As the story goes, last spring, a Cornell University computer science professor was scheduled to teach a course on blockchain technology, a 600-level advanced class intended for PhD students.
Figuring that only a half dozen people would enroll in such an obscure class, he was shocked when 88 students showed up.
As is obvious by now, those Cornell students aren’t an anomaly. At other top universities across the country, students are anxious to enroll in courses focused on the proliferation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Big name universities like Stanford, Duke, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have also rolled out their own crypto and blockchain courses. It’s happening across the pond, too. The London School of Economics and other prestigious schools like Oxford University are offering six-week online blockchain strategy program.
Some might argue that these courses are simply marketing responses to a growing demand, and that online courses like “Cryptoversity” are destined for oblivion. But as the proliferation of cryptocurrencies continue, expect more courses to emerge as more and more reputable financial institutions adopt the use of cryptocurrencies and require employees with a solid background in the science and application of the technology. Much in the same way Wall Street and regulators are starting to react to blockchain and crypto, so is academia.
Don’t expect these courses to take their place in the course calendars next to Psychology 101 and Computer Science by next year, but by 2020, it might start happening.