Academic Courses on Blockchain Technology Must Be Taught By Professionals with Industry Experience

  • There are an increasing number of courses being offered on blockchain technology.
  • The introduction of these courses can only give "legitmacy" to blockchain technology if they're being taught by those who have the appropriate professional and academic background.

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.

Switzerland's Telecom Giant Brings Blockchain-based Artwork to Mainstream TV

Swisscom AG, one of the largest telecommunications providers in Switzerland, has introduced a new approach to using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Swisscom AG’s latest Ethereum blockchain-based, ERC-721 smart contract-enabled product, called Noow, will reportedly be used to showcase and certify artwork and only the owners and creators of the artwork will know how many pieces have been distributed. The digital certificates of authenticity, issued through smart contracts, will be easily transferable between buyers and sellers.

Independently Distributing and Financing Artwork

The Noow app has been developed by Dloop AG, a Zug, Crypto Valley-based firm which was initially launched through Kickbox, Swisscom’s accelerator and project incubator.

According to local news outlet Greater Zurich Areas, Dloop AG’s app allows artists to independently distribute and finance their digital artwork. The distributed ledger technology (DLT)-powered Noow app will be integrated into Swisscom TV, in order to introduce digital artwork to mainstream TV viewers.

As detailed by local sources, the digital art will be featured on screens located in Switzerland-based business offices, upscale restaurants, and hotel lobbies. The “changing sequences or animations” of the digital art pieces “create a unique ambience,” local news outlets explained. However, this type of artwork has not always been properly protected from being used without the consent of their creator or owner.

“Guaranteeing Ownership Rights for Buyers and Payment for Artists”

In order to prevent the digital art pieces from being used illegally, or without the permission of their owner, the copyright protection information will now be managed using Noow app’s blockchain-enabled solution which has been designed to “guarantee the ownership rights for buyers and payment for artists.”

As mentioned in a press release, published on Swisscom’s official website (on May 22, 2019), Noow will be available (starting May 23) as an app “exclusively on Swisscom TV (UHD-ready TV-Box from Swisscom).” The new DLT-powered app will include “100 works by 30 international artists” which will be selected by curator Stefanie Marlene Wenger.

Commenting on the initiative, the release noted:

This is about more than creating a virtual gallery; the next step will be to include curated exhibitions on the platform and a close collaboration with galleries.

Currently, Swisscom TV features more than 300 channels, which includes a large selection of films, sports and drama series and various on-demand shows. Swisscom TV also offers its customers different apps, which now includes the Noow app - allowing users to enjoy a wide selection of artwork from their living room.