The University of Nicosia (UNIC) is, by most measures, the leading university globally in the digital currency and blockchain field.
UNIC has long considered blockchain technology to be a fundamental technological breakthrough with significant financial and societal implications and selected it as one of its three interdisciplinary priorities across all schools and departments of the university. In particular, the objective is to help students, businesses and governments develop a holistic view of the technical, business, legal and societal implications of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies in order to help build a better societal future.
As the first university to offer a course on cryptocurrency, a free online course Introduction to Digital Currencies, taught by Andreas Antonopoulos and Antonis Polemitis, the MOOC has enrolled over 18,500 students from 80 countries since 2014.
UNIC’s MSc in Digital Currency was the first academic degree programme in the world in this field, and graduates from this programme have been involved in leading blockchain organizations worldwide. Over 300 students from around the world have enrolled in the programme, representing a wide range of backgrounds, including financial executives, blockchain entrepreneurs and software developers. Graduating students have gone on to work at key firms in the industry, created startups in the blockchain space or work in government and academia.
Adding to its firsts, UNIC is the first university in the world to offer instant, electronic authentication of its certificates (Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Degrees), via an online verification tool on its website. Specifically, all certificates issued as of Spring Semester 2017 have been digitized and are available to students online. Each certificate fingerprint has also been added to Bitcoin’s blockchain, offering users (e.g. potential employers) immediate, secure and digital authentication.
This leading role in academia has been recognized by blockchain industry publications in their evaluation of UNIC’s position among universities involved in the field – CoinDesk (#1, 2016), the Merkle (#1, 2017). Today, UNIC, through its School of Business, School of Sciences and the Institute For the Future (IFF), has probably the largest team in the academic world working on cryptocurrency and blockchain issues, with over 35 faculty, industry lecturers, administrative staff and guest lecturers involved with the initiative, across teaching, research and software development.
In November 2017 UNIC organized DECENTRALIZED 2017, a major conference in Europe focused on the business and political implications of blockchain technologies, across several key industries, including shipping/supply chain, financial services, government, accounting/auditing and legal and governance, along with analysis of the long-term implications of blockchain and artificial intelligence. It hosted over 500+ participants from all over the world for a 3-day summit, showcasing 50+ speakers from various sectors of the industry and academia.
UNIC’s blockchain initiatives have drawn immense interest from global media over the years, with over 300 articles having been written about UNIC’s activities by global media organizations such as the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Euronews, Forbes, Time, Fast Company and many others.
For more information about UNIC’s overall digital currency and blockchain initiatives: https://digitalcurrency.unic.ac.cy