Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have been on the rise in the past year or two. While many are interested to take part in the hype, not many understand the technology behind them or how the technology can be used to enhance security and anonymity. Particularly, the younger generations are looking to blockchain as the technology of the future and also are looking to understand how it works. To answer that call for some college students, New York University announced that they will offer a crypto major.
With the announcement, New York University, a prestigious university with just over 25,000 students, will become the first university in the United States to offer a major around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Students across the nation have been calling for crypto-related courses and institutions such as Stanford and MIT have started offering programs which in part cover the technology, but do not dive into it into the detail that New York University’s major will. In fact, many alumni have even come back to these institutions to take crypto courses or learn about the technology behind it to apply it to their life. Most importantly, the students and alumni are looking to understand the legal and business implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Andrew Hinkes, adjunct professor at New York University, said,
“We hope to establish a groundwork so that the students can understand what’s really happening under the hood so that they can understand both the legal and the business implications, and prepare them to go out and tackle this new market.”
Furthermore, a student at NYU, Mustafa Khan, said, “In the environment, we live in today, it’s become especially relevant to get a hold of how new technologies work and how they interact with the legal system.”
Beyond the classroom, banks across the nation are looking to develop crypto products for their institutional investors. As banks are responsible for responding to trends in the market, they understand that blockchain is the future for many consumers. Across the spectrum, cryptocurrencies and blockchain are gaining ground.
According to Coinbase vice president Adam White, “This is a grassroots movement. These are students saying, ‘hey, university, I want to take a class on this.’ I think they see the development, the birth of a new industry. In many ways, we look at things like Bitcoin and Ethereum and blockchain as the internet 3.0.”
While New York University is the first to take the leap towards a crypto major, it is likely that other institutions will follow. Prestigious institutions which are already teaching material around the subject matter, such as Stanford and MIT, could be next.