Decentralized finance, or DeFi, has become one of the fastest-growing sectors within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Data shows that the total value locked (TVL) in all DeFi protocols is now around $130 billion. This is an important metric, as some analysts view TVL as one of the best ways to measure sentiment within the DeFi sector.
While growth is apparent, many individuals may still wonder what DeFi is and how it can be applied today. Piers Ridyard, chief executive officer of Radix DLT — a secure decentralized network — stated that DeFi currently only caters to users with sufficient knowledge of the crypto market.
This in mind, it’s notable that a small number of universities are now offering DeFi-focused courses to help educate enrolled students and the general public on the basics of decentralized systems.
Where you can learn about DeFi
The University of California at Berkeley recently added a massively open online course, or MOOC, on decentralized finance to its Fall 2021 semester offering.
Dawn Song, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley and founder of blockchain platform Oasis Network, told Cointelegraph that she will help lead the DeFi course, alongside professors from Stanford and Imperial College London. According to Song, DeFi is becoming a fundamentally new way to build financial infrastructure, which is why it’s important for students everywhere to learn about the topic:
“About 300 computer science and finance students have signed up for the course, yet given the enormous interest of DeFi, we are also offering a MOOC version open to everyone globally. In total, over 1400 students have signed up for Berkeley’s DeFi course.”
Song mentioned that UC Berkeley previously offered a shorter, more experimental DeFi course during its Spring 2021 semester. She explained that due to the success and interest of that class, the university is now offering a full semester course covering the most important concepts in DeFi.
“The first segment of the course will cover an introduction to smart contacts and blockchain. The second segment is the core, where we will discuss different DeFi services including stablecoins, decentralized exchanges, decentralized lending and more,” Song said, adding further: “We will also cover oracles and privacy protocol in DeFi, which have proven to be a big topic lately.”
Song noted that the DeFi course will be entirely remote due to COVID-19 restrictions but that the curriculum will be the same for both UC Berkeley students and participants in the MOOC class. However, she mentioned that Berkeley students will conduct more course work, such as completing open-ended class projects and getting hands-on experience with developing new technologies within the DeFi space. Nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, will be issued as certificates to those who complete the class.
While UC Berkeley’s DeFi course may be one of the first of its kind, it’s notable that the MOOC is open to everyone across the world. “We have students from Europe, India, Asia and other regions outside of the U.S. taking the class,” said Song. Staying true to DeFi’s open, inclusive standards, she added that the goal of Berekely’s DeFi course is to bring together online participants with students enrolled at Berkeley to create a bigger community while improving the technology in the space.
Wyoming, one of the leading states for blockchain innovation, is also offering education on DeFi to students at the University of Wyoming. Ali Nejadmalayeri, a professor of finance at the University of Wyoming, told Cointelegraph that the university offers a blockchain minor and that various disciplines within the sector can be studied as courses.
For example, Nejadmalayeri teaches the Blockchain and Financial Services course, which is a full-semester online class that contains a portion on DeFi concepts:
Read More: cointelegraph.com