Nearly one in five students in the United States owns cryptocurrency, according to the findings of a study published this week.
In research published by leading cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase, 18% of respondents confirmed they were owners of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The study, conducted over a sample of 675 students nationwide, confirmed widespread interest in the sector and the underlying technology amongst students at some of the country’s top universities.
The survey also highlighted the proliferation of blockchain and cryptocurrency classes at universities nationwide, with 21 of the leading 50 institutions currently offering courses on the subject. In at least 11 cases, there were multiple different blockchain and cryptocurrency courses for students to choose from.
Dean of the School of Social Sciences at the University of California Irvine, Bill Maurer said the findings showed students were engaged and “thinking deeply” about economic issues.
“Students today are really thinking deeply about economic issues and alternative economic futures. Teaching about this kind of stuff now can be really powerful for students that are trying to find their own way and envision what kind of possible alternatives there might be to the prevailing economic system.”
The study broke down interest in cryptocurrency by subject area, delivering some surprising results. Rather than being restricted to those with an interest in technology, computer science and business fields, the survey highlighted interest from a broad subsection of the student community.
Of computer science and engineering majors, some 34% of respondents said they were interested in learning about the technology, a figure which jumped to 47% in the case of those studying social sciences.
Maurer said the fit with blockchain and social sciences graduates met a gaping demand for those with the ability to interface human relationships and cutting-edge tech.
“There’s a huge demand out there, especially in the design space, for people that have the skills that we train anthropologists with, understanding the human side of technology.”
With companies in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors eager to snap up new talent, the findings will make for welcome reading.