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Draper University of Heroes, venture capitalist Tim Draper’s eponymous entrepreneurship school in San Mateo, announced in a release Tuesday that it would begin to offer a free online course in Bitcoin.
The course is powered through the school’s partnership with ZapChain and is designed to accommodate even those with no prior knowledge of Bitcoin or technical understand of things such as blockchains or cryptography.
“This new exciting online course brings together a host of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and engineers from Silicon Valley all operating in the Bitcoin space,” the university said in its release. “With such a wide range of participants, students will be exposed to a plethora of ideas regarding the Bitcoin protocol, its current and potential uses, and its ability to change the world as we know it.”
The course will leverage the knowledge of the ZapChain network of Bitcoin professionals — a network with a member for “every major Bitcoin company,” the release notes — to deliver what it hopes will be a robust fundamental understanding of the Bitcoin protocol and currency.
“The largest problem in the Bitcoin adoption world right now is education and this is the best Bitcoin education course online,” Boost CEO Adam Draper said in the statement. “It answers all the questions by giving access to the experts in the Bitcoin space; no one else has done this in a quality way.”
The course will launch on October 22, and interested students can sign up here.
Draper University, to be clear, is not the same kind of institute of higher learning most people imagine when they think of American universities: tree-lined walkways, football on Saturdays, frat parties. Instead, it is designed to teach and turn out educated potential entrepreneurs, either through its residence learning program or its online learning program.
The school began accepting bitcoin tuition payments in the summer of 2013, and Draper himself is perhaps best known in the community as the guy who bought the Silk Road auction bitcoins. In April, Draper called Bitcoin “the smartest tech investment” out there.
Draper University joins a list of other learning institutions offering courses on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. Others include Coin Academy, Stanford University and the University of Nicosia in Cyprus.
“We would agree that the largest problem in the Bitcoin adoption world right now is education,” said Stephen DeMeulenaere, co-founder of Coin Academy. He added:
“Many people cannot afford to go to university any more. Many who have are still burdened by loans, and at least a few are traumatized by years spent in a vacuum. The way people are learning is changing. The technologies for learning are changing. Learning is also being disintermediated, decentralized and in some ways distributed.”
In the last two years, Bitcoin has made inroads at universities around the world. As Jeremy Gardner, co-founder of the Cryptocurrency College Network, told CoinTelegraph in September:
“Youth of our generation ... have had their worldview shaped by endless war, massive financial improprieties by banks ‘too big to fail,’ and a resulting economic recession that affected the lives of each and every one of us. So to young people, Bitcoin makes a lot more sense.”
Besides CCN’s growing membership base, some recent examples of Bitcoin finding a niche on college campuses include:
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