The world's first Master's of Science in Digital Currency degree program kicks off today in Cyprus and on the internet, with the beginning of their Introduction to Digital Currency course. The entire Master's program consists of 9 classes chosen from a list of required and elective courses. The first course in this program, DFIN-511 (Introduction to Digital Currency) is being offered in an Massive-open-online-course (MOOC) format so anyone with an internet connection can take advantage of this great opportunity. Students wishing to continue with the program will be able to use their credit earned from successfully completing DFIN-511. Alternatively, those "students" that wish to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity, but wish to do so at their own pace and without ultimate pressure are allowed to forego the final exam. The University of Nicosia (UNic) first announced their Digital Currency Initiative in 2013; today they have succeeded in meeting their stated goals and launching the world's first MSc in Digital Currency program.
[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap]n inaccurate DailyMail article recently claimed that the UK's University of Cumbria was the first educational institution to receive a tuition payment in BTC, the University of Nicosia has already received several tuition payments in Bitcoin. Back in 2013, Francois Rossouw was the first person in the world to pay tuition using Bitcoin; early in 2014, I joined his ranks. Furthermore, the University of Cumbria only accepts Bitcoin for two specific courses; in contrast, the University of Nicosia accepts Bitcoin for all of its courses, not just those that are a part of the MSc in Digital Currency. In addition to these two Universities, several other campuses around the world have shown increased interest in Bitcoin, both from the student body and the faculty. MIT is planning to airdrop $100 worth of Bitcoin to every undergraduate student. Coinbase is already trying to "airdrop" $10 worth of Bitcoin to every college student in the world. Meanwhile, New York Univeristy will also soon have a graduate level class about Bitcoin. The University of Nicosia has started a very prominent trend; don't be surprised when the world's second MSc in Digital Currency program is announced.
First Day Of Class
Andreas Antonopoulos, who has joined the University of Nicosia as a Teaching Fellow, just sent this out via email to all those registered for the University of Nicosia's Introduction to Digital Currency class:
We’d like to welcome you to a new world, filled with amazing concepts and infinite possibilities at the cutting edge of innovation - the world of Bitcoin and alt-coins. The first ever MOOC in Digital Currencies has begun and by now, you must have received an invitation to register on the platform where the course will be delivered. We are excited that so many of you from dozens of countries and from diverse backgrounds have registered for this MOOC and we are looking forward to a very fascinating and interesting interaction with all of you.
Every week, new material is presented on the weekdays and on the weekend the instructors host a live video question and answer session; the first such session will be this Sunday. The agenda for the first day of class is simple: Fill out a Student Information Survey that consists of 13 poignant questions. What's even better is that all students can view the aggregate information once they have completed the survey.
From the first 101 students surveyed on the first day of class, there is already representation from 35 different countries around the world. Attendees come from Qatar, Argentina, Slovenia, South Africa, China, and everywhere in between. The majority of those surveyed come from technical backgrounds and most have at least a bachelor's degree. However, only a little more than half of those surveyed admitted to an interest in taking, and paying for, the other 8 classes in the MSc in Digital Currency program. I have no doubt that digital currencies, as a technology, are a trans-formative force that will change the world: Education is the start of that.
Disclaimer: Caleb Chen is a MSc in Digital Currency candidate at the University of Nicosia.