The young students of Gortskehy National School, a primary school in Roundfort, County Mayo, Ireland were given a unique opportunity when their principal decided to enter a crypto asset management competition on their behalf. The principal, who also runs a voluntary adult computer science course, thought it would be a good idea to enter the competition to teach both parents and students about cryptocurrencies and their impact on the financial world.
The competition, held by the blockchain startup Melonport AG, ran on Melon's blockchain powered protocol and saw over 700 funds created and 350 plus funds registered. The challenge began on Wednesday, January 31 and ran until Wednesday, February 14, giving teams two full weeks to test their cryptocurrency management skills. Through the platform, teams could buy and sell individual cryptocurrencies on a secure test network, simulating a real-life portfolio management experience.
Gortskehy attendees and their parents managed several decentralized and technology regulated funds using the Melon system. Two of the funds placed in the top 100, despite being partially managed by young students. The full results from the two week trial can be found here.
The competition marks an important milestone for both Melonport AG and the larger crypto community. For the Melon team, it was undoubtedly encouraging to see such eager participation--including participation from the next generation of crypto asset managers. For the larger blockchain community, the Gortskehy school's participation was an example of how to involve young students in the crypto community. Blockchain technology and all it has to offer shouldn't be limited to adults with computer science degrees--much like the internet, it should be exposed to younger minds to help them become familiar with the emerging technology. And, as the crypto asset management competition showed, some apparently have quite a knack for it.
In a video Melonport received from Gortskehy, students shared what they learned from the competition. Several mentioned specific cryptocurrencies by name, while others recounted how they learned about the history of money and the development of digital currencies. Others were exposed to traditional financial assets like stocks and stock exchanges. In response to the video and the school's response, one spokesperson commented, "We can only admire and support the forward-thinking and solid education those students receive. At the end of the competition, we were thrilled and amazed to receive a video from the class discussing their learning experience around money, blockchain and cryptocurrencies."
What is the Melon Platform and What Does it Do?
As the competition described above demonstrates, the Melon protocol is quite easy to use. Essentially, it is an autonomous system designed specifically for crypto asset management. Its front and back ends are hosted and executed on decentralized platforms, giving asset managers the ability to operate in an efficient, transparent, technology rule-based manner.
In the finance industry, this is particularly important, especially since most funds and fund managers are dragged down by the archaic and inefficient processes of the financial industry. It is not uncommon for a medium sized hedge fund, for example, to have 3-4 support staff for every investment professional taking care of operations, trade reconciliation, compliance reporting. Additionally fund administrators, custodians and trading counterparties all exist as middle-men who perform similar functions manually. One of the reasons that investing fees are so high is because it costs a lot to keep investment products running with all the regulatory requirements required to stay compliant with FINRA, SEC, and other regulators. By implementing decentralized blockchain powered systems, the Melon protocol seeks to take advantage of blockchain technology and replace some of these processes with code, cutting down operational costs, the savings of which can then be passed on to clients.
Through the platform, the Melon protocol lets fund managers set up a fund with predetermined parameters enforced through smart contracts. These parameters are protected and secured by the blockchain's protocol upon which they are set up. Investors don't necessarily have to know or trust the fund's portfolio manager because managers are fully bound by predefined parameters.
Clients are protected because the management of the portfolio must align with what the smart contracts dictate. Because of the blockchain, funds are full auditable and transparent. Fund calculations are easy because the accounting formulas exist within the smart-contracts, and regulators can easily view the fund's immutable track record. Melon is thus an asset management platform that seeks to benefit crypto fund managers, investors, and regulatory bodies.