Several Russian universities have added courses on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to their syllabi. Saint Petersburg State University of Economics will add teaching on blockchain and cryptocurrencies to its existing program on banking, finance and financial markets. Higher School of Economics, another tertiary institution will include blockchain technology in its Financial Technologies course. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) will teach the IT component of blockchain technology.

Stanford University, Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), all based in the US, had earlier introduced introduced courses on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

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Why the universities are offering these courses

The universities have introduced the courses to due to immense popularity surrounding them, and requests from both the government and private companies. Andrey Raigorodsky, a director in MIPT said Sberbank one of the school’s industrial partners had opened a laboratory that was researching in the area.
Misis, another Russian university in partnership with VEB, a government-owned bank is creating a centre for new materials and breakthrough technologies with a focus on blockchain technology.

Benefits of the courses and research

Introducing the courses will increase awareness about cryptocurrencies, and deepen research into their real world uses and applications that can be run using blockchain technology. Prominent individuals in the financial space, have recently expressed doubt about the viability of the cryptocurrencies due to their limited applications for everyday use.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan a prominent investment bank had recently called bitcoin a scam, and stated that he would fire any of the bank’s traders that dealt in the cryptocurrency, calling such a practice stupid and risky. Prominent fund manager Ray Dalio last week expressed doubts about bitcoin becoming a form of money due to speculation surrounding it and inability to conduct transactions using it.

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