The government of Gibraltar, a small territory whose sovereignty is still a point of contention, recently established an advisory group to focus on developing education courses and curriculum for blockchain technology.

According to the Gibraltar Chronicle, the distributed ledger technology (DLT) focused team is referred to as the New Technologies in Education (NTiE) group. As explained by Gilbert Licudi, the minister tasked with managing Gibraltar’s university, NTiE is a “joint initiative” between the territory’s government and the University of Gibraltar, an institute that focuses on regional research policies.

Education Initiative “To Address Growing Demand” For New Tech

Additionally, the NTiE project may involve some “leading technology companies” headquartered in Gibraltar, the local news outlet said. Per the NTiE board members, the advisory and incubator group will aim “to address the growing demand” for specialized skills related to furthering the development of blockchain and other innovative types of financial technology.

Commenting on Gibraltar’s blockchain-related education initiative, Licudi said: 

Today’s announcement is a strong indication that we are on the right path towards delivering our objective of addressing the skills requirements that will be needed to fully realize the potential of new technologies.

Gilbert Licudi

Licudi continued: “Providing access to innovative courses with expert input from those using this technology in the private sector is a vital component in the development of a sustainable DLT commercial community in Gibraltar.”

Meanwhile, Nadine Collado, the Director of Professional Development and Commercial Services, noted:

The University is committed to developing and enhancing expertise in technologies such as blockchain, distributed ledger technology, coding and smart contracts across the education sector.

Nadine Collado

Collado added: “We are already scheduling a variety of offerings, to include a Professional Certificate of Competence within this area.”

Colladao, the former director at Line Management Services Ltd, a company offering wealth and corporate management services, will be leading a government-backed initiative that is designed to “equip individuals with knowledge of the workings and potential applications of blockchain technology,” the Gibraltar Chronicle wrote.

First Jurisdiction To Introduce DLT Regulations

Notably, local blockchain and fintech firms are expected to make significant contributions to NTiE’s course material and curriculum. Some of these tech firms are reportedly in the process of completing the regulatory paperwork and requirements necessary to obtain an operational license for their services. The first batch of courses are scheduled to be introduced at some point later this year.

Reflecting on the growth and development of emerging markets and technology in Gibraltar, Collado said: 

The launch of the NTiE advisory group continues to build momentum for Gibraltar as a hub for new technologies, following the announcement in January 2018 that Gibraltar would be the first jurisdiction globally to introduce legislation around Distributed Ledger Technology.

Nadine Collado

John Cortes, Gibraltar’s minister for education, noted: 

The Department of Education is very happy to be a partner in this initiative. Improving the way we prepare our young people within the schools in digital technology in all its forms is a critical part of our plans for Education.

John Cortes

New York University (NYU) Only Offers “Specializations” In Cryptocurrencies 

Albert Isola, Gibraltar’s minister of commerce, commented. Isola stated that NYU recently became the first university in the Uniteed States to offer its students the “chance to major in blockchain,” pointing to it as evidence “interest in the subject is growing.”

In fact, half of the top 50 universities worldwide provide courses in this technology and cryptocurrencies, but these are predominantly based in the United States. Only 27% of international universities offer any type of course and Gibraltar wants to help change that. We continuously punch above our weight when it comes to promoting new technology opportunities and so provision of higher education will be no different.

Albert Isola

He continued:

For us to achieve our goal of a successful, long-term and sustainable business sector for Gibraltar, it is imperative that we educate all different levels. The creation of this advisory group is a key step in achieving this

Albert Isola

CryptoGlobe was informed initial reports were inaccurate. Currently, NYU only offers graduate-level specializations in cryptocurrencies.