Wharton MBA: Blockchain Course Set for Spring 2018

As cryptocurrencies search for a spot as a mainstream asset class, MBA programs are updated with blockchain courses. Wharton has taught a course on fintech for almost two years now.

The MBA at Wharton School of Business has added a course outlining blockchain technologies and the power of a distributed ledger. The FNCE-885 course on Fintech outlines the link between financial techniques and new technologies, and one of the major points is "blockchain and distributed ledgers".

"In each of these areas, we start by analyzing the marketplace, and the incumbents, and the business case and strategies of the incoming technology-based players, while understanding the role data and analytics play in driving the technology-based services," the course description states. 

Besides Princeton and Stanford, a few smaller, innovative schools offer exposure to blockchain knowledge. But while most courses focus on the programming and technical sides, Wharton is unique for explaining the financing potential of blockchain firms, arming the business leaders of tomorrow would be armed with tools to join the world of cryptocurrencies to mainstream finance. 

The course at Wharton is taught by Shimon Kogan, PhD, and will be taught to MBA students in the spring of 2018. The course has also been a part of the undergraduate curriculum in 2016. 

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Kogan believes Bitcoin is primarily a store of value, explaining fintech in an earlier interview for the Portuguese magazine "Observador".

"Fintech is the use of technology to reduce friction," explained Kogan.

When it comes to Bitcoin, Kogan is strictly in the "store of value" camp, believing Bitcoin may replace gold, but not readily replace cash: 

 I do not believe that bitcoins will be accepted as payment. The original view of bitcoins was that it would be possible to pay pizza with them. I see them as a store of value. Bitcoins can be a modern gold substitute. I even believe in the technology of blockchain, which can be applied to many problems, inside and outside the financial industry."

The educational drive may also spread to Russia, where even schoolchildren would be taught what a blockchain is. And Cyprus is a hotbed of blockchain courses, serving an active market of builders and business leaders drawn to the special economic zone.