This project assignment is good:
"Build an ambitious multi-user decentralized application on top of some existing infrastructure, or on your own new infrastructure."
If decentralization is going to have a chance, it either needs to integrate with existing services or offer some niche where it provides x10 the value.
Fun fact: the instructor, Robert Morris, co-founded YC and was one of the first people to be indicted for a computer crime.
A few more subjects I'd like to see covered: rare digital art, fintech exchanges such as Stox, aggregating data science on platforms like Numerai, fractional ownership of real estate, voting systems, and peer-to-peer lending.
>You'll need a 6.033-level understanding of the web, SSL, security, public key cryptography, and _Bitcoin_
I think the future is a community overlay platform like i2p or similar where people can donate with micropayments or electricity/computing power to access/offer storage, computing, networking and other higher-level resources anonymously and privately.