Yesterday, various news outlets reported that it is now possible to get a master’s degree in cryptofinance. The gist of these reports was that Brazilian University Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV), also known as the Sao Paulo School of Economics, claimed that it is offering the world’s first master’s degree in cryptofinance.
Although universities have been offering courses in blockchain and cryptocurrencies as early as 2014 — when NYU Stern School of Business became the first major university to launch such a course — a master’s degree solely focused on cryptofinance is unique.
A look at the relevant section of the university’s website, shows that FGV has a Master’s Program in Economics (MPE) that offers specializations in one of four subjects: Portfolio Management, Risk Management, Data Science, and Cryptofinance. In the second semester of this four-semester program, those specializing in Cryptofinance must take the following courses: “Cryptofinance”; “Cryptoeconomics”; and “Laboratory of Cryptofinance and Economics”.
Ricardo Rochman, the program’s coordinator, claimed it was born out of a need for specialized education in the cryptocurrency industry. Per his words, it is a “market with a profound lack of people with expertise.” Students are set to study the markets from a more objective, academic perspective, as opposed to a speculative one.
Michele Araujo, a 26-year-old economics student at FGV noted that learning about cryptocurrencies can be beneficial:
“There is a conceptual gain of knowing both the practical applications of the technology and cryptocurrency as an alternative investment.”
Universities in Brazil, the country with the largest crypto market in South America, are seemingly responding to the huge amount of interest in cryptofinance, while refusing to be discouraged by what Ilan Goldfajn, the governor of Brazil’s central bank, said about Bitcoin last October:
“The bitcoin is a financial asset with no ballast that people buy because they believe it will appreciate. That is a typical bubble or pyramid [scheme]…The central bank is not interested in bubbles or illicit payments.”