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University Crypto Courses Gaining Prominence

University Crypto Courses Gain Prominence

In the most recent years of cryptocurrency growth, one particular trend observed in academia is the uptick in blockchain-related courses and increased student participation in crypto activities.

It can be described as perhaps an improvement when it comes to crypto adoption, with Coinbase recently publishing a report of a survey carried out by Qriously which partly assessed the overall crypto sentiment among university students. And not surprisingly, the developing trends in cryptocurrency adoption – in whichever form – be it economics, political, social or even in technical aspects, have grown on students and rallied an unwavering enthusiasm towards crypto learning. The survey reports:

“Among students, distrust in the current financial system is feeding an increasing curiosity around crypto, and it cuts across disciplines.”

Being a center for knowledge seekers, the university grounds provides an unlimited opportunity for like minds to brace forward-thinking concepts, and launch towards the expanding frontiers of innovation. And luckily, most universities are not elusive to the intellectual escapade of blockchain technology despite numerous uncertainties within the industry such as regulation. In fact, such uncertainties have proven to spark curiosity in the first place.

According to the report: “Stanford Law students taking ‘Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies: Law, Economics, Business, and Policy’ study legal and regulatory structures with a particular emphasis on ‘securities regulation’… Sociology undergrads at Stanford are exploring the potential for blockchain to create a fairer economic system in a class called ‘Justice + Poverty Innovation’.”

And even though the “blockchain fad”, as many anti-crypto factions would casually dismiss, appears to be overly hyped or speculative at best, the unraveling potentials far outweigh what most academicians have seen in a long time. As Dawn Song, a computer science professor at the University of California Berkeley, puts it:

“The blockchain domain’s interdisciplinary nature makes it very different from any traditional field.”

Compared to Coinbase’s inaugural 2018 report on higher education, a 14% rise in the adoption of crypto-related subjects among the top 50 universities in the world does prove that the concepts of blockchain technology continue to spread like wildfire and can only draw more attention from the masses.

Many of these blockchain initiatives within universities have rallied support from across the globe. The good thing about most of these educative initiatives is that one doesn’t need to be physically present to take a blockchain or crypto-related course as most of these courses are offered online. Oftentimes, some of these initiatives come with amazing scholarships, as have been seen in the University of Malta and the Fudan University in China, among many others who aim to support blockchain education.

A forward-looking approach to the uptick in crypto-related education can as well impact job creation in the nascent field, as more competent and well-versed developers, crypto-economics strategists, specialized legal officers can help chart a better course into the uncharted territories of blockchain enterprise.

 

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Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz Couldn’t Be More Wrong About Crypto

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz Couldn't Be More Wrong About Crypto

A stunning comment from a professor of economics begs the question of whether or not the concept of cryptocurrency or the blockchain has well permeated the economic circle.

Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz shared his opinion about cryptocurrencies in an interview with CNBC. He was strongly opinionated about “shutting down cryptocurrencies”, being hung up on the idea that cryptocurrencies do not have the necessary transparency needed to be widely adopted as a currency. Though he says he’s a great advocate of moving unto electronic payment mechanisms, citing their efficiencies, he, however, thinks little of cryptocurrencies which essentially are precursors to the next generation cryptographic digital payment mechanisms. Ironically, talking about electronic payments he said:

“I think we can actually have a better-regulated economy if we have all the data in real time, knowing what people are spending… I think we would have better macroeconomic management.”

Clearly, Stiglitz was describing the attributes of cryptocurrency in their native blockchain environment. It still remains a wonder why he would talk down of cryptocurrencies as though the blockchain, being transparent, efficient, and publicly accessible hasn’t portrayed itself as a useful revolutionary tool for all forms of economics.

Perhaps, Stiglitz needed to make a clear distinction between traceability and transparency, being that the core attributes of certain cryptocurrencies – especially privacy-centric coins, makes it hard for them to be traced. However, every transaction done on the public blockchain is publicly accessible and can be queried with special skills. This is exactly how bad actors within the space have been dealt with using the power of decentralization.

Stiglitz is quite the reputable fellow, apart from his regular professorial job at the University of Columbia, he is a Nobel prize winner in economics, and was once a senior vice president and chief economist with the world bank. He is highly praised by his fellow scholars – even by those who had won the Nobel prize before him. Still, his perception of cryptocurrencies might just be off.

Another cryptocurrency critic, billionaire Warren Buffett recently called Bitcoin a gambling device, although he warms up nicely to the concept of blockchain, perhaps, the rapid growth and adoption of Bitcoin remains a mystery to him since according to him, “Bitcoin doesn’t do anything.” Well, he couldn’t be more wrong.

