Virginia Tech has announced a $3 million commitment from blockchain application developer Block.one to help computer science students in its College of Engineering build skills in blockchain programming, the cryptographic software technology behind Bitcoin.
The funds will be used to update and develop blockchain courses and curricula and to hire faculty and staff, enabling the university to eventually deliver a range of blockchain-related courses, an undergraduate minor or concentration in blockchain development, and a blockchain boot camp or short course. Program implementation will begin later this year. As part of the commitment, Block.one chief technology officer and Virginia Tech alumnus Dan Larimer will advise the university on curriculum development, including participation in live classroom sessions, seminars, and symposia.
Using cryptography to keep exchanges secure, blockchain provides a decentralized database, or "digital ledger," of transactions that everyone on the network can see, while the network itself essentially is a linked group of computers that all must "approve" a transaction before it can be verified and recorded.
"Blockchain has the potential to have a vast impact on humanity," said Julia M. Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of the College of Engineering. "We are extremely grateful to Block.one for its partnership and commitment to shaping the future of this technology. We will work closely with the company to provide students with the best-in-class education and research opportunities with global applications."