Lee Sullenger, adjunct professor, economics and finance
The reasoned that emanates from the Scrubgrass Power Plant in Venango County is n’t quite the crisp cha-ching of a cash register .
It ‘s more of a whizz, low busyness, but even even, the noise generated by hundreds of Bitcoin miners at the 650-acre web site is emblematic of dollar signs. The cubelike machines, housed in upcycled shipping containers, mine hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin per day, which is a digital currency that is not oversee by banks, governments or other centralize entities. The machines generate newfangled Bitcoins into circulation and solve building complex mathematics problems to verify currency transactions .
Point Park University economics and finance faculty Angela Isaac, Ph.D., and Lee Sullenger, angstrom well as accounting professor Cheryl Clark, CPA, MBA, recently explored Stronghold Digital Mining ‘s Bitcoin mining operation in Kennerdell, Pa. Isaac and Sullenger are presently teaching an on-line particular topics course titled, “ Cryptocurrencies : The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, ” which provides an introduction to cryptocurrencies and early virtual assets. Clark attended the site visit to build upon the continuing education she recently completed through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ( AICPA ) regarding blockchain development and technology concepts.
The material covered in Point Park ‘s cryptocurrencies naturally includes :
- Overview and basic terminology of cryptocurrencies
- Types of virtual assets and how to create them
- The virtual marketplace, including a view into the players and industry thought leaders
- Investor experiences
- Risk management
- Career opportunities
The course is open to all students, staff and staff in the University and has no pre-requisites. It is particularly valuable for students in the economics and finance, account or MBA programs. The adjacent offer is in fall 2022 .
The field trip to Stronghold ‘s operation, which included a tour with Kit Mueller, the company ‘s vice president of the united states of corporate development, was an eye-opening know for the group. First they visited a ember mine web site in Russellton, Pa., from which Stronghold takes char garbage and transports it to its Kennerdell placement to power its Bitcoin miners. The ship’s company seeks to clean up previously abandoned mine sites while utilizing once-unusable char waste fabric as an energy reservoir. then they got to see the Bitcoin miners at the Scrubgrass Power Plant up-close and learn about the evolving diligence from Stronghold ‘s position .
In the Q & A below, learn about the staff ‘s takeaways and how their have will factor into their classroom education .
Angela Isaac, Ph.D.
Professor, economics and finance and co-chair of the Department of Business Analytics and Technology
What motivated you to offer this course?
There is then a lot popular interest in cryptocurrencies, particularly among young investors. We want to provide a good understand of cryptocurrencies so that our students can avoid common pitfalls and know how to do their own research for positive investment experiences. We besides have enthusiasts among our staff and staff, including President Green !
How will the visit to Stronghold inform future lessons in the course?
nothing beats visiting an actual mining process and seeing how a holistic access to land reclamation, office generation and Bitcoin mine can be successful. To have Stronghold in our backyard is a very gift to a cryptocurrency naturally. We plan to continue inviting executives from Stronghold to speak to our class and encourage students to participate in the site visits. We ‘re very fortunate to have the relationship with Stronghold so that Point Park students can learn from a real-world example of Bitcoin mining .
Why is it important to you as a faculty member to have these kinds of experience?
One of the reasons I am a faculty penis in the Rowland School of Business is the emphasis on experiential teach for both students and faculty. I ‘m supported in the master exercise I do in my discipline, and we ‘re able to offer innovative classes like this, which include internationally recognized speakers and locate visits like Stronghold. I ‘m learning alongside our students, given how dynamic this topic is.
Adjunct professor, economics and finance
How did you/Point Park come to develop this relationship with Stronghold, and what led to the idea of doing a site visit?
I in the first place discovered Stronghold while researching the controversy that Bitcoin mining was a net negative for the environment. I was both please and surprised to find this is not the case and that Stronghold provides a tangible public good to the communities of western Pennsylvania. While mapping out the course content, I was determined to include the Stronghold story so students could gain an understand of the truth behind Bitcoin as a public good. The caller reacted positively when I reached out to propose an interview with co-chairman William B. Spence and a visit to the facilities as region of our module on cryptocurrency mine. Stronghold is a tangible exercise of the leading function in the cryptocurrency world played by innovators and industry in our area. I ‘ll decidedly seek to include a go at their facility in future iterations of the course .
Describe a moment from the site visit that was particularly impactful for you.
It was discomforting to see the contamination left behind by previous char mining companies at the Russellton mine site. I think we all can appreciate that they worked hard to pull coal from the ground to literally help build the twentieth century with steel. I precisely wish the land had been beneficial cared for in the action. It was impressive to see the Stronghold trucks, up to 70 per day, taking the coal deny out of the ground to be cleanly burned at the Scrubgrass Power Plant .
Another impressive moment was that as we approached Scrubgrass, there were zero visible emissions from the smokestack, yet the plant was running at 100 % capacitance .
ultimately, and most significant for me, were the sights, sounds and high-temperature air out coming from the Bitcoin miners. It was at that consequence that the childlike theme of burning thriftlessness char recovered from a pollute site to generate electricity to mine Bitcoin became an absolute reality for me. This ship’s company is literally cleaning polluted land and producing digital money in the process ! It was a beautiful thing to see .
What do you want students to know about cryptocurrency as it pertains to their future careers in economics and finance?
Cryptocurrencies represent a significant opportunity for students. Companies using cryptocurrencies as a function of their business model will be looking for business and report professionals with first-hand cognition of and experience with virtual assets. The aim of our course is to start students on their crypto travel with good habits, dependable information and the beginnings of a personal roadmap .
Cheryl Clark, MBA, CPA
Professor, accountancy, and co-chair of the Department of Business Analytics and Technology
Why is it important to you as a faculty member and accounting professional to learn about emerging technologies?
The engineering used to verify Bitcoin transactions using a stagger daybook and blockchain is an industry disruptor for accounting. I have been increasing my cognition of these technologies with my compulsory CPA continuing department of education coursework over the past few years. This thrust has implications for many unlike facets of the practice of account. It is authoritative for me as an educator and diligence professional to keep up with this technology ‘s development .
What’s one of your key takeaways from the trip to Stronghold?
I ’ thousand relieved that there is a company like Stronghold trying to make a deviation cleaning up ember resist, which is all over the place in our region. They are doing it with Bitcoin, employing local people and making a difference in rural areas that need help oneself .
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