Sick of hearing about blockchain? Get used to it. Crypto-mania is not going away. Here's the latest evidence: Across America's top universities, enrollment is skyrocketing in blockchain and cryptocurrency courses.
These courses hardly existed a few years ago. Now universities with classes on the subject are having to either turn students away or find ways to expand enrollment.
When New York University's Stern School of Business first offered a course on blockchain and financial services in 2014, only 35 students signed up. Last spring, enrollment jumped by more than 500 percent to 230 students.
A recent report from cryptocurrency platform Coinbase found that 42 percent of the world's top universities now offer at least one course on blockchain and cryptocurrency. And the Ivy Leagues are going all in with a diverse range of classes that touch on every aspect of cryptography, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. Cornell University has 28 courses on these topics. Stanford, Yale, Harvard, University of California, Berkeley, and Princeton also offer courses on them.
Take Princeton's crypto technology class for free
If cryptographic building blocks sound incredibly cryptic and you'd like to be more bitcoin-savvy, there's good news. You can be just like the Ivy League kids and take a class on it.
In 2015, Princeton began offering a free version of its blockchain course on Coursera, where professors from top universities put online versions of their most popular classes. Yale did the same earlier this year with its hugely popular happiness class, taught by Laurie Santos. The next session for Princeton's 11-week Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies starts today. Each week includes a series of videos and graded homework. With an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 from 1,778 ratings, people seem to love it.
"After this course, you'll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies," the course description says. It's taught by Arvind Narayanan, an associate professor of computer science at Princeton.
Here's a week-by-week breakdown of the syllabus:
- Introduction to Crypto and Cryptocurrencies
- How Bitcoin Achieves Decentralization
- Mechanics of Bitcoin
- How to Store and Use Bitcoins
- Bitcoin Mining
- Bitcoin and Anonymity
- Community, Politics, and Regulation
- Alternative Mining Puzzles
- Bitcoin as a Platform
- Altcoins and the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
- The Future of Bitcoin?
It's unclear if taking this course will teach you everything you need to know about becoming a bitcoin millionaire, but there's only one way to find out. What do you have to lose? It's free.