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Should Blockchain technology be studied in schools?

Sponsored: The evolution of technology has seen Blockchain go from strength to strength

Posted by Joe Lawson-West | February 14, 2018 | Business

There was a time when Blockchain and Bitcoin were connected by an invisible umbilical cord, but the evolution of technology has seen Blockchain go from strength to strength, while Bitcoin is increasingly being viewed as the biggest bubble the world has ever seen. Many experts believe Blockchain is set to become a mainstream technology within a few years, so should Blockchain study be added to the curriculum so the next generation can study it in more detail?

The use of Blockchain in fintech is already widespread, but it looks set to advance into healthcare, manufacturing, and other key areas in the near future. Experts believe that the Blockchain database technology is far more important than Bitcoin. Bitcoin may well disappear into the annals of history, but the distributed database that underpins Bitcoin is here to stay.

Blockchain and finance

Blockchain is particularly applicable to finance because it turns our understanding of financial transactions on its head. Blockchain is a shared public ledger, open to everyone. Blockchain removes the need for a middleman. All transactions are shared across the network simultaneously and information in the ledger cannot be updated unless the majority of participants in the network agree. This could reduce payment processing times from a couple of hours or more to mere seconds.

There is also a link between Blockchain and the Internet of Things, which has huge potential going forward. The internet as it currently stands is not terribly secure, which is hampering the progress of AI and IoT technology. Blockchain has the power to resolve concerns about security, which is why tech giants Samsung and IBM are pouring vast resources into developing a Blockchain database to control a network of linked devices. Such technology will allow your washing machine to order and pay for its own detergent from the manufacturer, notifying you of the transaction on your smartphone.

Studying Blockchain at University

Students interested in future technologies already have the option to study Blockchain, fintech, trailing stops, and cybersecurity if they take a computer science degree at Cornell and other leading US universities, but there are moves afoot to add Blockchain to the curriculum of leading UK universities. Leading on from this, it makes sense that Blockchain as a concept is introduced at a much younger age, too, so the children of today have the opportunity to be a part of tomorrow’s technological innovations.

Far-reaching implications

Blockchain has implications in a range of areas, not just finance and technology. It makes sense to teach children about future technologies. Young children are like sponges – their brains soak up new ideas far more easily than adults do. Blockchain technology is complex, but the underlying concepts are useful nonetheless, particularly in the world of finance. We need the next generation to be more financially responsible, so teaching them that they can’t spend what they don’t actually have is a useful lesson.

Blockchain is an opensource project and the more people who can contribute to its development, the better. Tomorrow’s innovations rely on us nurturing the young minds of today. Blockchain is a gamechanger, so we can’t afford to sit back and let other countries take the lead.

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