The bitcoin bug has officially hit America’s top universities, as students from a variety of disciplines are clamoring to register for a new wave of graduate-level cryptocurrency courses. Cyperpunks, libertarians, entrepreneurs, and investors will have to make room for the newcomers: academia.
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Grad Classes Swelling
According to a new report from NYT correspondent Nathaniel Popper, America’s most esteemed higher-education institutions are pivoting decisively toward offering cryptocurrency courses as popular interest in the field has grown exponentially over the past several months.
Popper notes that “Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland” are but a few of the renowned schools where graduate students have already begun to max out bitcoin course registrations.
New York University business and law professor David Yermack began receiving “gentle ribbing from … colleagues” upon starting a for-credit bitcoin course back in 2014. Now that cryptocurrencies have begun to take off, though, he’s invited to conferences with “central bankers” and his cryptocurrency classes are brimming.
Indeed, this current semester alone Prof. Yermack was forced to move his crypto course into N.Y.U.’s most spacious lecture space to accommodate the large class of 225 students who are clamoring to learn more.
This trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, either. Henceforth the classes will grow, the interest will grow, and the cryptoverse will grow in kind.
Lectures, Online Interest Growing Too
You don’t have to be a graduate student at one of America’s most elite universities to get some higher-level cryptocurrency education.
For one, you could try Princeton Prof. Arvind Narayanan’s online cryptocurrency Coursera course, which has proven explosively popular in recent weeks.
A University of California, Berkeley, lecture entitled “Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics and the Future of Technology, Business and Law” also made waves in the ecosystem back in January. The lecture accepted 75 different student registrants from the university’s law, business, and engineering departments.
The lecture series itself is a testament to how premature the space is, as series lecturer and business professor Greg La Blanc said there would be mistakes in the class. La Blanc said not to let perfect be the enemy of the good, however:
“We aren’t waiting until we perfect [the class]. Don’t compare it to the perfect blockchain course. Compare it to having no blockchain course at all.”
But this prematurity isn’t permanent, either. As academia continues to play catch up and lectures like this sprout up all across the nation, the breadth and depth of crypto and blockchain-centric courses will grow and become more polished.
What’s your take? Would you love to take a course on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via Echo360, Wikimedia