Op-Ed: Why the Crypto Market Should Embrace Academic Education Programs
Crypto is a fast-growing industry with tons of promising projects and innovations. The market is becoming more mature every day, and adoption is taking off among retail users, institutional investors, well-known enterprises, and even some governments.
However, a major challenge market players are continuously facing is crypto education. In late 2021, only 2% of Americas’ respondents scored 60% (passing test grade) or better at a basic crypto survey.
Furthermore, a recent study revealed that 48% of young British adults said they don’t know how digital assets work, yet 56% expressed their intentions to invest in them. And almost 60% highlighted a need for more available information about cryptocurrency from sources they trust. Creating a strong academic approach can resolve the issue, and here is why.
Where Can Newcomers Learn About Crypto?
As for myself, I started my education in crypto by subscribing to probably every popular Telegram channel out there, reading and monitoring the news daily. Anything I didn’t understand, I would google and break down for myself. I thoroughly investigated all the trendy projects at the time by carefully reading their whitepapers, picking apart their tokenomics, and looking up what was being said about them online.
As time has passed since I joined the industry, I can confidently pinpoint the mistakes I’ve made. The focus is crucial regarding educational sources. For that reason, you shouldn’t fragment yourself (like I did) by following hundreds of chats, communities, and projects, as it can easily become overwhelming. Instead, what you need is a step-by-step approach using a variety of sources based on the level of your knowledge.
For example, you can use educational hubs of established enterprises like Binance Academy or CoinMarketCap Alexandria to learn the basics — the foundations of the technology, what Bitcoin is, how the blockchain works, and what’s the difference between custodial and non-custodial wallets.
As you progress in your education, read reputable industry media outlets, leading by traffic, followers base, and domain authority. These should be more than enough for reaching a nice intermediate level in the field while staying abreast of key events and trends.
To level up, you need more professional and analytical resources to delve into market trends and start predicting them. Follow opinion leaders on Twitter and attend topical events so that you can gain insights from P2P communication. Here comes the problem of verification of trustworthy sources and opinion leaders.
Building an Academic Crypto Education Program
The survey about young British adults revealed that most people need a source they can trust to learn the ropes of the digital asset space. And what could serve as a better platform in this field than the institutions responsible for higher education?
The active involvement of higher education institutions could offer a multitude of benefits to crypto market participants. These can range from increasing the level of trust in the industry and improving the security of users by educating them about the best practices of wallet management and asset storage to facilitating financial literacy and freedom. At the same time, widespread university programs about crypto could also help solve the shortage of tech professionals and female talent within the industry.
The question is: should universities introduce full-fledged digital asset degrees, or is it enough to create a crypto class or specialization included in a wider program (e.g., computer science, business management)?
As crypto still is in its startup phase, an intensive class on blockchain technology can be enough. However, with the development of new fast-growing sectors, approaches, and technologies, and as that foundation expands, it will raise the issue of creating a department-level program.
At the same time, college crypto programs should not be all that different from how leading universities approach education. The first step is always a general course for everyone, aimed at understanding the basics, establishing a foundation, and highlighting a few more narrow fields.
Then, once the general course is finished, students can select a chosen subject to specialize in. As I see it, the educational outcome can be akin to a thesis focused on prototyping and launching a startup within the field.
The Future of Crypto Education
By providing a trusted platform for students, academic digital asset education has great potential to fill crucial gaps within the industry, such as the lack of crypto literacy, the shortage of qualified professionals, and the need for better user security.
I believe this goal can be achieved by combining the centralization of education in a decentralized world. This means universities and crypto market players must take a unified approach to verify one’s expertise and recognize it nationally. It is an important step, as the market currently has a lot of “experts” and “gurus” who mislead newcomers and sell them hot air.
Furthermore, academic crypto education must always be based on market demand, which means it must be flexible enough to adapt to the fast-paced blockchain industry.
And, of course, considering the constant pressure on the market from regulators, I would dedicate a large portion of the industry’s educational efforts to studying legal aspects and the practical development of relevant tools.
Dmitry Ivanov is the Chief Marketing Officer at CoinsPaid, an ecosystem of cryptocurrency products that sets the goal of satisfying the world’s everyday needs by leveraging blockchain technology and crypto payments. Dmitry is an expert in crypto payments and crypto adoption with extensive experience in business development and marketing.
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