HW Inc. founder Nick Abouzeid ’15 spoke to students Tuesday about his experience with cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, and its power to compete with modern banks.
Cryptocurrency is an online medium of decentralized exchange using cryptography to secure transactions, rather than a central bank or administrator.
“The benefit is that Bitcoin is an untouchable, provable store of wealth,” Abouzeid said. “Also, all of the software is open source. Anyone can contribute to the code and build their own Bitcoin network.”
Abouzeid encouraged students to understand the underlying technology and experiment with trading.
“No one is quite sure what is going on,” Abouzeid said. “That is part of the fun.”
He became passionate about Bitcoin during his time at Harvard-Westlake.
“It is just geeky and fun,” Abouzeid said. “I was sitting in Krista McClain’s AP Chemistry class, tiddling around on my laptop when Jacob Gold poked me and asked me if I heard of Dogecoin. That kicked off everything.”
Abouzeid does marketing and product management for the technology company Product Hunt, which curates and ranks new products every day.
He feels his time at Harvard-Westlake gave him the tools to succeed professionally and advised students on how to make the most of their high school experiences and take advantage of the opportunities presented their way.
“Find the place that lets you do what you want to do. Do more research. You have the whole internet at your fingertips,” Abouzeid said.
Interdisciplinary studies and independent research teacher Rob Levin and HW Venture invited Abouzeid to speak about his business experience. Levin felt students benefited from Abouzeid’s presentation.
“The most important product is having students connect with somebody who is three years further up the hill that everybody is climbing. He has a whole different perspective on the whole ride,” Levin said.
Many students went into Abouzeid’s presentation with little-to-no experience with Bitcoin.
Ariana Sokolov ’19 said she feels that she gained better idea of the benefits and drawbacks of cryptocurrency by attending.
“I learned a lot about Bitcoin that I would not have known without this presentation,” Sokolov said. “I also learned about the problems that come with it. Because of this presentation, I will probably get on Coinbase and get the free $5.”
Abouzeid will teach at HW Inc. this June.
“I am excited to meet all the new students, the next generation,” Abouzeid said.