain, Celo, and many others. UBA offers students access to unique internship and job opportunities, Hackathons, UBA events, partner events/conferences, workshops, and many other initiatives to better equip them to go into the blockchain space and thrive as Devs, Investors, community members, or whatever other roles they seek to fill in this industry. UBA Is specifically looking for support from BitDAO for the creation of an entirely student run mining DAO that we are planning on building and operating with strategic support from our Partners at Bitmain/Antminer & AboutBit who lend us their expertise in bitcoin mining to help us set up a Robust, Efficient, and climate conscious facility. We have gauged support within the BitDAO community via discord and other forums and were incredibly excited to see that many within the community were as passionate as us to start a blockchain revolution on campuses everywhere. We are incredibly grateful for our partners but of course their ability to support us is limited especially with the recent market downturns. UBA is also unable to do a number of things we would love to if we had the resources to do so such as launch a number of initiatives that don’t focus specifically on partners. expand the core UBA team, and increase our capacity for educational conferences and student meetups. We hope to change this and be able to eventually fund ourselves through our mining DAO so that we can rely less on the generosity of our sponsors and partners. Our vision currently is a facility operating 5 ANTSPACE HK3’s filled with Bitmain’s new S19 Hydro’s located in central Illinois powered entirely by our local solar and wind power facilities. The profits generated from this facility will go entirely to the DAO which will decide how to spend/allocate the funds towards student-led and focused initiatives aimed at supporting all aspects of blockchain education. DAO membership will initially be made up of UBA’s largest and most experienced clubs and eventually rolled out to all UBA clubs who can be onboarded and guided by the first cohort. UBA is currently in talks with Solana, UMA, Syndicate, and a few other partner orgs of ours to find a chain interested in working with us to build out and support the DAO.
How will your proposal, if activated, benefit BitDAO? UBA believes we can deliver value to both BitDAO and the broader Blockchain space in two main ways. First through building interest and enthusiasm among university students on campuses around the world in the wider Blockchain space. UBA prides itself on having a diverse network of schools from across 17 countries and all 6 of the world’s inhabited continents. Through our partners we are able to provide support, funding, and opportunities for all of our universities, including many in developing nations or low income and majority minority communities (including HBCU’s here in the states). Many of these students have immense potential as Devs and project leads that we fear won’t ever be realized without the proper support and infrastructure being present at these universities and through UBA providing this we can bring an entire generation of talented devs into the space to innovate and build that otherwise wouldn’t be present. Secondly UBA plans to dedicate 20% of the mining profits from the DAO directly back into the BitDAO treasury as a way to give back to the community that made it possible and to allow the DAO to be able to continue to fund countless great proposals for years to come.
What are the projected outcomes? The projected outcome would be a better equipped and funded UBA that can better support students interested in the Blockchain space around the world. In the long run this would see more young people being onboarded as Devs which would be greatly beneficial for the health and potential of the space. As stated previously “we can bring an entire generation of talented devs into the space to innovate and build that otherwise wouldn’t be present”. It would also help with UBA’s goal of further decentralizing our organization through the utilization of DAO’s. Lastly it would mean students no longer have to find sponsors and donors to fund their initiatives and ideas which means more freedom to do what we want, and not just what our sponsors want.
How long will it take to complete your proposed changes? Once we have received the BitDAO funding we can get started with finding a location (be that at an existing partner facility or buying a piece of land) and ordering the equipment from Bitmain. Shipping will take anywhere from 2-6 months depending on when we’re able to get everything ordered and setup alongside our mining experts will only take a few days once everything has arrived.
Who is involved? UBA, Primarily our schools in the midwest such as Eastern Illinois university, Southern Illinois university, Prudue, Indiana university, Indianapolis university, and Indiana State for on location duties. The rest of our schools will be engaging mainly through participation in the DAO (both running the DAO and writing proposals). Our mining partners such as Bitmain and its various branches (Antminer, AntAlpha, etc) and facility operators like AboutBit and BitDigital. Our chain partner, at this point it will likely be either Solana, UMA, or Syndicate (Ethereum). And lastly any educational partners such as EDUDAO or other similar education focused organizations.
Budget: UBA is asking for a grant of 9 million USDC with 6 Million being used for mining equipment (ANTSPACE & ANTMINER Hydro’s) 2 million used for initial electricity costs, purchasing of Solar Panels, Buying land if we go that route, and paying our student maintenance staff. The last million will go towards setting up the DAO and the starting funds for the DAO treasury so UBA can get started right away with expanding our initiatives and programs, support the UBA travel fund to get students from underrepresented and low income communities out to Blockchain conferences, and support any DAO proposals that come our way. Any money remaining from the other two categories will also go towards the DAO treasury.
Next Steps? If this proposal is accepted, what are the immediate action items? Get to work immediately! If our proposal is accepted we’ll start the equipment ordering process, find our location, start coordinating with Bitmain to get their people on location to support the setup process, prepare agreements with local Wind and Solar providers, and lastly get to work on Solar grants from the state of Illinois to begin the process of getting our own in house solar farm. We’ll be working to get everything up and running in a timely manner, as the quicker we are online the quicker we can start taking proposal requests. We’ll also be putting together a team of students to document the process and launch a site where we can keep the BitDAO community and our students updated on the progress.
Additional comments: We hope this draft proposal outlines our vision for a better way to go about supporting blockchain education and making sure students around the world regardless of their access to financial resources have the ability to pursue a blockchain education. We want as much feedback as possible so that we can better shape the proposal, so please make your voice heard and share any thoughts, ideas, or questions you have that you feel could improve upon our existing ideas. The University Blockchain Alliance looks forward to meeting and working with the entirety of the BitDAO community on this idea. Let the Blockchain Education Revolution begin!