University Students and the Rapid Rise in Cryptocurrency Adoption


According to a study conducted by Coinbase and Qriously, nearly half, 42%, of the world’s best universities, and 21 of the top 50 US universities, offer at least one course in the area of blockchain or cryptocurrency.

Top US universities offering the most cryptocurrency and blockchain courses include Stanford University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Princeton, and New York University. Of these US colleges, according to the study, “Cornell offers the highest number of classes when including cryptography, cryptocurrency, or blockchain."

The number of universities offering cryptocurrency related courses is expected to rise as the demand from students across a variety of majors increases. In 2014, 35 students enrolled in New York University’s first crypto related course. In spring 2018, 280 students enrolled in the course, forcing the university to move the class to the campus’s largest auditorium.

While Computer Science majors were the most likely group to own Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, interest in cryptocurrency spans across majors. “Students from a range of majors are interested in crypto and blockchain courses — and universities are adding courses across a variety of departments,” Coinbase explains. In fact, 25% of all students, regardless of major, said they would consider taking classes on the subject of cryptocurrency.

“Blockchain combines theory and practice and can lead to fundamental breakthroughs in many research areas. It can have really profound and broad-scale impacts on society in many different industries,” says Computer Science professor Dawn Song of UC Berkeley, on the widespread interest in learning more about cryptocurrency.

In addition to learning about cryptocurrency for personal finance and investment purposes, students will benefit from the knowledge of digital assets when it comes time to graduate and start their careers.

According to Benedikt Bunz, a doctoral student at Stanford University, “if you’re an expert in cryptocurrencies and cryptography you’ll have a difficult time not finding a job.”

This opinion is supported by New York University Stern School of Business’s Finance Department Chair, David Yermack who said, “A process is well underway that will lead to the migration of most financial data to blockchain-based organizations. Students will benefit greatly by studying this area.”

Students are typically on the brink of social, cultural and technological change, think Facebook and the Internet in the 1980s. If the fact that 18 percent of students polled said they own some cryptocurrency is any indication of what is to come, the future of crypto looks bright. Especially when considering the overall millennial adoption of the digital currency.

More than 1 in 4 millennials prefer Bitcoin to stocks, 2 in 5 millennials agree it’s likely that most people will be using Bitcoin in the next 10 years, more than 1 in 4 millennials think that Bitcoin is more trustworthy than big banks and 1 in 3 millennials are likely to buy Bitcoin in the next 5 years.