New York University (NYU) has become the first higher learning institution in the world to offer students the chance to major in cryptocurrencies. It claims to have received over 75,000 undergraduate applications for this.
“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,” says Andrew Hinkes, NYU’s Stern School of Business Professor.
NYU, first to offer blockchain and crypto courses
Hinkes says that NYU was also the first learning centre to offer individual or elective courses in blockchain technology and cryptographic assets. Many other universities in the United States and in other countries have since begun to offer distributed ledger technology (DLT) courses. A recent survey by Coinbase shows 42% of the world’s top ranking universities are offering courses on digital currencies. The same poll revealed 26% of students surveyed had interest in taking courses on crypto.
“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,” says Mustafa Khan, a student at NYU who has enrolled in cryptocurrency courses.
“The big established companies will definitely be partners in this whole equation, while the startups in FinTech will likely invent the new cool stuff,” says Katleen DeRose, a finance professor at NYU.
NYU says not only new students are expressing interest in the crypto space but also graduates who have come back to the university to learn about blockchain etc.
Dr David Yermack, NYU finance professor, says “there are 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”.