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The rise of crypto in higher education

09/19/2018
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Today, the blockchain and cryptocurrencies represent one of the most discussed topics. Technologies of the future are rapidly being implemented into various spheres of our life. And the main problem that arises here is the lack of high-quality specialists. In order to keep up with current trends, world’s largest universities suggest students take training courses on the technology of the distributed registry (blockchain) and cryptographic encryption.

The rise of crypto in higher education is confirmed by the expert study. Coinbase in cooperation with the research company Qriously found out that the demand for blockchain and crypto knowledge has significantly increased especially when it comes to the world’s most renowned universities. That is because lots of students want to connect their future with digital currency industries.

The survey organizers interviewed over 650 US students and studied the programs of 50 international universities. They have discovered that blockchain and crypto study programs are most popular in the US. Only 5 of the 18 top universities working outside the states and throughout the world offer thematic courses. Stanford University suggests the biggest number of such programs – it has 10 educational courses, followed by Cornell – it offers 9 programs, the University of Pennsylvania has 6, and the National University of Singapore – 5.

A computer science professor at Berkeley, Dawn Song, shared that her educational course ‘Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics, and the Future of Technology, Business and Law’ was so popular that the classroom, designed for 70 people, was packed with 200 students.

Crypto rise is supported by the fact that a few top universities have already started to offer interdisciplinary courses that emphasize on digital currencies and blockchain. Such higher education institutes like the Cornell University and the MIT and even the University of Maryland provide study graduates’ courses targeted at learning certain aspects of digital assets.

Universities willingly build up blockchain scientific centres and numerous laboratories, in earnest regarding cryptocurrencies as the core of the future of the global economics and the informatics field in particular. Even today, this area unquestionably deserves a detailed academic study. Interestingly, blockchain and crypto classes are provided at various departments, including financial and business faculties and anthropologic ones, and not only in the those of IT and coding.

The crypto specialists also carried out surveys among students on the topic of their interest in thorough learning of blockchain technologies and discovered that more than a half of those learning computer science and humanities are eager to study crypto disciplines as well. The great potential of blockchain impact on different spheres of our society might be the main reason for such a considerable involvement in this topic. Cryptocurrencies are on the rise, and this trend only gathers momentum.

The crypto rise in higher education is also gaining popularity on the Internet. Thus, the online course on digital currencies, developed by Arvind Narayanan, a professor of computer science at Stanford University, is now the 5th most demanded class on such topic. The Blockchainers perform at the open events in Manchester, wanting to improve the education of university students in the matter of technology of blockchain and crypto subjects.

Some educational institutes like the King’s College in New York, or the European educational institutes like the University of Cumbria in the UK and the Berlin’s European School of Management and Technology currently accept cryptocurrencies as a means of paying tuition fees. Obviously, the further rise of cryptocurrency is inevitable.

Cryptocurrencies at the top universities

A while ago, in 2014, when bitcoin and other currencies were just starting to gain popularity, New York University law professor David Yermack suggested that students take a course in which he explained the features and peculiarities of distributed registry technology. At the very beginning, he faced a misunderstanding from his colleagues, but over time the attitude towards the professor’s initiative has radically changed. Already in 2018, students had to move from their usual auditorium to one of the biggest lecture halls in the whole city – that is because so many people are eager to learn about the crypto and blockchain peculiarities. It is worth mentioning the case at the University of Berkeley when the students who attended the lecture on decentralized technology given by Campbell Harvey, lacked seats and still many were willing to sit on the floor or stand by the walls just to learn about cryptocurrency that will rise in the nearest future.

Cryptocurrencies at the top universities: Stanford University courses

Stanford University, established in 1885, is greatly known for its commitment to advanced technology. It was the prevailing number of its graduates that created the Silicon Valley the way we know it now. Certainly, the university could not ignore the technology of blockchain. Stanford offers students to take an online course designed by local teachers, in particular, professor of cryptography Dan Bonnet. Such material can be a part of a training program to obtain the Cyber Security graduation certificate. To pass it, it is desirable to have a basic knowledge of programming languages like Python and Unix. The list of topics covered at the course includes distributed registry technology, consensus algorithms, smart contracts, mining strategies and other no less important aspects.

Cryptocurrencies at the top universities: Duke University courses

Duke University is a private research institution located in North Carolina. At the moment it is one of the greatest universities around the world where one can study the most advanced technologies, and help to create the medicines for severe diseases. Duke Blockchain Lab, a research center targeted at the study of the blockchain, founded at the university, is offering a free course titled ‘Blockchain and Innovation.’ Its main goal is to allow students to freely understand the decentralized technology and apps designed on its basis. Another course is also available here – ‘Innovation and Cryptocurrencies’, where not only BTC fundamentals and other cryptocurrencies on the rise are taught, but also advanced aspects like the creation of distributed autonomous corporations, technology risks and regulatory approach.

Cryptocurrencies at the top universities: Princeton University courses

This educational institution, founded in 1746, is recognized today as one of the best in the whole world. Students are invited to complete the course on cryptography and digital currencies given by Dr. Arvind Narayanan. It covers the ways bitcoin works, its differences from other cryptocurrencies, the level of anonymity of BTC users, what warnings and predictions the regulators have for this industry. The course is partially free and consists of 12 video materials and presentations based on them.

Cryptocurrencies at the top universities: NYU School of Law courses

This university suggests students take the course called ‘The Law and Business of Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies.’ The primary focus of attention is on the practical use of BTC in the business environment. One may also learn the functions of a digital coin, the history of its development, existing payment systems, crypto rise and regulatory issues.

Cryptocurrencies at the top universities: London School of Economics courses

In this educational institution, the ‘Cryptocurrency Investment and Disruption’ online training program was launched in August 2018 under the leadership of professor Carsten Sørensen. It consists of 6 modules and in total takes about 60 hours. Students will learn such practical things as the analysis of ICO projects, the competent use of crypto wallets, rise coins and much more. The course costs around 2100 dollars or 1800 euros.

Cryptocurrencies at the top universities: RMIT University Australia courses

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in early 2018 has launched a paid course named ‘Developing Blockchain Strategy,’ which will provide useful knowledge to all comers. The program was created in collaboration with RMCH Blockchain Innovation Hub, Accenture service and the Stone & Chalk project. The online course lasted eight weeks. The beginner level cost $1500 (AUD). The focus of the program is on the adaptation of blockchain technology in different areas.

US student experience with cryptocurrencies

The rise of crypto in higher education applies not only to the emergence of a large number of training courses but also the increased interest of students in the direct use of cryptocurrency. Coinbase exchange has found that about 18% of US students own cryptocurrencies, while 17% of respondents think they have already obtained decent knowledge of blockchain and digital currencies. Some of them even mine digital coins right in their dorm rooms. Besides, there is a heightened interest in the blockchain, cryptography and alternative economics at the US universities: many students are asking to create more courses on these subjects.

Researchers discovered that approximately 34% of students learning computer science and mechanical engineering are curious about similar topics. Also, 47% of respondents from faculties of social sciences showed interest in distributed registry technology and the rise of cryptocurrencies.

The crypto in higher education also has another field of application. According to a survey conducted by Student Loans.net, 21% of college students (among 1,000 respondents) use money from their student loans to purchase bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Teachers point out that students are attracted by the extensive opportunities that are opening up on the labour market. It has turned out that the blockchain specialists find highly paid jobs much faster than other graduates.

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