In addition to offering the most industry-related courses, Cornell University is also actively exploring the implementation of blockchain technology and even working on a Bitcoin rival.
In order to truly understand something, you need to research it. That’s why some of us go to college or university. We want to study a subject so that when we get a job in that field, we actually know what we’re talking about.
This could be especially true for technologies that the rest of the world is just waking up to, like Bitcoin and blockchain. While they may have started grabbing major headlines in 2017, they’ve been around for nearly 10 years and are continuing to grow. It’s not surprising then that students want to learn more about the future of technology.
Universities have been offering courses for a few years now. In fact, Live Bitcoin News recently reported that a whopping 42% of universities all around the world offer at least one course on virtual currencies and blockchain. However, according to research from Coinbase and Qriously, one institution seems to be top of the class when it comes to the number of courses offered.
Cornell for the Win
Cornell University in the U.S. city of Ithaca, New York, offers an impressive 28 courses, the highest number compared to 50 of the world’s top universities. According to The Cornell Daily Sun, some of these courses include Cryptography; Introduction to Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies, and Smart Contracts; and Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts.
Prof. Greg Morrisett, who is the dean of the computing and information sciences department, explained how he believes this technology will impact the future, saying:
I think everyone is a bit wary around all of the hype. But there really is interesting science and technology that underlies this field, and many folks believe that this will have a transformative effect on business and the economy.
He used the following example when trying to convey the security and automation that blockchain provides, stating:
Imagine that you wanted to buy insurance in case a flight gets canceled out of Ithaca. You could use blockchain-based contracts to set up a scheme with someone you don’t even know or trust, and regardless, you would get paid automatically if the flight was canceled.
These courses are not just half full either. Prof. Ari Juels of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech said that his two classes had full enrollments, showing that the courses were “very popular.”
Watch Out, Bitcoin
Last year saw the university introduce the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3), which aims not only to study blockchain but to find ways to implement it as well. With about 15 faculty members and over 50 Ph.D. students from all over the world, the initiative has big plans.
The co-director of IC3, Prof. Emin Sirer, said that some of the projects “stand poised to change [financial technology] as we know it.” He also referred to Ava, an innovative system “seeking [to] unseat Bitcoin’s dominance in the field of cryptocurrencies.”
Sirer has said that IC3 has also indirectly assisted Bitcoin Cash through their research as well as launching their own startups, one of which is ThunderCore, a blockchain network with its own crypto. Prof. Elaine Shi, co-director of IC3, said that the team develops “platforms and tools that aid non-expert programmers in creating systems that are ‘secure by design’ and ‘secure by default’.”
Morrisett credited the dedicated individuals and teams involved in exploring this technology with Cornell’s impressive achievements so far, saying:
At this point, it’s widely known that Cornell is the leading place for this kind of research and the credit goes to the amazing faculty we have.
The future seems poised to be a refreshing change from the past. With blockchain, and technology as a whole, anyone who has the will and the drive to learn about the industry, whether it be in university or online, can build their own success. In the age of blockchain, they might not even need to rack up a pile of student debt to do so.
What do you think of Cornell University’s ambitious plans for the industry? Let us know in the comments below!
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