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A lot of the popular conversation surrounding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology more broadly centers around the up and down of bitcoin and cryptocurrency value as well as whether or not there is any substance whatsoever to the entire venture.

Of course, for those of us that are already dyed in the wool believers in blockchain’s promise then the future is filled with nothing but bright horizons – and if the latest move from major US higher learning institution New York University is any indicator, we may see blockchain technology applied across all sorts of areas of our life.

In a first, NYU will be offering its students the chance to specialize in blockchain technology with a major in the subject. This curriculum will explore how blockchain technology can be applied to finance, tech, logistics, healthcare, and more. Not only will students learn the ins and outs of blockchain technology but they will also be encouraged to think outside of the box and explore new as well as innovative applications for the technology.

Based out of the NYU Stern School of Business, the new major in blockchain technology helps mainstream a technology that has many critics and skeptics, among them world-famous faculty member Nouriel Roubini who has called it “nonsense” per a report from BC Focus. Yet it seems others strongly disagree: A survey by cryptocurrency exchange CoinBase found that “42 percent of the world’s top 50 universities have at least one class on cryptocurrencies and blockchain”.

Of the pioneering venture, NYU professor Andrew Hinkes said, “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.”

In order to fund the venture as well as give it real-world application, NYU will be partnering with companies and blockchain firms so that its students get hands-on experience when it comes to the technology.

The move by NYU’s Stern School of Business to establish this specialization apparently arises from the dual current of student interest as well as market demand. As new areas of implementation for blockchain technology is explored, more and more companies and governments want to see what it can do for them. Another aspect that may be contributing to the rise in interest in blockchain technologies is that students, or younger generations, are more likely to participate in the cryptocurrency and blockchain economy, A March survey by Student Loan Report largely backs up this theory and shows that, among other things, students were using cryptocurrency trading to help pay back student loans.

Whatever future direction blockchain technology takes it seems like more and more interest in the field will invariably impact the quality of its output. Perhaps an academic approach to blockchain tech will not only help broaden its usage in modern life but also usher in its acceptance by mainstream society at large.


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