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University in Ohio Announces Blockchain Hub

University in Ohio Announces Blockchain Hub

A top-ranked private research university based in Cleveland, Ohio, has announced the establishment of the “Cleveland Blockchain and Digital Futures Hub”.

Beginnings

First reported by local media outlet Cleveland.com, Case Western Reserve University (CRWU) President Barbara Snyder announced the hub at the inaugural Blockland Solutions conference, a Northeast Ohio blockchain event and community that endeavors to turn the region into a center for blockchain technology.

Reportedly, the hub will also be examining other cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as virtual reality. It will also be looking to “develop research and build applications” with enterprises, academic institutions, tech accelerators, and the government.

While presently bearing no physical headquarters, central administration and is also yet to be funded, there have been three meetings so far on the CWRU campus, which according to organizers does not indicate that it will be calling the university home.

One of the earliest recruits to Blockland and President of Colorado State University (CSU), Harlan Sands, said:

“Other blockchain educational initiatives usually involve a single company or a lone university… In contrast, Cleveland is poised to leverage the whole continuum of interests: the strength of the community college, the city’s public research institute institution and the regions only AAU (Association of American Universities) research institution.”

Come together

Much like blockchain associations, there have been numerous “Blockchain Hubs” popping up all over the world; from Nigeria to Slovenia, these microcosms of expertise and advocacy tend to sprout when blockchain related activities hit a certain point of adoption and discourse in a given jurisdiction.

For Ohio, it was a case of “when” as opposed to “if” one would be set up. The Midwestern state has become the first in the United States to accept bitcoin for tax payments, and most recently, several funds within the bullish state are banding together and have pledged to pool hundreds of millions of dollars into startups developing blockchain solutions for government and business purposes.

The establishment of the hub is rather timely considering the state’s most recent blockchain initiative launch. According to the managing director of the Canadian Blockchain Research Institute, for it to succeed, it will require Cleveland to gather around 1,000 software developers and a dozen or so startups. That said, local blockchain advocate and serial-entrepreneur, Bernie Monero, believes the infrastructure is in place to incubate the startups.

Additionally, Sands noted that CSU and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in northeast Ohio are pressing to implement blockchain into technology-related degrees, something of which other academic institutions in the United States are clamoring for.

 

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42 Blockchain Experts Being Trained in South Korea

The next generation of blockchain experts are soon to be trained in South Korea through a new three-way partnership between the Ministry of Technology and ICT, the Korean Standards Association (KSA) and a Hong-Kong based blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) startup called Waltonchain.

Creating experts

As reported by a local media outlet KI News, there are just over 40 participants presently being trained in the field and will be ready for immediate employment when they complete the course in 2019.

Wang Sang Hyeong, secretary general of Waltonchain said, “We will provide a one-stop support for employment and business startups as well as education for the professional training of employees, and we will strengthen the building of a healthy blockchain ecosystem.”

The intensive training course will run for six months, requiring the selected students to spend eight hours a day studying; it is a part of the governments “blockchain technology development strategy”, which is reported to see at least KRW 100 billion spent over the next decade to boost the blockchain industry in South Korea.

It signifies a broader scope of vision for the pro-blockchain nation that is wrestling certain facets of the technology, especially regarding the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the presently banned but up-for-debate issue of initial coin offerings (ICOs).

South Korea presently has in place a gigantic fund that focuses on the long-term prospects of fostering technological advancements in all aspects.

The “Growth through Innovation Investment Plan” will see USD 4.4 billion spent on new technologies and innovative industries in 2019, further to this, over the next five years, approximately double that will also be invested into these new technologies.

The next generations

The youth in South Korea are also benefiting from the government’s bullish approach to blockchain. In mid-August, it was reported that another six-month training program was to take place, which is made up of 40 courses including blockchain development among other emerging technologies.

Universities, governments and other institutions are clamoring to educate the next generation of blockchain innovators and entrepreneurs. According to a recent survey published by US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, 42% of the world’s top 50 universities are offering one course of more that relates to cryptocurrency or blockchain technology.

Blockchain-hub Malta also made recent news with the announcement of an EUR 300,000 blockchain scholarship, which has come from a partnership between the University of Malta and the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA).

The fund will be available for students specializing in ICT, law, finance and engineering who are looking to state blockchain related Masters and PhD research dissertations.

