The most popular courses on campuses in the U.S. and across the globe are on Bitcoin and its blockchain technology. In parallel, educational institutions are creating innovative ways to attract the brightest students. For example, Varna University of Management offers Bitcoin scholarships.
Bitcoin’s Technology Captivates Academia
Student demand for courses on Bitcoin and its underlying technology, the blockchain, is putting elite U.S. universities under pressure.
Students from all disciplines are rushing to sign up for courses that cover technical concepts underlying Bitcoin and Ethereum, such as decentralized consensus, append-only ledgers, smart contracts, and zero-knowledge proof systems. Students are also seeking to gain working familiarity with cryptocurrencies through practical assignments.
I have found It is very easy to find computer scientists and law professors interested in Bitcoin and blockchain — and very hard (not impossible!) to find university economists. Thoughts on why? https://t.co/ey5iw25dNb
— Nathaniel Popper (@nathanielpopper) February 9, 2018
Nathaniel Popper wrote in a New York Times an article entitled “Cryptocurrencies Come to Campus,” describing the extent to which courses on cryptocurrencies are attracting students across elite institutions such as Cornell, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Maryland and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Requests for courses on cryptocurrencies are skyrocketing. According to Popper, David Yarmack, a business law professor at New York University, has been offering courses on Bitcoin since 2014. Most recently, when he booked a lecture hall for 180 students, he found out that 225 students had registered. He had to move to a larger lecture hall.
Spots to study about virtual currencies are becoming in short supply all over academia. Popper also reports:
Last month at the University of California, Berkeley, students were lining the walls and sitting in the aisles for the first lecture of ‘Blockchain Cryptoeconomics and the Future of Technology, Business and Law’.
Dawn Song, a computer science professor, consoled his students by saying, “there are bazillion other students who are waiting for your spot.”
University Enticements and Online Courses on Cryptocurrencies
Demand for cryptocurrency-related jobs is booming. However, there are not enough specialists with the required skills to fill these positions. Consequently, most universities are now offering Bitcoin education. Additionally, universities are creating innovative ways to attract the brightest students. Some universities are even accepting tuition payments in Bitcoin.