There is a need for any business leader, male or female to understand the new disruptive technologies entering into the business world, to understand how they can be deployed, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how leaders can use them add value to their businesses.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sevin Yeltekin, Professor of Economics and Senior Associate Dean of Education, Co-Founder of the Tepper Blockchain Initiative.
Can you share the story of how you decided to pursue this career path?What lessons can others learn from your story?
I recently started the Tepper Blockchain Initiative at the Tepper School of Business. The initiative brings together all of the research and teaching we do on blockchain and cryptocurrencies under one umbrella, showcases our intellectual and thought leadership and helps raise awareness about the open issues our research is focused on as well as interesting applications related to blockchain.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
We recently held our first Tepper School conference called Intersect @CMU that looks at technology’s impact not just business but our society in general. We included a panel on Blockchain which featured business leaders who are influencing the adoption of blockchain applications in finance, supply chains, and healthcare, and focused on the potentially transformative nature of decentralizing modes of exchange both of data and assets.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
I like the interdisciplinary nature of it, it brings together economics, game theory, cryptography. It engages people in different fields. I like the decentralized aspect of it, designing a clever system that replaces trust in a network of strangers who buy and sell from one another. I like the fact that the technology can be used in a multitude of applications, from verifying the authenticity to artwork to verifying the background and identity of refugees without papers to replacing defunct monetary systems in high-inflation countries.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
The scalability is still an issue. It takes relatively long to verify transactions. The price volatility of cryptocurrencies is an issue. And because of the energy demands of mining, cryptocurrencies are mined by a small number of entities that have large resources. We know little to nothing about these entities and I don’t like that lack transparency and near-monopoly. We are much better of with a central government agency like a Central Bank to issue money. I am worried about the cybersecurity aspects of it. And I am worried about the misinformation that gets disseminated about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. One of the reasons we have the Tepper Blockchain Initiative is because we want to promote evidence-based, thoughtful, careful discussion about the issues surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the blockchain industry?
The Tepper Blockchain Initiative includes a focus on blockchain embedded in our curriculum for all of our MBA students because there is a need for any business leader, male or female to understand the new disruptive technologies entering into the business world, to understand how they can be deployed, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how leaders can use them add value to their businesses.