CFA Institute Introducing Fintech Courses, says Crypto ‘Not a Fad’
The world-renowned Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute is adding blockchain and cryptocurrency curriculum to Level I and Level II of its three-phase examination.
CFA Wakes Up To Cryptocurrencies
On July 16, 2018, Bloomberg reported the CFA Institute would provide study material of the burgeoning technology and asset class to exam aspirants who choose the revenant electives. Candidates are expected to study cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for a minimum of 300 before the CFA exam in 2019.
The topics are part of “Fintech in Investment Management,” a new course introduced after the field of financial technology gained prominence in 2017. The institute touted the sector as a “big part of examinations” at the time.
The latest two topics were introduced after industry participants and aspirants displayed significant interest in the field. Interestingly, the previously obscure domain of cryptocurrencies is swiftly getting intertwined with traditional finance markets as global lawmakers and security regulators move to enhance the cryptocurrency sector and introduce strict, yet optimal, regulations.
Stephen Horan, managing director for general education and curriculum at CFA Institute, stated:
“We saw the field advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable. This is not a passing fad.”
Study material on cryptocurrencies and blockchain will appear alongside other in-demand fintech subjects such as big data, algo-trading, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. However, Horan notes crypto-economics and related topics “may eventually be added to the curriculum.”
The new material will arm aspirants with knowledge on fintech and blockchain systems, including how the latter helps unravel, or even disrupt, traditional sectors and digital infrastructures.
Notably, a section of subjects will intersect cryptocurrencies and “professional ethics,” a mandatory CFA module, which observers believe is much-needed for the sector.
A lack of regulations has led enterprising people to launch their cryptocurrency projects, offering tokens in turn of promises of changing the world. However, many projects ultimately end up as “deadcoins,” with reports suggesting as much as 78 percent of all cryptocurrencies are fraudulent.
Strict academics in this regard helps subrogate the malicious intent and provides credibility to the broader cryptocurrency sector.
Meanwhile, over 227,031 students prepare each year from 91 countries for the grueling CFA examination, primarily for enhancing knowledge, improving job prospects, or a combination of the two.
Bloomberg points out that a majority of the candidates “come from Asia, which also happens to be where much of the world’s virtual currency trading takes place.”
Recent Developments Validate Move
While the CFA’s move to add cryptocurrency subjects may surprise some, recent developments concretize the institute’s decision.
Some of the world’s most sought-after banks have launched Bitcoin trading desks or have commissioned dedicated teams to research the field. As reported by CryptoSlate, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a foremost authority, already offers Bitcoin Futures since 2017, and Ethereum Futures were launched in May 2018.
Wall Street veterans are turning towards cryptocurrency startups, including several naysayers-turned-believers, and established billionaires have announced their investment interests in the volatile asset class.
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