Connect with us
Apply Now

Executive Voice

Sch0lar is poised to bring, Defi, web3, and blockchain to the masses says Ben Knaus.

Ben Knaus

Barcelona Spain- The world’s first Avalanche Summit took place at Poble Espanyol and felt like the event was inside the Avalanche kingdom. A high castle like stone walled compound with a city inside of it was the perfect setting to enthusiasts, Builders, founders, Venture Capital, Market makers to converge. 

Avalanche has been proclaimed as the internet of finance by its users. Ava Labs, which is the foundation behind the Avalanche blockchain, is determined to digitize the worlds assets. It’s a platform that has seen real world use case and evolution specifically highlighted by Deloitte and MasterCard. Avalanche’s market cap sits just over $25 Billion USD.

Under the eco dome I met Ben Knaus a very pragmatic and calculated individual who I would later find out is renowned in the digital asset investor space.  Ben is one of the founding team members of Sch0lar, a peer-to-peer scholarship protocol that leverages web 3 and defi. This improves upon their web 2 platform Scholarful. 

We talked at length about the practicality of using Defi/web 3/ digital identification to solve real world problems at scale. I could tell he had been in the space for a while but after the summit a quick Google search of his name revealed his features in: Forbes, Coincodex, Hackernoon, Coinspeaker, Newsbreak and others. Ben was an early investor in projects like: BTC, ETH, DOT, AVAX, ADA.

With success from his personal asset viewpoint, I asked Ben why the transition from investor to builder.

” Most people who are building in the space came for the profits and realized how blockchain can solve real world problems and cut out a tremendous amount of middleman waste. There’s still a gap in real world applications being built for the masses but we’re at the cusp of it. Our team saw an opportunity to change many insufficient processes that exist in the scholarship ecosystem, and we’re not stopping there. 

Real world adoption is here:

Ben added “Soon consumers won’t even know they’re consuming products that are leveraging Blockchain technology. The perfect example of this is Coca Cola, all supply chain management is done on Baseline Protocol using the Ethereum main net, which assigns meta data and tokenization to find inefficiencies in their bottling supply chain.”

Major companies like: Deloitte, Mastercard, Coca Cola, Boeing, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Walmart are using Blockchain. While major banks like US Bank, Standard Charter, Signature, UBS, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase all have substantial digital asset exposure, and most can custody crypto for customers. 

Public companies, and sovereign nations alike are using digital assets for their reserves instead of weakening fiat currencies. So, it seems the tide has shifted to large scale adoption on all fronts. 

Sch0lar’s plan to make the scholarship ecosystem hyper efficient


Alleviating wasteful spending

From our conversation I learned there’s alarming waste with scholarship donations and the costs have been passed onto donors recently. 

Sch0lar cuts out erroneous overheads and ensures transparency by moving this process on chain. The protocol can move value efficiently, and transparently keeping an extra 5-30% of donated funds going to the intended recipients, not to update office space, overheads, or even Bonuses for executives.

Donor Connectivity 

Ben added “Donors feel no tangible connection, most donors receive a tax write off slip and that’s about the end of the transaction, until their next letter asking for donations the year after.”

With Sch0lar’s protocol donors can select the recipients of their DAF scholarships by Several metrics including Ethnicity, major of focus, school, region, etc. For donor’s who want a hands-off approach they can delegate governance of the DAF back to the community. Donors still receive a tax write-off through a 501c3.

Leveraging defi to outperform traditional endowments 

Academic endowments are underperforming usually less than a 4% return, while their overheads are usually about 5%.

Defi Yields as of now range from 6-20% well outperforming traditional finance. Donors can set up their own DAF(donor advised fund)  and choose to use specific Defi yields to grow funds through stable coin yield. Sch0lar has partners like Circle who do this for many large institutional players including Shark Tanks Kevin O’ Leary “O Leary Ventures.

Student access

Students can access the Scholarful platform and begin one click applying to multiple scholarships currently. For premium features users can buy SCLR the native governance token of the platform and stake for services. Users stake their tokens and are granted access to premium content pertaining to financial literacy, blockchain development, career pathways, etc. Users can withdraw their stake if they wish. Their will also be a gamification element to the platform to reward users.

Not to perpetuate the problem 

The Sch0lar team realizes there’s many people who don’t go to college, and still need to find good paying jobs. Sch0lar has partnered with a LMS platform that has a platform in which large employers give them great paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. This feature will be available for those who stake the premium tier of SCLR.

Sch0lar Endowment

Sch0lar has its own endowment which is designed to be governed by the community. The governance token holders of SCLR will vote on: Scholarship allocations, recipients, and how to manage the DAF.

Turkish Connections 

We all know the Avalanche Founder Emin Gun Sirer is Turkish, but interesting enough the Sch0lar Protocol has backing and Major Advisors from Turkey. Sch0lar also plans to work hand in hand with a community DAF to set up a Turkish Blockchain Builders Scholarship. Students from Istanbul Technical University attended the summit, and Turkish nationals won part of the Hackathon. Ben added “Turkey is a large part of our plan to help the blockchain builders. Istanbul is an epicenter for development and digital assets, and to be honest the people are there amazing, always Authentic and I appreciate that in a space that isn’t always so”.

Once Ben walked me through the end-to-end vision of Sch0lar I could feel the weight behind it to make a real impact. I asked Ben about how it’s been received thus far.

“The Avalanche community has been amazing when it comes to reception real world use cases. Ava labs, Dexalot, Pangolin, Olympus Dao, Penguin Finance, Circle and Chainlink have all been major supporters in helping us develop as a project.  Sch0lar is poised to bring, Defi, web3, and blockchain to the masses. We’re looking at launching strategically by the end of May.

For more info please visit Sch0lar.io and scholarful.com




Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 Disrupt ™ Magazine is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company - Disrupt ™ was founder by Puerto Rican serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Delgado who is on a mission to transform Latin America using the power of education and entrepreneurship.

Disrupt ™ Magazine
151 Calle San Francisco
Suite 200
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901

Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.

Disrupt ™ is the voice of latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities both here in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. Disrupt Magazine was designed to give the world a taste of that.