The University Of California Completes Its First Course on Blockchain
The University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) has just finished its first accredited course concentrated on blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
The course, which was taught as a computer science class by the College of Creative Studies, was established in answer to demands from the Blockchain Acceleration Foundation (BAF), a nonprofit organization comprised of students, blockchain advocates, professors, and interested individuals who want to promote the mass approval of blockchain technology.
UCSB co-founder and BAF president Cameron Dennis remarked that notwithstanding blockchain’s growing popularity on college campuses, students at UCSB earlier had rare opportunities to learn about the emerging technology outside of Blockchain at UCSB meetings.
After various discussions with UCSB administration, Dennis was able to persuade the university that a computer science course directed on blockchain was required. Dennis said: “My goal with this course was to teach radically-curious computer science students about compelling blockchain use-cases that can disrupt society’s most entrenched institutions while revolutionizing corporate governance.”
The Significance of Blockchain Education
56% of the world’s top 50 universities now allow at least one course on crypto or blockchain, which is up from 42% in 2018, according to the 2nd Annual Coinbase Report on Higher Education. The report also discovered that twice as many students had taken a blockchain or crypto course this year as compared to last year.
The Coinbase report also stated that while computer science classes concentrate on the blockchain, business, finance, and economic classes are also teaching courses on blockchain.
UCSB’s course, titled “Decentralized Ledger Technology,” trained students about consensus mechanisms, Ethereum Virtual Machine, Bitcoin and Proof of Work, Solidity, and zero-knowledge proofs, smart contract development, algorithmic stablecoins, and other relevant blockchain topics.
While Professor Murat Karaorman taught the course, renowned speakers from leading companies taught on occasion. These speakers introduced the co-founder of Orchid Labs and creator of Cydia, Jay Freeman; Head of Backend Services at MakerDAO, Niklas Kunkel; Research Scientist at Protocol Labs, Evan Miyazono; and CBC Casper Researcher at Ethereum Foundation, Aditya Asgaonkar.
According to Protocol Labs’ Miyazonon, universities should start providing accredited Blockchain courses as the technology goes mainstream.
“Blockchain projects and the general set of distributed applications will transform many industries and address the important issues of our time. With these tools, we can build better, more equitable, collaborative, shared systems, whether it’s secure and decentralized data storage networks or permissionless identity solutions.”
Furthermore, Miyazonon remarked that university courses are required to fight the hype and scams commonly linked with the blockchain and cryptocurrency space: “The space is fraught with hype and misleading claims. I had the pleasure of meeting several students in the UCSB class who were an impressive balance of well informed, optimistic, and critically insightful. I wholly believe that there are few institutions better suited to instill and foster these qualities than accredited courses at universities.”