Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) lives up to its name by providing one of the most advanced blockchain educations available in the world.
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HKUST offers a master’s degree program in financial technology, which includes blockchain course options in both of its semesters. For undergraduates, it offers a “Fintech and Cryptoventures” course, which focuses specifically on the bridge between blockchain and finance. That program touches on the valuation of initial coin offerings (ICO) and the Lightning Network alongside more standard crypto modules. From 2022, it will offer undergraduates “Introduction to Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts,” too.
HKUST holds online events, open to undergraduates and postgraduates, in which guest speakers from the blockchain industry are invited to share their experience and insights. The event “Insights Into Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Sustainable Finance,” for example, was held early in 2021 and hosted Max Song, founder of blockchain supply-chain-tracing firm Carbonbase.
In addition, there is more than one research group at HKUST striving for the next advance in blockchain technology. The CryptoFintech lab was founded in 2018 using a HK$2 million investment from Foga Tech, a subsidiary of a Hong Kong mobile game company. The lab now organizes summer courses to teach students about blockchain. Its academics are working on a decentralized insurance platform and a program to advise on a decentralized finance (DeFi) portfolio, among other projects.
The Advanced Database and Blockchain group brings together the top data scientists and engineers from HKUST to dig into the high-level questions around the technology. It has already developed Fluid, a blockchain-based framework for crowdsourcing, and Jupiter, a blockchain platform designed to support mobile device nodes. There is also the HKUST-Xunlei Joint Laboratory on Blockchain Technology, a collaboration with industry partners.
In 2020, HKUST launched an e-verification system for degree certificates that uses blockchain. Hong Kong has an illustrious place in the brief history of blockchain and crypto. The largest stablecoin in the world, tether, was created in the city as well as the crypto derivatives exchange FTX Trading, to name just two. Hong Kong’s financial regulations have been relatively friendly to crypto as well. Students settling in the city may find opportunities aplenty.