How Cryptocurrencies Are Beginning to Shape Fintech Education in Colleges
There’s no denying that Fintech Revolution has already impacted the entire financial industry – whether it’s through how we lend money or pay for for goods. But, did you also know that fintech, specially cryptocurrencies, are also altering the education industry?
It was just in 2014 when the first cryptocurrency classes were first offered in the U.S. at top-ranked universities. The first class, The Law and Business of Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies, was taught at New York University by law Professor Geoffrey Miller and business Professor David Yermack. According to Professor Yermack,
“The course is not so much about teaching a knowledge of bitcoin, but it’s to show how some of the issues about property, finance and contracts are going to change very quickly in the next century. The technology is forcing people to reexamine long-held assumptions.”
The other course was Duke University’s Innovation, Disruption and Cryptoventures. Taught by Finance Professor Campbell Harvey, the course focused on the potential benefits that the block chain had on businesses.
Besides NYU and Duke, the University of Nicosia in Cyprus offered a masters in digital currency and the UK’s University of Cumbria offered two certificates on cryptocurrencies.
Today, courses that discuss cryptocurrencies are becoming commonplace on college campuses around the world.
“The role of technology in banking is changing the landscape and our education much change as well,” says Adair Morse, assistant professor of finance at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The Haas School is currently exploring the innovations in crowdfunding, payments, and currencies in its MBA program.
Stanford University School of Engineering launched a new course, Crypto Currencies: Bitcoin and Friends, in September 2015. Dan Boneh, a professor of computer science at the school who will be teaching the course, has said that “The technology behind Bitcoin and other crypto currencies can be an indispensable tool for protecting information.”
“Traditionally most business school finance courses focus on the tools required to be successful in true banking jobs” says Marc Hamud, senior vice president at GE Capital, who also co-teaches a new fintech class at USC’s Marshall School of Business. USC now offers a course that that focuses on “tech-enabled business models with the potential to disrupt the status quo.”
MIT is another storied educational institution that offers a course titled “FinTech Ventures.” The course gives students seven weeks to develop a business plan in the fintech industry. While 76 students are exploring the blockchain business venture’s at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
The Wharton School of the University Pennsylvania has created the first student led fintech initiative with Wharton FinTech. According to Matthew Applegate, MBA and VP at Wharton FinTech, “Students receive credit for helping fintech companies solve their most challenging business problems.”
Raghu Rau, professor of finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, says “We’re seeing a lot of interest from mainstream financial institutions and from students who want to work at fintech companies.” To meet this demand, Cambridge has launched a series of fintech courses for MBA, master and executive students.
In fact, there are now a number of banks, such as MasterCard, and fintech leaders who are teaming up with business schools to “form research, events, and educational programs.”
Besides on-campus courses, online there are also a number of online courses that explore the fintech industry. For example, Princeton has debuted Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies through Coursera in 2015. The Ivy-league university also offers a free bitcoin course.
As Professor Yermack says, “The fintech curriculum will have to be taught at every business school, because students and employers will demand it.”