New York University (NYU) recently announced it would offer graduate level specializations in cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology. Other top universities including Cornell and Stanford are also offering crypto-related courses, which suggests there is now a “major [growing or developing] connection between academia and the blockchain industry”, according to a recent article posted on Finance Magnates.

Rachel McIntosh, the article’s author, writes that blockchain technology has gained credibility because it is being increasingly adopted by many different types of companies. She adds that “the presence of blockchain programs in educational institutions legitimizes the technology.”

As covered on CryptoGlobe, countries around the world including the Kingdom of Bahrain are beginning to take more interest in blockchain technology. Last month, Turkey launched its first research and innovation center to help its citizens learn more about distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Increasing “Presence” Of Blockchain Courses

However, simply the “presence” of blockchain-related courses at universities or learning centers does not necessarily “legitimize” the technology. That’s because the launch, or introduction, of numerous blockchain-related initial coin offerings (ICOs) did not directly give credibility or legitimacy to the distributed ledger.

In fact, ICOs have become increasingly associated with a large number of scams. This does not mean that academic courses designed to help people understand cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will not be able to contribute to legitimizing blockchain technology.

Ideally, courses on blockchain technology should be taught by those who not only have the appropriate academic background, but also a proven track record of making meaningful contributions to the nascent industry.

Computer science professor Emin Gün Sirer has both a strong academic and professional background in DLT-based assets. Dr. Sirer also teaches at Cornell university which offers several options related to studying blockchain-related technologies.

Strong Professional & Academic Background 

NYU professor Dr. David Yermack is an active commentator and contributor to MarketWatch, a popular financial information website. As covered on CryptoGlobe, Dr. Yermack had argued that Bitcoin (BTC) was not created directly as a response to the 2008 global financial crisis.

At Cornell and NYU, there’s “presence” of blockchain-related courses and they’re being taught by a group of faculty members that have also established working relationships with the actual blockchain industry.

Oftentimes, the faculty at universities are criticized for not having “real world” experience. This can also apply to people who are educating others about blockchain technology. When more courses are taught by people with the appropriate professional and academic background, then the connection between academia and the blockchain industry can truly begin to develop and strengthen.