The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is offering a new online certificate course, “Cryptocurrency Investment and Disruption”, taught by Dr Carsten Sørensen, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Innovation.

LSE is offering the six week course with no prerequisites for only £1,800 GBP and advises students to budget seven to ten hours per week for course work. The course aims to follow LSE’s motto, “To Understand the Causes of Things”, by teaching students how to interact with cryptocurrency exchanges, how to use wallets, and how to evaluate the analytics of ICOs. The course will also explore how cryptocurrencies “will shape the future of money, markets and industries”.

The course description also highlights that it is “certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service” as well as the standard financial disclosure that “you will not be given cryptocurrency investing advice, or investment or financial advice of any nature.” The London School of Economics now joins a growing list of schools that are offering some form of cryptocurrency classes, including Arizona State University, Cambridge, NYU, Northwestern, Stanford, Wharton, Georgetown, and more.

Growing interests in cryptocurrencies

The growing academic interests in cryptocurrencies originate from student demand, as well as employer demand, since there is a shortage of knowledgeable cryptocurrency workers. However, a natural challenge to traditional universities offering cryptocurrency courses is that the sector evolves very quickly, which can make a specific course and its reading materials outdated before the class even ends. This constant and fast evolution forces universities and students to become actively involved in the sector so they can continuously stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Thus, the growing academic popularity signals a long-term interest in cryptocurrencies and how it will impact the future, not just of money and technology, but also of potential jobs.

A parallel to the rise in demand for cryptocurrency courses can be drawn to general coding. After the internet boom and the onset of the ‘app’ age, computer code became an increasing part of everyday life for consumers, and thus the demand to learn how to code increased. Aside from numerous online and bootcamp courses, there are current discussions about how general coding should be taught in basic primary and secondary educations. While cryptocurrencies are no where currently near that level of consumer adoption, the parallel is embedded in how only a couple decades ago computer coding was popularly seen as an obscure fad that nerds did in basements. However, that conception quickly changed as the technology grew, which is what cryptocurrencies also aim to achieve with wide spread adoption.

One school that is on the forefront of cryptocurrency research is Arizona State University (ASU). ASU announced a partnership with Dash last year to create a blockchain research lab and, at the beginning of 2018, expanded that partnership to include more funding for the research lab, graduate courses, and scholarships for undergraduates and graduates.

Dash and academia partner to increase benefits for consumers.

Dash aims to achieve widespread adoption by being a consumer friendly peer-to-peer digital cash. Dash is working towards that goal by consistently maintaining record low transaction fees, fast confirmation times, security, and merchant adoption. However, to ensure that Dash is able to maintain this record, a DAO treasury proposal was funded to partner with ASU to conduct research on how to produce great blockchains and cryptocurrencies. The partnership also teaches new students about cryptocurrencies that might one day become a part of the community. This strategy simultaneously works to improve the network of Dash, while also training new people and potentially increasing Dash’s talent pool. The most recent fruit from this investment was a new research paper that showed how Dash can currently scale, on-chain, up to around 120 transactions per second, which is around half of what PayPal currently handles.

Dash is able to leverage its unique structure to partner with educational and research institutions like Arizona State University to not only promote Dash and increase awareness, but to also research and discover new ways to improve Dash to benefit consumers.