Wharton Launches Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets Executive Education Online Certificate Program, Becoming First Ivy League School to Accept Enrollment Payment in Crypto via Coinbase

MBA Blog / 29th October 2021

The Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is proud to announce the launch of its newest online program, Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets. Developed in partnership with Prysm Group, a leading blockchain economic consulting firm, this six-week Wharton certificate program is designed for business and technology professionals seeking to learn about blockchain and digital assets through its value-driving principle: economics. Program participants will be able to pay the tuition fee in cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USD Coin, a first for any Ivy League institution or U.S. business school.

The blockchain and digital assets industry has produced opportunities that were impossible to envision even a few years ago. Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council reported that 83 countries worldwide have begun initiatives relating to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). DeFi Pulse, a decentralized finance (DeFi) analytics firm, found that the total value locked in DeFi applications has increased over 1,500 percent in just two years to over $100B. PwC expects blockchain to boost global GDP by US$1.8T by 2030, indicating that the applications of this technology are only beginning to reveal themselves. Furthermore, Deloitte found that 83 percent of businesses are discussing or working on cryptocurrencies in the context of solutions or strategies. In response to this fast economic paradigm shift, Wharton Executive Education has designed this program to assist business leaders in identifying and capturing the value generated by this disruptive technology.

With program highlights including introducing a standard valuation methodology for digital assets—the fundamental token valuation (FTV)—seven business school case studies, and over 50 program lecture videos featuring Wharton faculty and industry experts, the program seeks to allow students to align theory with practice and give them the tools necessary to engage deeply with this emerging technology in a business context.

“We designed this program for business professionals and executives from a range of backgrounds, including traditional finance, management, and tech,” said the program’s academic director, Professor Kevin Werbach of the Wharton School. When asked about the goals of the program, Professor Werbach said, “Blockchain and digital assets are not going away. We hope to equip business leaders, consultants, and entrepreneurs to identify the value drivers of these innovative technologies and to give them the practical understanding to build solutions.”

With industry case-study topics ranging from how large, legacy enterprises can use blockchain to get ahead to what criteria digital asset creators use in selecting which protocol to issue it on, Wharton’s Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets program takes an in-depth look at challenges that business leaders have gone through, discusses how they made their decisions and explores essential lessons learned.

The goal of this asynchronous, online program is to educate business leaders at their own pace on how this general-purpose technology can be applied to their businesses and unlock value for the global economy.

According to the program director, Dr. Cathy Barrera of Prysm Group, “Having spent the last four years providing economic consulting to projects from Fortune 500 enterprises seeking to apply the blockchain technology to their existing business to crypto startups who have collectively bootstrapped a token market capitalization of over $300B, it is a pleasure to be a part of this program and to be able to share many of the frameworks and models that have contributed to the tremendous success of many of our clients.” She continues, “From folks interested in learning how to assess and evaluate existing blockchain networks, applications, and digital assets to those looking to develop their own solutions utilizing the unique features of blockchain, this program focuses on the technology’s most overlooked principle: its economics.”

With the support of its program partners, including Algorand, Amazon Web Services, Forte, Hyperledger, SKALE, and Synthetix, and guest speakers from Andreessen Horowitz, Circle, The Defiant, Forbes, Litecoin, Unchained podcast, the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the World Economic Forum, Wharton Executive Education’s Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets program leverages years of development and deployment and delivers world-class learning solutions through practical case studies and industry best practices to educate the global business community.

When asked about the significance of the program, Sanchan Saxena, VP of Product at Coinbase, said, “Coinbase’s mission is to create more economic freedom for every person and every business, and we applaud the new Wharton program for educating business leaders on the fundamentals of the cryptoeconomy.” He continued, “We are proud to support the program further by enabling Wharton to accept tuition payments in cryptocurrency, powered by Coinbase Commerce.”

The Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets program is now open for limited enrollment for its first cohort, which begins on January 3, 2022. To register or receive more information on the program, visit www.blockchain.wharton.upenn.edu.

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