Top universities have included crypto in their curriculum

The world of digital assets has seen a significant surge over the past year. The total cryptocurrency market cap reached $3 trillion, leading more people, governments, and universities to take a closer look at the asset class.

The presence of crypto in the major economies of the world has created a great opportunity for various startups in the industry and led to massive demand for digital assets. This newly created market has, among other things, contributed to the development of more employment and educational opportunities.

Additionally, some of the world’s leading universities and educational institutions, including MIT, the University of Oxford, and Harvard University, have incorporated portions of the burgeoning technology into their curricula.

Here are some of the top universities that have incorporated blockchain-related topics into their curriculum.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

When it comes to research, few come close to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Known for its groundbreaking research and competitive academic curriculum, MIT is second only to Harvard University. The institution is undoubtedly the leading university in terms of blockchain technology and takes a research-oriented approach to the decentralized ecosystem.

The institution has an impressive academic staff, with current United States Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler teaching a blockchain course at the university. There is one of the oldest bitcoin (BTC) clubs on campus called the MIT Bitcoin Club, which serves as the epicenter of the blockchain discussions at the university.

The university launched the MIT Digital Currency Experiment back in 2014, distributing bitcoin to students to encourage cryptocurrency adoption. The university has published its peer-reviewed journal on blockchain technology to catalog the growing interest of researchers in the field. True to the ethos of decentralization, the magazine is freely distributed.

Degree programs offered at the university include:

  • Blockchain Ethics: The Implications and Ethics of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology
  • B Digital Frontier: Emerging blockchain oases
  • Shared Public Ledgers: Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains and Other Wonders
MIT Building 10 and Great Dome. Source: Madcoverboy

Harvard University

Harvard is one of the oldest universities in the United States and has earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Founded in 1636, the Ivy League College has produced a record eight U.S. Presidents, fourteen Turing Prize winners, and multiple Nobel Prize winners.

In line with the principles of excellence and innovation, Harvard has added blockchain education to its curriculum. For starters, the university has partnered with Coursera to offer six free cryptocurrency courses, covering the basics to advanced levels. An online introductory course titled Breakthrough Innovation with Blockchain Technology explores the combination of AI and blockchain across multiple industries.

Harvard also boasts a thriving blockchain student community with over 200 members. Weekly Crypto 101 discussions are held and the presence of an on-campus incubator allows students to build and scale their cryptocurrency projects.

National University of Singapore

Singapore is one of the leading cryptocurrency hubs in Southeast Asia, and the National University of Singapore (NUS) is at the center of crypto adoption. Founded in 1905, the university has consistently established itself among the continent’s leading universities through its commitment to original research.

The university’s blockchain offering has a strong focus on research and entrepreneurship, with interesting essays published on the use of blockchain for decentralized computing and the enhancement of distributed consensus and smart contracts. NUS offers an in-depth blockchain curriculum that spans multiple areas and levels, from beginners to CEOs and middle managers.

The school has courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels with vibrant student-run crypto clubs. Additionally, these crypto clubs allow students to learn from their peers and publish essays on the usage and future of blockchain technologies.

Leading courses in the curriculum include:

  • Enterprise blockchain and DLT for executives
  • Blockchain, digital currencies, and distributed ledgers start here
University Hall at the National University of Singapore. Source: Joshua Rommel Hayag Vargas

University of Oxford

Oxford University holds a leading place among universities in the world and holds the record of being the second oldest university in operation. The English university has the largest university publishing house and the largest academic library system, which sets it apart from its competitors.

In terms of blockchain, Oxford is one of the leading learning centers for the new technology in Europe thanks to an extensive research center. The Blockchain Research Center has produced a litany of interesting blockchain papers, with the Oxford-Hainan Blockchain Research Institute noting significant progress.

Oxford Foundry, the university’s center for entrepreneurship, has formed interesting partnerships with Ripple to enable broader blockchain technology. The university has a vibrant student-led community called the Oxford Blockchain Society, which competes well with its contemporaries in other institutions. In terms of learning, the university has one of the most comprehensive blockchain learning programs. Top courses include:

  • Blockchain software engineering
  • Blockchain for Managers
  • Oxford Blockchain Strategy Program

Cornell University

Founded in 1865, Cornell University has carved a niche for itself as one of the premier research universities in the world. The university ranks among the top five colleges with graduate students pursuing their PhDs, and with an average of over $500 million annually spent on research and development, it’s easy to see why.

The university boasts an impressive alumni list that includes 33 Rhodes Scholars, 10 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and 35 billionaires. Cornell University also offers undergraduate and graduate degrees with a focus on blockchain technology. The caliber of the academic staff is impressive and consists of the likes of Emin Gun Sirer, with several papers presented at blockchain conferences back in 2014.

University students have secured positions in leading blockchain companies such as Coinbase and ConsenSys with the help of the Cornell Blockchain Club. Run by students, the club has published interesting articles on blockchain technology and hosted its annual conference with an impressive array of speakers from the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Degree programs offered at the university include:

  • Cryptocurrencies and Ledgers
  • Blockchain technology applications
  • Introductions to Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts
  • Fundamentals of Cryptography
The Arts Quad with McGraw Tower at Cornell University. Source: Eustress

University of California, Berkeley

Founded in 1868, the University of California, Berkeley is a leading institution for blockchain enthusiasts. The university’s diversity is evident in its fourteen colleges and over 350 majors, which it offers to thousands of students.

Research is one of the main reasons why the university makes the list as it has one of the longest lines of blockchain research. The Berkeley Haas Blockchain Initiative is the main driver of blockchain research and is largely funded by Ripple Labs. Research grants are made available to students to delve deep into the applications of the emerging technology, with particular advances in the areas of stablecoins.

The university also offers a “Blockchain Fundamentals Professional Certificate Program” through the online education platform edX. In terms of curriculum, the University of California, Berkeley offers students an extensive blockchain offering that includes:

  • Lattices: Algorithms, Complexity and Cryptography
  • Blockchain, crypto economy and the future of technology, business and law
  • Blockchain Basics