This year’s incredible bitcoin rally has raised a lot of interest in the cryptocurrency and created huge demand from people to learn everything they can about the phenomena. One academic institution which tries to answer this call is New York University (NYU).
Bitcoin 101 at NYU
The Stern School of Business at NYU was the first major US academic institution to offer a course in cryptocurrencies to its graduate students back in 2014. Now the school plans to offer a new option for undergraduates to learn about the field as well, NYU professor David Yermack told the Financial Times.
This new course is likely to be a highly sought one among NYU undergrads. Starting out with just a few dozen students, the graduate course accommodated 100 this year with many more applying to get in, and is expected to reach about 300 graduate students next year. “We are moving it to our largest auditorium, with capacity for 350 students”, the professor exclaimed.
Universities that wish to offer classes about bitcoin, blockchain and other cryptocurrency related material face two problematic issues at the moment.
First, as anyone who follows the news can tell you, these subjects are changing at an incredible speed and if you were to write a textbook about the latest developments it will be out of date by the time it is printed. As Prof Yermack said: “Year over year we’ll change well over half the course material. It keeps you young to be reading half the night just to keep up with the latest innovations.”
Secondly and more importunately, the field is suffering from an acute talent shortage. With a teeming market full of new projects raising funds via ICOs, established companies exploring how to harness blockchain technology for their needs, and Wall Street heavyweights racing to start bitcoin trading, the competition for knowledgeable individuals is fierce. “Our biggest challenge is finding enough people to teach the courses”, explained Prof Yermack.
If you are looking to learn about bitcoin, but can’t make it to NYU, there is no reason to worry. All of the material needed can be found freely on the internet. And if you desire an Ivy League seal of approval, Princeton offers a ‘Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies’ course on Coursera.