Apart from the fact that as a cryptocurrency that’s often used as a hedge to store value, Bitcoin attracts investors to use it as an investment vehicle. More so, Bitcoin has one of the most sophisticated cryptographic algorithms – suffice to say, the reason why there’s a multibillion-dollar market of cryptocurrencies from over 2,000 coin projects – each drawing a straw or two from the fabrics of Bitcoin’s blockchain infrastructure.

In short, Bitcoin has been recognized as a new institutional investment class, and a recent report finds Bitcoin to be an overachiever across verticals in the investment world, having outperformed many traditional asset classes so far in 2019.

However, negative opinions about Bitcoin aren’t unfounded, given that digital assets, for the most part, are yet to be properly legislated and in some jurisdictions have been outright banned. Perhaps, as the industry continues to develop, and more mainstream applications of cryptocurrencies surface, more credibility will be given to the flagship cryptocurrency.

 

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Cryptic Labs Hire Two Nobel Prize Laureate Economists

Blockchain research institute Cryptic Labs has taken on two Nobel Prize economic laureates for its economic advisory board in order to improve blockchain expertise in the company.

The roles of Dr Eric S Maskin and Sir Christopher Pissarides are cited in the Cryptic Labs press release as being dedicated to providing ”insights in incentive mechanisms, game theory and macroeconomic policies, bolstering the institute’s mission to address the lack of blockchain industry expertise in both fields”.

Dr Maskin has shared that he is particularly interested in investigating the economic value blockchain technology can bring, planning to bring his specialist background in economics and mechanism design to this particular task. Sir Pissarides has said that there is still a significant lack of information regarding the technology which is preventing a ”wholesale transition” of all transaction records on to blockchain and is dedicated to making this viable in the future.

As the number of educational institutions offering blockchain-related studies continues to grow, appointments such as these set a high standard for an industry that previously lacked much real academic expertise. Individuals entering the blockchain workforce such as these two Nobel Prize Laureates not only can improve the quality of research and progression of blockchain technology but demand mainstream institutions to, at the very least, take its impact seriously.

Cryptic Labs describes its mission as “solving fundamental security problems to advance the growth of blockchain technology“, and boasts winner of the 2015 Turing Award Dr Whitfield Diffie as its chief scientist.

Blockchain companies finding their place

As the industry streamlines, more blockchain companies are being recognized for their valuable contributions.

Blockchain-related companies featured frequently throughout LinkedIn’s top 50 US startups list; centralized cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase even managed to reach third place. Investment app featuring cryptocurrency options Robinhood landed in sixth, followed by international money transfer app Ripple at number seven.

With blockchain startups popping up further down the list also, the prevalence of the industry indicates the success and growth it experienced the past several years, and recognition from LinkedIn in this way will only benefit it further.

 

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Has Yale Found the Two Most Significant Bitcoin Price Indicators?

Connecticut-based Yale University has produced another insightful Bitcoin theory, this time claiming to have found the most significant predictors for the value of Bitcoin.

The momentum effect

The momentum effect describes the usual course of the price that tends to move in the same general direction that it has been. For example, if Bitcoin has seen a significant increase of around 20% in one week, the theory suggests that historical market evidence indicates that upward trend to continue at least one more week.

In short, if you are looking to call the next movements in the market, check to see what the latest trend has been and this can be the best indicator for a cryptocurrency’s next movements.

Investor attention

Investor attention refers to the measure of hype or fear, uncertainty and despair (FUD) surrounding cryptocurrency. Significant price increases are preluded by a spike in the number of search engine increases and media attention, with Google in particular cited as a strong predictor for the forthcoming price changes. According to the research, a jump in the number of times Bitcoin is Googled can consistently predict a price increase several weeks beforehand.

Ripple and Ethereum show similar trends in line with Google searches, although with different timelines.

An increase of negative cryptocurrency searches that incorporate terms such as hacks or crime can also be an indicator for prices, this time showing that the price will soon drop.

Market sentiment

The Yale economists behind the research acknowledge in the paper that the price of cryptocurrencies cannot be predicted by the same methods of the stock market or precious metals, noting that what drives cryptocurrency prices is unique to the market itself. They outline that this is because cryptocurrency is unaffected by macroeconomic or familiar stock market factors.

Instead, the two key predictive tools of investor attention and the momentum effect are ways of gauging market sentiment. Considering that the market remains in its relative infancy, it seems logical sentiment is still such a significant force.

The research was published in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper by Yale economists Yukun Liu and Aleh Tsyvinski.

 

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