Category Archives: David Yermack

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New York University Launches First Crypto Major Program in US

New York University has become the first college in the United States to offer a cryptocurrency and blockchain major. This is a milestone for Bitcoin, crypto, and blockchain, especially considering this technology was non-existent only ten years ago. The crypto and blockchain major will be offered by the Stern School of Business.

Adjunct Professor Andrew Hinkes says, “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.”

Apparently, New York University had already been offering crypto and blockchain classes, and the room became so filled that they had to move to a bigger room. According to David Yermack, the New York University Finance Department Chair, even alumni are coming back to school to take crypto and blockchain courses. Yermack 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.”

Being the first to offer crypto and blockchain courses, and now the first to offer a major, its students can get a real degree in crypto and blockchain for the first time from an accredited institution. However, many other universities like Stanford and Cornell offer crypto and blockchain courses. In fact, over 40% of the world’s top 50 universities offer courses in crypto and blockchain.

Perhaps this is not surprising, since the rapid expansion of the crypto and blockchain field has made it one of the most lucrative business sectors, and one of the best when it comes to jobs. Blockchain jobs are considered the best job in the United States according to the Upworks Skills Index, and in Asia crypto and blockchain jobs are up 50% since 2017.

In an economy where most fields are stagnating, crypto and blockchain are booming, so it is inevitable that crypto and blockchain becomes a common major at universities. New York University was ahead of the game when they offered the first crypto and blockchain courses, and once again they are setting the trend with the first crypto and blockchain major.


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Universities Getting Clever with New Blockchain Courses

Despite Bitcoin’s current downturn, universities are increasingly opening up educational projects for blockchain technology reports Econotimes, with the number of universities and educational facilities running blockchain and cryptocurrency courses growing as financial markets expand and absorb more blockchain-related products.

There are now many opportunities for blockchain developers but clearly not enough skilled technicians to fill these gaps. Toptal, a marketplace for hiring tech talent, has recorded a 700% increase in demand for blockchain developers since January 2017. These positions can be well paid. According to Jerry Cuomo, VP of IBM’s blockchain technologies division, the best blockchain developers can command a salary above USD 250,000.

There are have been some early starters; institutions offering courses in digital information systems, the blockchain, and cryptocurrency. In the US, the Northeastern University College of Engineering in Boston and George Mason University in Virginia run courses in blockchain technology as part of other advanced educational postgraduate Science programs.  The University of Cape Town now offers a cryptocurrency and fintech elective module as part of its wider Data Science Masters program.

In Scotland, the University of Sterling – as part of its Financial Technology Masters program, offers participants a primer to blockchain technology, which includes cryptocurrencies, decentralized applications, smart contracts, and applications and case studies.

What is changing now is the way in which blockchain hard forks and other cryptocurrency specifics are taking the technology in directions which also require new specialized skills.

Professor David Yermack from NYC Stern School of Business was an early teacher of blockchain and crypto tech on the university’s MBA program suggests business schools will have to update their curricula due to the rapid rate in which the markets are moving. His current class has doubled over the past year and lessons are conducted at a larger auditorium because of the recent surge of student applications.

In the UK, Garrick Hileman, a research associate and lecturer at the University of Cambridge and the first to develop a blockchain graduate course, said other departments including finance and law are now jumping on the blockchain educational bandwagon. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see some turf wars break out over who owns the blockchain curriculum at business schools,” comments Hileman.

Blockchain training and education is needed in many sectors now and is not simply limited to IT and finance. Even cattle farming has branched into the new tech. Take Bonita Carlson of Persson cattle Ranch in Wyoming who’s trying to create a worldwide-link-of-cattle supply chain, so that electronically tagged cattle can be on an immutable ledger verifying their free-range farming credentials.

From farming to health, the need for more blockchain specialists is clearly on the rise., and it appears that universities are now catching up with the market’s surge of new uses for the burgeoning tech across all sectors.


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