With bitcoin valuation exceeding $11,000 and the cryptocurrency getting its own financial exchange, there is a growing interest in the technology. Companies are beginning to develop new applications for blockchain, bitcoin, and distributed crypto-ledgers. Applying blockchain technology to contracting, logistics, supply chain, healthcare, public documents, real estate, cybersecurity, and other transactions could disrupt many existing systems. Demand for experts in this field is growing, students who can fulfill this demand on the front end of the cycle will provide real value as industries and enterprises develop more applications for the technology.
Students develop a multidisciplinary understanding of blockchain technology with consideration for underlying ethical issues. They create their own innovative applications and create fully functional distributed crypto-ledgers that demonstrate broad applications of the technology.
The spring 2018 pilot class is writing a blockchain textbook, a first of its kind. The working title of the book is Blockchain: Technology, Application & Societal Implications and each of the 30+ students in the class is researching and writing at least one section. The book is designed to be a comprehensive introduction to the topic of blockchain that aims to educate its readers to be able do the following:
- Recognize when a blockchain-based investment opportunity (e.g., an initial coin offering, or cryptocurrency) is a scam, or even just based on an unsound technical footing
- Recognize situations when blockchain might be a good candidate for solving a problem in business, science, or any other domain
- Make recommendations for choosing among different implementation strategies
- Articulate the environmental, social, ethical, political, and economic ramifications of using blockchain in any particular context
- Does your organization face local or global challenges in healthcare, education or security?
- Are you aware of a technology that could transform your industry but you don’t have time to explore it?
- Does your organization have long–range design problems that you don’t have the resources to solve yourself?
- What if you could hire graduates who are ready to start working on your top needs from day one?