Introducing our guest blogger Jinglan (her friends call her Jing) Wang, a junior at Wellesley College, studying studio art and CS. She is often found on the MIT campus taking math and computer science classes as part of her degree. She is also working on developing a cryptocurrency course at Wellesley and serves as President of Wellesley Bitcoin.

By Guest Blogger: Jinglan Wang, President of Wellesley Bitcoin Club and Director of the MIT Bitcoin Expo

“You know what I really miss?” Asked Primavera, a researcher at the Harvard Berkman Center who was near the end of living off of Bitcoin for a year.

“Cold hard cash,” I joked.

“No,” she shook her head. “Snickers bars.”

Although Primavera could get most of what she needed with Bitcoin, she really missed being able to get Snickers from the vending machine. I gave what was supposed to sound like a knowing chuckle, thinking of MIT Bitcoin Club side projects that could solve her struggles.

Here is a snapshot:

Jonathan Harvey Buschel, the President of the club and a freshman studying EECS is working on BitVend, a modification that allows vending machines to accept Bitcoin. I’m personally really excited for this one, because I rarely carry fiat but I always have junk food cravings.

Amir Elayyan, the Treasurer of the club and a junior studying Math and Physics, trades and mines Bitcoin, which is awesome because I’m pretty sure his Antminer doubles up as a space heater in the fierce Bostonian winter.

Sam Udotong, a junior studying Aerospace Engineering, is developing an app called Fireflies, a decentralized marketplace for deliveries and services within a social network. For example, I can post “will pay 0.005 BTC for somebody to deliver coffee to my dorm by 4am” and somebody from my social network can accept. Here, the network functions as a sort of reputation system.

We have also been putting together the MIT Bitcoin Expo, coming up this weekend. Last year’s expo mainly served as a foothold for Bitcoin at MIT in the wake of the announcement for the MIT Bitcoin Project led by Dan Elitzer and Jeremy Rubin. This year, we’re helping students, academics, professionals, and the general public dive deeper with a more academic and developmental focus.

Join us on March 07–08, 2015. We have a massively impressive lineup of speakers including Bitcoin Foundation’s Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen, Chain.com’s Adam Ludwin, Circle’s Jeremy Allaire, the Director of MIT Media Lab Joi Ito and more! See the full list of speakers and agenda here.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, students are free with valid student ID and general admission is $125. Register here.

I hope to see y’all this weekend!