University College London (UCL) leads the blockchain way among the city’s many universities and props up wider blockchain engagement and research alongside the education it offers students.
University College London
The university offers courses to undergraduates, including “Blockchain Technologies,” “Cryptocurrencies” and “Monetary System and Digital Finance.” The latter course combines a study of decentralized payment systems like bitcoin with a wider look at “how modern investment strategies use technology and machine learning to make optimal decisions,” as well as “the foundations of fintech and insurtech.”
UCL offers master’s courses in “Emerging Digital Technologies” and “Financial Technology,” both of which include teaching on blockchain technologies as a core component.
The UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies has been investigating the implications of distributed ledger technologies since 2015 and forming a bridge between the academic communities at no fewer than eight of the university’s departments – the most surprising of which is perhaps psychology. The center’s community of researchers and industry associates numbers more than 245.
The center organizes an annual Peer-to-Peer Financial Systems conference, which will see its seventh iteration in 2021. The two points of focus will be central bank digital currencies and decentralized finance. The event aims to bring together policymakers, regulators and academics. Confirmed speakers so far include a senior vice president at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank and a senior figure from the Swiss National Bank.
The center has also offered a free online blockchain course to nurture public understanding of the technology.
As a global financial center and intensely multicultural city, London has been able to position itself as a leading site of blockchain enterprise. The U.K.’s financial regulator said last year there could be several hundred firms already involved in cryptocurrency activities in the country. In this thoroughfare of crypto business, students can move directly from their studies into the industry.