Venture organizes blockchain event


Averie Perrin/Chronicle

Andrew Lee ’09, Sam Kazemian and Blockchain Club leader Ryan Pinsker ’23 stand in front of Lee and Kazemian’s presentation about Web3.

Averie Perrin

Web3 Social Founder Andrew Lee ’09 and Frax Finance Founder Sam Kazemian joined the HW Venture and Blockchain Club to discuss the decentralization of cryptocurrency and Web3 during Community Flex Time on March 16. 

Web3 Social is a social finance platform where people buy cryptocurrency to gain access to different communities and forums. 

Lee said he believes that Web3, an umbrella term encompassing the evolution of the internet and digital infrastructure to becoming financially decentralized, is a progressive step toward combining online media and finance platforms. 

“When people have an investment in a community, they are more likely to add value and you get a better-filtered community of people who want to be there, rather than Web2 platforms like Reddit and subreddit [forums], which are completely unfiltered communities,” Lee said. “Web3 allows for communities of like-minded people to congregate. Web3 is moving [us] from a society of ‘me’ to a society of ‘we.’”

Kazemian said both Web1, the first iteration of the web and social networking sites, and Web2, the current version of the internet with social media and financial applications, require trust between people, while Web3 does not. 

“Decentralized crypto without trust is a huge step for mankind,” Kazemian said. “Stores of around [$500-600 billion] of value all around the world are made up of people that don’t know each other, don’t trust each other [and] have no idea who each other are, which is a very new thing for society.”

World Languages Teacher Amandine Nelaton said she attended the event to become more informed about changing online markets and technology. 

“I went to the event to educate myself because it’s a wild new world that differs radically from the one of 10 years ago, and I feel the need to have a basic understanding of how economy, business, finance and tech are evolving,” Nelaton said. “I have been navigating the blockchain [and] crypto space for some time, and I find it difficult to get some information and get the answers to my questions.”

Blockchain Club member Nalaah Cohen ’23 said she appreciated the opportunity to hear from an alumnus with a similar educational background to her own. 

“I liked that one of the speakers was an [alumnus] because it shows what students will be like in years to come, especially ones involved in crypto and finance,” Cohen said. “It’s interesting because I can see myself in their shoes when they talked about classes they had taken and it’s a similar pattern to the one I am on in becoming involved in the crypto world.”