Efforts to educate on scales such as these reflect the global sentiment toward blockchain and cryptocurrencies; the mood is shifting ever more in favor of the tech at all levels of society and institutionally backed education will only prove to secure its position in the coming future.

 

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University of Malta Announces Blockchain Scholarship Fund

A EUR 300,000 blockchain scholarship has been announced on the island of Malta in a partnership between the University of Malta and the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA).

Scholarship fund

As reported by local news outlet Times of Malta on 29 August, the fund will be allocated to students who specialize in ICT, law, finance and engineering. Split over three years and starting this academic year, students can apply to the scholarship and start blockchain- and DLT-related Masters and PhD research dissertations.

Dr Silvio Schembri, digital economy parliamentary secretary, said, “These companies need technical resources both to build and to operate by use of this technology, as well as experts in financial services, law and managerial roles”.

This year, Malta has been a prominent entity for the growth of the blockchain industry and community. Passing accommodating blockchain and cryptocurrency laws in July, becoming the new home of digital currency exchange giant Binance and topping the charts for initial coin funding gains are just occurrences in Malta that signify a blockchain-centric future for the island.

With education now being introduced as part of the nation’s blockchain-friendly infrastructure, blockchain companies will find it hard not to be attracted to Malta’s shores. According to the Times of Malta article, Dr Schembri is positively anticipating scholarship beneficiaries occupying “important posts” in the sector.

University of Malta rector Alfred Vella also described a plan to internally exercise and review other degrees and Master’s programs such as law and finance ICT to include units connected to DLT, blockchain, AI, fintech and regulatory technology.

According to MITA executive chairman Tony Sultana, the agency is presently making inroads with other educational institutions to get a similar program going. Further to this, public sector employees are receiving training with the tech.

Education for the next generation

Interestingly, Malta already has a blockchain degree in the works, which is part of civil servant training and will be on offer later this year.

The topic of blockchain education and degrees is becoming a familiar one; there is a global movement presently taking place that is attempting to apprehend a world heavily involved with blockchain technology.

A recent report found that 42% of the top 50 universities in the world are offering “at least” one course on blockchain technologies or cryptocurrencies. The findings were from a Coinbase survey that highlighted an increase in courses as well as a growing interest from students in a “range of majors”.

 

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Walton College at University of Arkansas Joins Growing List of Blockchain Educators

The University of Arkansas (UA) is the latest addition to the growing list of blockchain education proponents having now established a Blockchain Center of Excellence at its Sam M Walton College of Business.

Proactive approach

UA is seeking to study the nascent technology and prepare its students for a future of blockchain, a technology that is experiencing incredible growth and applicable to almost every sector and industry.

In the sprouting adoption of blockchain into the mainstream consciousness, the desire to prepare the future generations is escalating. The technology is expected to disrupt many other global technologies and UA is taking the bullish approach.

Walton College Dean, Matt Waller said, “We will develop and establish research partnerships by conducting collaborative industry-university research, we will promote and enable dissemination of knowledge about blockchains, and we will accelerate industry adoption of blockchain technology.”

The new center is funded by an executive set of partners which will be limited to ten. Five have already been selected, most notably Walmart and IBM, who have deeply invested their time and funds into blockchain projects and patents.

Mary C Lacity, Department of Information Systems Professor at the Walton College and the new director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence said, “The technology is immature. Enterprises need to overcome significant obstacles to transition more blockchains out of innovation labs into live production.”

The center will be collaborating with Arkansas-based companies. It is taking a proactive approach to the study of blockchain with the intention of utilizing these relationships for practical research and business integration.

Other efforts

Educational institutions in the United States are mounting an academic response to the emerging industry, which, due to the cautious public and skeptical governmental approach to cryptocurrencies and blockchain may come as a surprise. However, now that the markets have cooled off, the monetary value of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies comes second to the value of the underpinning tech.

Stanford University, New York University, as well as others are tackling different facets of the industry. Stanford is shooting for the business approach, much like AU who is apprehending an innovative enterprising future with blockchain.

New York University is offering a course that educates students in cryptocurrencies, which is similar to that of Berkley; DePaul University is providing smart contract and fintech-focused classes.

Other global efforts are taking place, Brazil, Denmark, Russia, and prestigious academic institutions in the United Kingdom are making hefty bids to provide blockchain educations.

If industry-wide adoption has brought blockchain to the forefront of governmental discussion, then the inroads created by academic institutions may truly be the way to break blockchain into the mainstream permanently.

 

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