Cryptocurrency technology courses flourish as Bitcoin value soars
Digital currencies like Bitcoin are in the middle of an epic explosion. Bitcoin and similar currencies are worth 6 times their value at the beginning of the year. Currently around $6.6 billion of digital tokens changes hands every day, and we could be at the beginning of a global financial realignment as cryptocurrencies go mainstream.
The key technology underlying Bitcoin and Ethereum (a fast-rising rival to Bitcoin – there are many others now jockeying for position in the market) is blockchain, a distributed database consisting of a constantly growing list of records that are highly resistant to modification. Blockchain is ground-breaking because its peer-to-peer nature allows transactions to be processed without recourse to any central authority, such as a clearance system, bank, or payments company. In early 2017, the Harvard Business Review suggested that blockchain is a technology with “the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems.”
Technical knowledge of this code system is becoming a highly valuable asset in the job market. The Financial Times reports a surge in blockchain-related job postings on LinkedIn. With the demand for talented individuals far outstripping supply, universities are starting to include blockchain in their offer, with Edinburgh being one of the first. And big business is sitting up and listening. The Big Four accounting firms are all testing blockchain technologies in various formats. The best blockchain engineers can command a salary above $250,000, according to Jerry Cuomo, IBM’s vice-president of blockchain technologies “It is on the high side of what a really talented consultant or software engineer can earn,” Mr Cuomo adds. “Demand is exceeding supply, so we are seeing shortages. It is up there with the cloud and artificial intelligence as a really hot area.”
For the above reasons developers are flocking to blockchain boot camps to pick up the smarts they need to go for one of those high-paying gigs. A popular one is Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies from Princeton on Coursera. As academia scrambles to catch up with degree-level offers – there’s always a delay with disruptive technologies – universities are pushing out shorter courses on cryptocurrency technologies – enough to grasp where the magic happens and how it happens and maybe get a job in the industry and add a couple of Porsches to the garage.