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  • J McGlynn and M Bacina

Australia universities dominate ranks in global blockchain stakes

Updated: May 3

Australian universities traditionally punch above their weight globally in a number of areas and blockchain is no exception. What is exceptional is just how many Aussie universities have featured in CoinDesk's annual ranking of 230 universities, taking out 10% of the top 50.

CoinDesk partnered with Stanford University to survey 230 schools worldwide for the ranking. The methodology considered courses offered, research output, campus blockchain offerings (like student clubs and research centres), employment outcomes, academic reputation and tuition cost.

Australia dominated the top 50, with Melbourne's RMIT taking out the number 2 spot globally. Hot on their heels was UNSW, just outside the top ten at 13, Sydney University came in at 20, University of Melbourne at 34, Monash 48 (just beating Harvard which scraped in at 49).

The full top ten are as follows:

The universities awarded the highest ranks are those conducting not only blockchain research, but are using their blockchain expertise to pioneer change in the real world.

The the top 3 universities were:-

1. National University of Singapore - which "actively translates their blockchain research outcomes" into real systems, business, and spin-offs that benefit from blockchain in areas of security and privacy, consensus and execution, data storage and more;

2. RMIT - Home to the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub - the world’s first research centre on the social science of blockchain - providing a unique way to understand the global blockchain (r)evolution. RMIT has launched a $44.6m Victorian Government funded Digital CBD project to use their expertise in blockchain, digital finance and the digital economy to help the State of Victoria respond to the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and

3. UC Berkeley - Offering a well rounded range of blockchain courses for students as well as consultation services to companies and industries who are interested in working with blockchain experts trained and/or hired by the university to provide blockchain solutions to their existing business problems. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley doesn't hurt either.

Universities are highly competitive in their research generally, and blockchain is no exception. The public recognition of leading institutions should further fuel higher education to lean into more blockchain research opportunities.

Per CoinDesk:

Data is good. There is an absence of data on this space: Research and teaching can only get better if we track what academic institutions are offering.

Commenting on RMIT's success, Blockchain Innovation Hub Director at RMIT, Prof. Jason Potts said:

There is strong competition in the blockchain technology space in higher education. Our second placed ranking solidifies RMIT’s position as not only a world leading research centre but also as the top choice for students to come and study [the blockchain evolution].

Regulation is yet to catch up with the pace of blockchain technology. Having so many leading academics and universities focusing on blockchain should help better position Australia and our regulators to protect both consumers and innovators and catch up with other countries who are leading the ongoing blockchain (r)evolution.


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