In a world where cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology make direct peer-to-peer transactions possible and transcend traditional financial norms, more people want to learn about them to keep up with the times.
Universities worldwide are beginning to offer cryptocurrency-related courses to cater to this new paradigm. Due to rising demand, many of the world’s top universities offer crypto-related courses.
There’s been a lot of hype regarding cryptocurrencies — mainly due to their disruptive potential — and the rise of crypto education has strongly coincided with this. According to a 2022 survey from Study.com, about two-thirds of American parents and college students conversant with cryptocurrencies thought the topic should be taught in schools as mandatory.
A recent poll conducted by Grayscale Investments, in conjunction with The Harris Poll, revealed that approximately 53% of Americans viewed cryptocurrencies as the future of finance.
Such positive perspectives regarding cryptocurrencies have given credence to introducing related courses in institutions of higher learning.
Why more people are seeking crypto education
Crypto’s decentralized nature and ease of acquisition have attracted speculative traders and long-term investors.
However, investing in digital currencies comes with significant risk, and more investors are looking to educate themselves before dabbling in the new asset class.
Some entrepreneurs and business managers looking to learn more about cryptocurrencies to transform their businesses have turned to crypto education, especially the latest crypto-based revenue-generation models.
Companies are also driving demand for crypto education. In recent years, several blue-chip firms, such as IBM, Oracle, Cisco, Amazon and Google, have actively sought hires with a crypto or blockchain orientation to help develop innovative blockchain products. This has increased the demand for related courses. Some companies have gone a step further and partnered with institutions offering courses to further crypto and blockchain research and support related programs.
Mary Lacity, a distinguished professor of information systems at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, told Cointelegraph that corporate companies were among the first drivers of the trend.
“The initial demand to start these programs came from our industry partners, including Walmart, J.B. Hunt, Tyson Foods, ArcBest and IBM,” Lacity said.
The professor highlighted that the burgeoning corporate clientele initially prompted the institution to focus on private blockchain courses. Still, the curriculum has since been revamped to cover public blockchains due to changing market dynamics.
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“Our students are interested in the opportunities to create their own decentralized applications,” she said.
Regarding the future of crypto education, Lacity said that demand was strong and was likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
What crypto courses cover
Crypto courses typically contain the essential areas that crypto users and investors seek to understand, like the basics of blockchain technology.
Understanding how blockchain systems function, and their advantages and disadvantages, is integral to understanding cryptocurrencies. Some cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), are inherently deflationary, with mechanisms restricting supply and increasing mining difficulty. This, in turn, creates scarcity, raising BTC’s value and purchasing power over time.
Cryptocurrencies that lack such properties have limited upside price potential due to oversupply. Details like these help learners, especially investors, to make better-informed decisions when exploring crypto.
Crypto education also helps learners understand the risks involved when investing in cryptocurrencies, such as extreme volatility and the factors that trigger it, like regulatory changes and negative market sentiment.
Cryptocurrency courses designed for beginners usually cover the basics, such as obtaining and transacting with cryptocurrencies. The programs typically teach learners about crypto mining, regulation, taxation, safety measures when using custodial and noncustodial wallets, and how to spot scams.
More advanced courses related to crypto risk management typically cover risk management strategies and technical analysis. Such courses help learners understand the crypto market’s deeper mechanics and how to avoid significant losses.
Many major universities have unveiled crypto-related courses at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Some programs have been integrated across departments to allow students majoring in other subjects to join them.
The National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is among the top public universities in Singapore, ranked No. 11 in the QS World University Rankings 2023. The university has a wide variety of crypto and blockchain-related undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Among its most unique program is the blockchain commercial applications course, which examines blockchain features and its commercial use cases. The course is tailored for business professionals who wish to integrate the technology into their businesses to improve transparency and efficiency.
The course covers subjects such as distributed ledgers and smart contracts, blockchain resources and architecture, and the commercial application of blockchain.
The university also has crypto-centric courses covering token design, economics and crypto philosophy.
Cornell University is a private Ivy League university based in Ithaca, New York. The institution has a wide range of courses related to cryptocurrencies for both novice and advanced learners. The introduction to blockchains, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts course is among the most notable targeted at tech students.
Its syllabus examines the inner workings of cryptocurrencies, such as using digital signatures in transaction authentication. The course also has modules that cover cryptographic concepts, such as zero-knowledge proofs and smart contracts.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is a government-funded university in Hung Hom, Hong Kong. The institution offers a wide range of tertiary courses as well as crypto and blockchain-related programs.
Among the most advanced courses it offers is the Master of Science in Blockchain Technology. The course is set up for students already well-versed in crypto and blockchain technology, and teaches learners how to analyze, create and implement blockchain technologies in a way that supports fintech services.
The University of Nicosia
The University of Nicosia in Nicosia, Cyprus, offers unique cryptocurrency courses. Among the most noteworthy programs for advanced students is the Master of Science in Blockchain and Digital Currency. The program aims to help students become digital currency and blockchain professionals.
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The course curriculum covers various subjects, including blockchain systems and architectures, digital currency programming, cryptographic systems security, law and regulation in blockchain, and token economics.
EU Business School
The EU Business School is a private business school established in 1973, with numerous campuses worldwide. Its Geneva, Munich, Montreux and Barcelona campuses, among others, offer crypto-related courses. One of the most distinctive courses offered by the institution is the MBA in Blockchain Management.
This course covers the different use cases of blockchain technology and how it can help solve many of the problems in society today, such as transparency and fair trade. It also allows students to evaluate some of the technology’s more technical and fundamental aspects.
The future of crypto education
People looking to get involved in the crypto industry are increasingly seeking crypto education, which will likely increase the spectrum of courses and the number of institutions offering them.
Some crypto companies are also beginning to partner with learning institutions offering crypto courses to enhance research and work with qualified learners. The trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future due to synergistic benefits.