By Joe Grist
Blog Content Contributor
Over the last two years, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have increased in value exponentially, making many people exceptionally wealthy. Even with the recent slump at the beginning of this year, people want to get into the market, but very few actually understand how cryptocurrencies work.
This is a problem, because cryptocurrencies aren’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s projected that the market could hit $1 trillion by the end of this fiscal year. While the market might be in a temporary stall, it’s still doing well enough that even governments like Russia, Sweden, Venezuela, and China are considering getting into the game.
This means that understanding cryptocurrencies could not only be financially beneficial for individuals who want to invest now, it might be necessary for everyone in the future. Would you rather be ahead of the curve and already understand how blockchains and ledgers work or would you want to play catch-up with your government after you find out that you have to adapt to virtual currencies?
This is why I propose that Texas State University follows in the footsteps of Duke, Stanford, Cornell, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by adding finance classes that cover cryptocurrencies into our curriculum. It gives our university the chance to be on the cutting edge of something that could change how economics works.
You might argue that cryptocurrencies are a temporary fad and that they won’t last, pointing to the dissolution of Bitconnect or the fact that bitcoin, the most profitable virtual currency of the bunch, dropped from an all-time high of $19,783.06 in December only to fall to below $10,000 in January, but it’s important to take into consideration that this drop has happened in the early part of every year since 2015. It’s nothing new, but rather a predictable slump that has happened consecutively for the last four years.
It’s also important to consider the fact that governments are wanting to get in on the action. That’s a huge sign, because while major news outlets keep labeling cryptocurrencies as a fad, pointing to the recent drop in overall value in the last month and a half, it shows that there truly is still value in at least a fraction of the current available virtual currencies.
Then there is the aforementioned fact that making a preemptive move into education on virtual currencies could really benefit Texas State at a minimal cost.
If the university takes a chance by providing classes on cryptocurrencies for a few semesters, and it works out, it could be extremely lucrative in the long run. Why wouldn’t someone interested in virtual economics join a university that has been teaching classes on cryptocurrencies over the last few years instead of a university that has barely started? Experience is golden. Plus, if things don’t work out, then Texas State can easily count the classes off as a one-time loss like many of the experimental classes they have each year.
Essentially, this opportunity for expanding education is a win-win. It’ll either benefit Texas State by grabbing the interest of future students and gaining credibility in a new field or at the least, it will show that the university is staying ahead of the curve and keeping its eye out for bleeding edge concepts and ideas. In a nutshell, there is no reason we shouldn’t be one of the forerunners of a potentially major change in our economic system. So step it up Texas State, make us proud.
Featured illustration by Melissa Monrroy.