It is very, very silly to say that the crypto market is dead. And I will tell you why.
All CEOs and startup founders know how painful talent shortages can be for business. For fintech and blockchain startups, a lack of qualified professionals is one of the main reasons for startup failures. And hardly a day passes without some media or Blockchain bloggers harping on about the imminent decline of blockchain and crypto currency-related businesses.
True, the last several months have been difficult for the sector and the bear market has been rather harsh and exhausting.
We are tired too, but we’re also defiant. So today we’re going to look into a phenomenon that’s developing under the very nose of those who take pleasure in the supposed decline of crypto.
It’s been estimated that around 1% of the global population owns cryptocurrencies. In the US this figure rises to 9% and among students is as high as 18%, as shown by a recent Coinbase survey. In 3 to 5 years these young people will roll their eyes when asked a simple question about crypto for the hundredth time – just as their parents did 25 years ago when Internet became widespread.
A recent Cointelegraph article quotes a doctoral student at Stanford Benedikt Bünz who says that “if you’re an expert in cryptocurrencies and cryptography you’ll have a difficult time not finding a job.” And little wonder: the best blockchain engineers can command a salary above $250,000, says Jerry Cuomo, IBM’s vice-president of blockchain technologies.
Universities understand this. Many are investing heavily in creating curriculums around blockchain that reflect the fact that blockchain technology is a fundamentally interdisciplinary topic related to business, economics, computer science and law, reports CoinDesk.
In October, Coindesk published its ranking of the top-10 US universities offering blockchain education. The ranking takes into account the University’s access to the blockchain technology industry (5 percent), the number of blockchain clubs on campus (25 percent) and the number of blockchain-related courses (70 percent). The names on the list are impressive: Stanford University (94%), the University of California, Berkeley (88%), New York University (84%), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (68%), Cornell University (65%), Georgetown University (50%), Harvard University (47%), Duke University (41%), Carnegie Mellon University (35%), and the University of Pennsylvania (33%).
This goes to show that blockchain is not a marginal but a mainstream discipline, firmly on the radar of the best universities in America. South Korea went even further. This summer it opened the Walton Blockchain Institute that plans to cultivate 10,000 blockchain talents. Currently, Walton offers a six-month educational program; upon its completion, the institute will offer students job recommendation as well as support for startups.
In Europe it is the UK that offers most blockchain courses. Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, The University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London and more offer courses covering subjects from fintech and blockchain to cryptocurrencies and digital disruption. The University of Oxford also offers an online blockchain course.
There are chances to study blockchain in Switzerland, Cyprus, Singapore and Australia. China is planning to establish a blockchain research center, and several top-tier Chinese universities are stepping up their efforts to patent blockchain applications developed on campus. China hosts at least eight top universities that offer blockchain courses.
In three to five years there will be thousands of people who bought their first bitcoins in their late teens and for whom having several crypto accounts is as normal as having accounts in US dollars, euros and yuans. This young generation will help the world to meet its needs by providing the expertise to facilitate more and more blockchain and tokenized projects. For investors, there is still time to find good projects that will become the new blockbusters in some 8-10 years.