Our Foundation

The Blockchain Acceleration Foundation (BAF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization composed of students, professors, blockchain advocates, and interested citizens who are committed to the mass adoption of cryptocurrency and user-owned internet. BAF does this by educating members about blockchain development, sourcing sponsors and speakers for our university-affiliated blockchain clubs, launching startups, supporting academic blockchain researchers, and more.

The donations we source enable us to start university-accredited blockchain courses, host engaging educational and networking events, run hackathons and conferences, increase collaboration between academic researchers, and ensure the next generation of blockchain experts know how to navigate this rapidly changing industry. BAF is uniquely positioned as a nonprofit benefitting student blockchain organizations, and thus far has partnered with nine universities across California and Mexico.​

Why Blockchain?

Blockchain has the potential to touch every aspect of our daily lives by enabling individuals and companies across the globe to operate with a newfound level of trust and confidence. However, at present, most people know nothing about the technology aside from its association with Bitcoin. Beyond the lack of general awareness surrounding Blockchain, university students already interested in the subject have scarce educational. BAF addresses the hurdles to blockchain mass adoption by inspiring and educating its next generation of leaders and users.

Our Values

Meet Our Team

Management

Cameron Dennis

Founder & President

Piergiacomo Palmisani

Vice President

Alireza Rafiei

Technical Lead

Veronica Reynolds

Director of BAF Legal Education

Keith D. Smith III

Comunication Lead

Philip Straus

Director of Marketing & Corporate Secretary

John Duston

Director of Finance

Adam Spar

Business Analyst

Gary Vartarian

Researcher

Board Members

Liam DiGregorio

President, Blockchain at Berkley

Andrew Battat

Co-President of Blockchain at UCLA

Saiph Savage

Founder of Blockchain at UNAM and Visiting Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

Kaushal Saraf

Co-Founder DevNights at USC

Eric Cuellar

President of Blockchain at Cal Poly

Mihir Wadekar

President of Blockchain at Davis

Ryan Eshaghi

President of Blockchain at UCI

Piergiacomo Palmisani

Vice President and President of Blockchain at USCB

Cameron Dennis

Founder & President

Advisors

Brian J.Fox

Author of the GNU BASH Shell, Technology Cofounder of Orchid Labs, and Founder of Opus Logica

Hsin-Ju Chuang

Founder of DystopiaLabs; ex-Head of Growth @ Stellar / Lightyear, @Solana; ex-Director at Tezos.

Dr. Jim Short

Lead Scientist and Cofounder of the Center for Large Scale Data Systems (CLDS) at the San Diego Supercomputer Center

Dr. Mohammad Sadoghi

Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Director of ExpoLab

Dr. Rich Wolski

Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Cofounder of Eucalyptus Systems Inc.

FAQ

Why blockchain?

It is abundantly clear that blockchain can enable individuals and companies to operate with a newfound level of trust and transparency. From electoral systems to digital payments to insurance premiums, the number of areas blockchain can help revolutionize for the better are abundant. Taking this idea from concept to reality, however, requires companies to develop products that seamlessly improve people’s lives without them needing to understand the underlying technology. And in order for companies to do so, they need talent sufficiently trained in blockchain, distributed systems, and cryptography.

Why a 501(c)(3) nonprofit?

When uniting several university-affiliated blockchain clubs under the same roof, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit seemed the best organizational structure. Being a nonprofit gives us the legitimacy needed to manage the delicate balance between a nascent industry and legacy academic institutions. Moreover, having the presidents of each club as a board member ensures each university has a voice at the table. This better aligns the common efforts toward the goal of accelerating blockchain education. Finally, since most universities do not accept cryptocurrency-based donations, establishing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit was the only way to guarantee donors tax deductions when they donate cryptocurrency to tangible blockchain education at universities. We like to see this as an incentivize-aligned way for wealthy crypto investors to invest in the future of this emerging industry.

What is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit?

Being "501(c)(3)" means that a particular nonprofit organization has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt, charitable organization. You may deduct charitable contributions of money or property made to qualified organizations if you itemize your deductions. Generally, you may deduct up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income, but 20 percent and 30 percent limitations apply in some cases. Learn more about how donating to a 501(c)(3) can help lower your capital gains taxes here.

Do you have a token?

Although we currently don’t have the pressing need for a token, we are working toward making our organization fully digital to streamline decision making processes and allocating funds. We plan to launch a voting token by the end of 2020. There will be no monetary value to our token and it will only be available to active members.

Where do you see BAF in five years?

Our vision is to become a completely autonomous and self-sustaining incentive-aligned nonprofit, a landmark where passionate people can easily come together to build the future of this industry. Ideally, we aim to grow BAF to a self-sustaining machine able to operate with little central administration, guidance, or leadership. We see BAF as the prototype for a new model of organizations and we are working hard to make this model scalable and replicable.

How can my club join?

If your university-affiliated blockchain club is interested in becoming BAF’s next partner organization, please fill out this form (It’s not complete). Check out our membership page if you wish to learn more about the benefits your club will gain from joining BAF.

Interested in creating a blockchain club?

Email info@baf.network to schedule a call to learn more about the best ways to engage students and faculty to join the blockchain revolution!

Is BAF blockchain agnostic?

Yes! We believe in a world of many blockchains and are most interested in the benefits blockchain can provide rather than unproductive tribalism.

Should I buy Bitcoin or Ether?

BAF or any member of its team does not provide any financial advice. Please do not contact us with this sort of request.

What is BAF doing to address the overwhelming gender disparity in the blockchain industry?

We are proud members of She256’s Coalition for Diversity that is formed around the thesis of bringing data-driven changes to the blockchain community to encourage a diverse and inclusive ecosystem. We believe decentralization will only come to fruition if the movement is composed of people from all genders, color, economic backgrounds, and walks of life. Despite the industry's overwhelming white male majority, we work hard to ensure the majority of our speaker events are composed of at least 50% women and/or underrepresented people.

Where are you based?

The majority of our management team is based in Santa Barbara, California; however, we have board members distributed all across California and Mexico.