Best Universities for Blockchain 2022: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

CoinDesk’s No. 1 school in 2022 started the first blockchain degree program in one of the top financial centers of the world.

AccessTimeIconSep 26, 2022 at 11:19 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 29, 2022 at 5:17 p.m. UTC
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The best university for blockchain in 2022 is the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which started the city’s first degree program in blockchain four years ago. The faculty as well as instructors teaching blockchain and related subjects are members or leaders of some of the most influential professional and industry organizations in the world, and bring their expertise to bear in the classroom and in research projects.

This piece is part of CoinDesk's Education Week

2022 Rank
(+/- 2021)
University Name
(up 5)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Asia and Pacific

The HKPolyU Research Centre for Blockchain Technology is the first research center in Hong Kong whose research covers full-stack blockchain techniques and distinguishes itself by cross-disciplinary research in blockchain with key members from computer science, finance, logistics and maritime studies, and industrial and systems engineering, according to Associate Professor Xiapu Luo of the department of computing.

HKPolyU offers the city’s first master of science program in blockchain technology, which saw its first intake of students in 2022. It also supports a three-year doctorate of fintech program that blends computer science, business and supply-chain courses, and is one of only four schools in our 2022 rankings that has a bachelor of science (honors) in financial technology and artificial intelligence. The latter's interdisciplinary curriculum covers software engineering, systems security, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and e-finance, big data, and other related areas.

Its 22 blockchain and related courses include such titles as Cryptography and Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology Cryptocurrency and E-Payment, and Blockchain and Smart Contract Security.

Scholars at HKPolyU have published 209 blockchain research papers – the most among the 240 schools we screened for this project – and in turn also received more citations. With HKPolyU's 4,202 citations, only King Saud University, ranked No. 48 on our list, comes even close.

Outside the classroom, the HKPolyU faculty are well known regionally for setting the agenda on enterprise blockchain technology. In 2021, HKPolyU professor Jiannong Cao was a general chair of the 16th ACM ASIA Conference on Computer and Communications Security, which had a sizable number of sessions on blockchain and distributed computing. The Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society. That year, Luo served as program chair of the International Conference on Blockchain and Trustworthy Systems, known as BlockSys2021.

In CoinDesk's survey, HKPolyU ranked strongly in most metrics except for employment and industry impact. That is, the employability of graduates. HKPolyU ranks in the bottom 25% of the 50 schools for that measure. There is some question in the crypto community about whether there are strong employment prospects for any Chinese-university graduates given China's strict ban on crypto.

HKPolyU was founded in 1937 as the city’s first post-secondary technical institution, initially offering classes in marine wireless operating, mechanical engineering and building construction to serve Hong Kong’s marine industry as well as the construction sector.

In the 1960s, the university’s mandate shifted to providing industry-focused education for professional workers blending real-world technical skills with academic theory — the foundation of the school’s blockchain programs. It can be seen as an extension of that mandate that HKPolyU also offers an executive certificate in applications of blockchain in financial technology, delivered through its school of continuing studies. The program is taught by Paul Li, president of the Hong Kong Internet Finance Association and a senior manager at Alibaba.

CORRECTION (SEPT. 27, 2022 15:50 UTC): The first intake of students to HKPolyU’s master of science program in blockchain technology was in 2022. An earlier version of this story misstated the year.


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