New York University (NYU), a private non-profit research university with (additional) degree-granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, is now the world’s first institute of higher learning to allow students to study cryptocurrencies.

Establishing The “Groundwork” For Crypto

Having recently received over 75,000 undergraduate applications, NYU is among the most sought after universities in the world. Commenting on how the institution’s Stern School of Business aims to prepare students for careers in crypto, adjunct professor Andrew Hinkes said:

We hope to establish a groundwork so that the students can understand what’s really happening under the hood, so that they can understand both the legal and the business implications, and prepare them to go out and tackle this new market.

Andrew Hinkes

Notably, Stern’s business school was also the first learning center to offer individual, or elective, courses in blockchain technology and cryptographic assets. As covered on CryptoGlobe, many other universities and academic centers in the US and abroad have begun offering courses on distributed ledger technology (DLT).

A recent survey conducted by cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and research firm Qriously revealed that 42% of the world’s top ranking universities now offer courses on digital currencies. Other findings from the survey showed that 26% of 675 students surveyed were interested in taking courses on crypto.

Mustafa Khan, who’s one of many students at NYU enrolled in crypto-related courses, said: 

In the environment we live in today, it’s become especially relevant to get a hold of how new technologies work and how they interact with the legal system.

Mustafa Khan

“Internet 3.0”

General manager at Coinbase, Adam White, who has the ambitious goal of turning the San Francisco-based exchange into the “Google of crypto”, remarked that the education system has started a “grassroots movement” as courses on the latest financial technology are being offered in response to students’ growing interest in digital assets.

White also noted that many young learners see blockchain technology as “the birth of a new industry” and referred to bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) as “internet 3.0.”

While nobody can accurately predict the impact digital currencies will have on the future economy and society, as there are no “experts” yet in crypto, top universities such as Stanford and Cornell currently offer the most courses on crypto assets.

Anticipating Crypto Growth, Adoption

Clinical associate professors of finance at NYU, Kathleen DeRose, thinks that: 

The big established companies will definitely be partners in this whole equation, while the startups in [fintech] will likely invent the new cool stuff.

Kathleen DeRose

As cryptocurrencies move closer toward mainstream adoption, even alumni are reportedly going back to school and enrolling in courses on blockchain and crypto. Commenting on this trend, Dr. David Yermack, who has argued that bitcoin was not invented in response to the global financial crisis, said:

There’s a few people who graduated some years ago but have come back to sit in on this just because of the novelty and the edginess of the topic.

David Yermack