June 30th 2016, marks the graduation of the first class of the University of Nicosia MSc in Digital Currency. This is the first class of graduates, of the first academic program in the world, on Bitcoin and related decentralized Blockchain technologies.

Part of the Business School, the MSc program puts professionals on the cutting edge of FinTech and computer science innovation, equipping them with the research, mindset, tools and practical know-how to transform their existing businesses, be more valuable as employees, or start new innovative ventures in the decentralized digital currency and Blockchain industry.

“Graduating from the world’s first Masters in Digital Currencies has acted as a catalyst towards a successful career within the industry. Connecting with highly motivated peers and industry leaders, you develop a deep understanding of the technology which becomes invaluable towards advocacy and leadership within this emergent ecosystem,” said Rupert Hackett, General Manager at Bitcoin.com.au, Board Director of the ADCCA (Australia Digital Currency Commerce Association) and 2016 graduate.

What began as an experiment in being the first university globally to accept Bitcoin for tuition payments in 2013, has culminated to a complete graduate program on the forefront of global education, now providing additional support to students with over €300,000 in scholarships.

“While traveling across 4 different continents, I was able to obtain a Masters Degree in Digital Currency, which landed me my dream job! Thank you to all the professors, TAs, students, and all the people behind the scenes that helped make for such a powerful experience!” Griff Green of Slock.it

The 15 graduates of this June’s class come from 9 different countries and stem from diverse backgrounds such as computer and political science, FinTech, banking and professional services, trading, consulting and entrepreneurship, while some of them stepped into the program already holding PhDs.

“Digital currencies and blockchain technology will radically transform our lives in the coming decades. Not only will banking and financial services be greatly disrupted, but new and innovative forms of collaboration will be enabled — immune to censorship and permissionless by design. I am ecstatic to be part of history, graduating in the first cohort to receive MSc degrees in Digital Currency,” said Paul Jones, Researcher at CryptoIQ and 2016 graduate. “With their world-renowned MOOC and graduate programs in this cutting-edge field, the University of Nicosia is blazing a trail for future FinTech business leaders. My favorite part of the program is the diversity of the students and instructors, literally from all corners of the world, yet sharing the same deep passion for this ground-breaking technology. Embrace the future of money, commerce, contracts, business structures, etc., and apply for the MSc degree in Digital Currency.”

As part of the program, students were expected to go through a rigorous and constantly updated curriculum, taught by leading experts in the field. They learned how decentralized currencies and distributed ledgers operate at their core, how they increasingly interface with international finance, banking and regulation, and how these fit in innovation frameworks. They were then, given a choice of programming or non-programming electives to specialize in.

Programming electives include Cryptographic System Security (COMP 530) and Digital Currency programming (COMP 541). Non programming elective students can choose among learning more about Digital currencies and how they can impact the Developing world (DFIN 535), Alternative investments and the financial markets (DFIN 534) and Digital Currency Information Systems (MIS 536).

Students can finally conclude their studies and proceed with their future employment or research goals, with a capstone Project or Thesis.

“We, the blockchain enthusiasts are many times rushing through the mutating crypto-space at a fast pace. Having a structured master class that University of Nicosia provides, helps keep you right in the center of activities, with the helpful support of fellow students, sharing our experiences from all parts of the world,” said Gregor Borosa, founder at exa2.net and 2016 graduate.

The first part of the MSc, an Introduction to Digital Currencies, is offered as the first free MOOC on the topic, and is available to everyone who wants to learn the basics of this technology and its potential impact. More than 4,000 students have enrolled to date and the next cohort of both the MOOC and the degree program, starts on September 5th. Those interested can sign up and find more information about the program and the available scholarships here.

We wish our first, pioneering graduates, the best of success in their future ventures!