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Jun 22, 2017 07:59 AM EDT

With cryptocurrencies becoming more and more popular, so is the need for more blockchain expertise. The University of Edinburgh acknowledges this need so it is opening the first-ever blockchain course in Europe.

Offering a course on blockchain technology has placed the University of Edinburgh in the forefront as an authority in the blockchain. This might come as a surprise but not for those who have been following the route where the university is going.

Last year, it established their own Blockchain Technology Laboratory, which focuses on blockchain research and development. Thus, the blockchain course is an expected move.

The course is called Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers which will give students an in-depth knowledge of blockchain technology as well as ledgers. It will also teach students how to build their own blockchain as the course progresses.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have been the most popular use for the technology. However, more and more companies and organizations in different industries are beginning to see its importance and adopting the technology.

Recently, Microsoft announced that it is providing digital IDs to more than 1 billion undocumented people around the world using blockchain. As the technology spreads, there will be a strong demand for experts.

Although the technology is only a recent development, it is dynamic and growing fast. Aggelos Kiayias, a director of the university’s Blockchain Technology Laboratory, said that "there is a bit of a lag" and academia needs to catch up.

The University of Edinburgh and its alumni has always been in the forefront of research and development since it was established in 1582. Some of its notable alumni include Charles Darwin, surgeon Joseph Lister, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

It also made headlines in the 90s after creating Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.

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