Singapore’s transformation into a regional crypto capital has many facets, from clear regulations to billions of dollars-worth of investments in funds and companies. But another critical factor grabs fewer headlines: its pipeline for creating young talent. The city-state’s flagship National University of Singapore is No. 2 on this year’s Best Universities for Blockchain.
This piece is part of CoinDesk's Education Week
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National University of Singapore
Asia & Pacific
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NUS’s 37 blockchain related courses – including specializations in fintech and modules on the business of the metaverse – round out the bustling undergraduate program for some 30,000 students. Only Cornell University has more blockchain and related courses. NUS also offers a crypto-heavy Master of Science in Digital Financial Technology and even a crypto-conscious Digital FinTech PhD. For working professionals, NUS's Advanced Computing for Executives School offers an online executive education class on blockchain, crypto and distributed ledgers that counts toward achieving a certificate in emerging and disruptive technologies.
A major crypto research hub, NUS also boasts three blockchain centers including the CRYSTAL Center (CRYptocurrency Strategy, Techniques and ALgorithms) think-tank, established in 2018. It was joined last year by the The Asian Institute of Digital Finance, which works with Singapore’s central bank. NUS has an industry partnership with Ripple through its University Blockchain Research Institute.
But the latest research endeavor is slated to be the grandest. In August, NUS said it won a massive $20 million grant from Korea’s metaverse-centric KLAYTN blockchain to build a Blockchain Research Center in conjunction with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, No. 26 on CoinDesk’s 2021 list. The pair beat out six other university bids to host what is planned to become the world’s largest blockchain research center. That effort is being spearheaded by Associate Professor Prateek Saxena, also head of NUS Crystal Center.
NUS has an active crypto social scene with two student blockchain clubs and easy access to the Singapore Fintech Festival, a week-long major industry conference in APAC. Its NUS Entrepreneurship Society student organization each year hosts the region’s largest tech and entrepreneurship conference and pitchfest.
NUS was founded in 1905 as a medical school and the first institution of higher learning in Singapore.
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