The Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center (BlockchainIST) recently held its inauguration ceremony at Turkey’s Bahçeşehir University (BAU). Notably, BlockchainIST is the nation’s first-ever blockchain and (related) distributed ledger technology (DLT) education institute for college-level students.

The Academic Side Of Blockchain

The new blockchain center will help local students gain a better understanding of the latest cryptographic technology, in order to prepare them for the growing number of jobs that require candidates to have a strong background in building blockchain-based systems. In fact, a recent report indicates demand for blockchain developers is second only to the need for Robotics engineers.

BlockchainIST will reportedly train students in the latest technologies currently being used in the evolving blockchain ecosystem. The center will also help entrepreneurs and other interested learners pursue the academic side of the crypto and blockchain industry.

Real-World Blockchain Projects

Bora Erdamar, director of BlockchainIST, noted there are now many skilled DLT professionals in Turkey, and that they will be working closely with students on various real-world blockchain projects. The center will be looking to hire DLT experts from abroad as well, Erdamar said, so that learners can gain more international exposure regarding how blockchain is being used to make business processes more efficient.

Commenting on the center’s mission and objectives, the economics professor stated:

The purpose of the BlockchainIST project is to be the most important center of research and development and innovation in Turkey in which scientific studies and publications are made in blockchain technologies. To this end, it is crucial to cooperate with other universities, the business world and government institutions.

Bora Erdamar

Rapidly Evolving Digital Economy

Erdamar added that BlockchainIST is Turkey’s first research and innovation institute to operate directly from a university campus. The professor and founder of further noted that Turkey’s digital economy was growing rapidly and that it was looking to become one of the world’s leaders in blockchain technology.

He added:

We are trying to lead this business with such a center. We will strive to train Turkey's human resources in blockchain and enable the country to lead the world in this area.”

Bora Erdamar

Notably, Turkey is not the only country that is striving to play a leading role in the emerging blockchain sector. The United Arab Emirates’ “global” city of Dubai is planning to use blockchain for 50% of its transactions by 2021.