Coinbase Survey: 42% of Top Universities Offering Crypto or Blockchain Courses

Coinbase has partnered with research firm Qriously, to investigate student perception of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

Yesterday, August 28th, the leading cryptocurrency exchange published a report on its blog which includes findings on the rising number of blockchain and crypto related courses as well as student’s interest in cryptocurrencies.

The Coinbase-Qriously research involved a holistic review of the courses studied at 50 international universities, the participation of 675 U.S. students in a survey and interviews with professors and students.

Crypto and Blockchain Courses Highly Sought-After by Students

The findings revealed that 9% of the students who took part in the survey had already taken a cryptocurrency course and 26% wished to do so in the future. Significantly, the report also showed that 18% of the students surveyed already owned cryptocurrencies.

David Yermach, chairman of the New York University Stern School of Business’ Finance Department, was one of the professors interviewed by the researchers.

Interestingly, the professor explained that the first blockchain and financial services course he taught in 2014 attracted a total of 35 students. This number was lower than the average number of 43 students for elective courses in the school.

This year, however, Prof. Yermach had to change the venue for his class due to its soaring popularity, with 230 students signing up.

The professor attributed the high enrollment to the fact that corporations are increasingly seeking out individuals with knowledge about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Enterprising  students therefore, are looking to the courses as a way to get ahead.

The rush for blockchain and crypto courses is taken place in other top universities as well.

The study also shows that students with interest in studying blockchain and crypto courses come from a diverse set of departments and are studying a wide array of majors. Perhaps surprisingly, 47% of the social science majors were keen on learning about cryptocurrencies whereas only 34% of the computer science and engineering majors expressed an interest.

The researchers attributed this diversity of student interest to the growing diversity in areas for which blockchain has become relevant.

More Blockchain Courses in Universities

Another key finding from the research was that 42% percent of the top 50 universities in the world had at least one crypto or blockchain related course on offer. Stanford University and Cornell University stood out with an impressive 10 and 9 blockchain courses respectively.

Stanford University has taken somewhat of a lead in this area, opening its Centre for Blockchain Research earlier this year to allow multi-disciplinary research on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

The study also found that the blockchain and cryptocurrency courses were not limited to the computer science and finance departments but were available to other departments including anthropology.

Encouragingly for the crypto-space, the Coinbase report suggests that universities are beginning to view blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as areas worthy of study

Industry experts will no doubt see these findings as indicators of the impact cryptocurrencies are already having, as well as boding well for the future growth of the space.

Ousted Bitmain Co-Founder Storms Company Offices With Private Security Guards

Micree Zhan, co-founder of cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain, has reportedly stormed the company’s offices in Beijing with private security guards in a bid to take back control.

According to local news outlet Blockbeats, the moves comes amid a battle for control over Bitmain between its two co-founders, Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu. Zhan reportedly took over the Beijing offices with private security guards and then sent a letter to shareholders and employees, stating he was in control of the office and encouraging employees to return to work.

On social media an edited version of the video of Zhan storming the offices is circulating.

In the letter, Zhan apologized for the recent turmoil at the company and said he would take it public in hopes of raising funds through an initial public offering and getting its value up to $50 billion within five years.

On its Weibo account, Bitmain claimed Zhan has been removed from his position as a legal representative for the Beijing subsidiary of Bitmain, and that a team of lawyers will be pursuing litigation. Under Chinese law, it’s worth noting, a legal representative has powers over the company’s capital and assets, and as such the title is usually held by the CEO.

Battling for Bitmain

Bitmain’s co-founder, it’s worth noting, have been battling each other since October 2019, when CEO Jihan Wu ousted Zhan from the firm, sending staff an email informing them they were to “no longer take any direction from Zhan, or participate in any meeting organized by Zhan.” Bitmain could, per the email, “consider terminating employment contracts” for those who went against the email.

The internal dispute between Zhan and Wu started over different opinions on Bitmain’s future. While Zhan believes the firm should diversify and start offering silicon specialized towards artificial Intelligence, Wu has fought for it to pursue cryptocurrency mining-related operations.

After Bitmain failed to go public on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Wu left the company but later on return with shareholder support, saying he would take legal action to regain control over it. At the time, Wu said:

Bitmain is our child. I will fight for her till the end with legal weapons. I won’t allow those who want to plot against Bitmain to succeed. If someone wants a war, we will give them one.

At the time control of the company was given to Zhan, but the conflict escalated on May 8 at the Haidian District Administrative Service Center, as when the co-founder was there to collect documents, dozens of others showed up, including Bitmain’s current CEO Liu Luvao. According to Caixin, a physical fight ensued and police had to be called.

Featured image by Ali Yahya on Unsplash.