As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, the quest for formal education and certification in this burgeoning field is becoming increasingly prominent.

According to an article by Olga Kharif for Bloomberg News that was published earlier today, the disparity in the rigor and recognition of financial certifications is stark, especially when comparing traditional qualifications like the chartered financial analyst (CFA) or certified public accountant (CPA) exams to those available in the crypto industry.

Bloomberg highlights that while aspiring CFAs are advised to dedicate at least 900 hours to study, those looking to earn a “Certified Cryptocurrency Expert” title can do so with just 11 hours of online coursework and a fee of $229 through the Blockchain Council.

Bloomberg points out that the rapid ascent of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has spiked interest in crypto certifications, yet the absence of a widely acknowledged professional accreditation leaves much room for skepticism. This skepticism, it claims, is further compounded by the offerings of various organizations attempting to fill this gap, raising questions about the true value of such certifications.

Duke University finance professor Campbell Harvey, quoted by Bloomberg, warns of the potential for some certifications to be little more than “money grabbing gimmicks,” urging students to proceed with caution.

The Bloomberg report also sheds light on instances where crypto-education programs have been implicated in fraudulent activities. An example provided involves the American Bitcoin Academy, whose founder was settled with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for deceiving students into investing in a nonexistent hedge fund. This case underscores the critical need for due diligence when pursuing education in the crypto space.

Despite the burgeoning interest in crypto certifications, as evidenced by Google Trends data referenced by Bloomberg, there seems to be a discernible divide in their acceptance within the industry. For instance, Coinbase Global Inc., a leading US crypto exchange, values hands-on experience and a demonstrable passion for crypto over formal certifications, according to a spokesperson quoted in the Bloomberg article.

However, not all certifications are viewed with skepticism. Bloomberg notes that Bitwise Asset Management has encouraged over 20 of its employees to undertake the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals certification since 2021, signaling a recognition of its value in laying a foundational knowledge of crypto.

Ric Edelman, founder of the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals, told Bloomberg that interest in their courses has surged alongside the approval of the first spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US, indicating a growing demand for comprehensive education that spans blockchain, financial planning, taxation, and estate planning in relation to crypto.

Featured Image via Pixabay