The Coronavirus pandemic has prompted a Canadian university to offer blockchain courses in response to continued demand for experts. To this must be added progress in the development of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): all this makes Canada the new frontier for blockchain developers.
In particular, the York University School of Continuing Studies in Toronto plans to offer two different blockchain courses:
- A part-time, Certificate in Blockchain Development
- A full time, Graduate Certificate in Back-End and Blockchain Development.
Both will start in September 2020.
The educational program was created to meet the need for trained and competent professionals. In fact, the demand for blockchain developers has significantly increased due to the Coronavirus emergency. In this context, the blockchain seems to be one of the solutions able to better control different processes useful in the fight against the pandemic.
The curriculum has been developed in collaboration with industry leaders and experts to form people in line with what are the characteristics required by companies. Both courses will be not only theoretical but also practical, with the aim of developing real blockchain solutions.
But since the health situation does not yet allow it, both the Certificate in Blockchain Development and the Graduate Certificate course will be online, even though the full-time course will also include on-campus activities, as soon as the pandemic mitigation measures will allow it.
Alisa Acosta, Director of Education, Blockchain Research Institute and member of the Board of Directors who organizes the courses, explained how blockchain technology can be useful in the fight against pandemics in at least five cases:
- Data identity and governability;
- Supply chain;
- Monetary and financial services;
- Incentives for behavioural change.
“Systems built using data governance technologies like blockchain can create more secure, transparent, and high-performance environments to help mitigate future crises like COVID-19”.
For Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, vice president of the institute, blockchain is the most revolutionary technology in existence today, which is why trained and competent blockchain developers are essential:
“This innovation is vital to solving problems created by the pandemic. As Canada’s leader in providing accelerated, online certificate programs in emerging technical fields, the Certificate in Blockchain Development and the Post-Graduate Certificate in Back-End and Blockchain Development will allow graduates to reskill or upskill in this high-demand field and quickly reenter the workforce”.
Canada heading towards a CBDC
On the subject of work and development, it seems that Canada is on track towards developing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The Canadian central bank, the Bank of Canada, has placed an ad on its website in search of a project manager for the CBDC.
Of particular significance is the fact that the duration of employment is three years with the possibility of growth, an indication of the timing that it may take before the virtual currency is on the market.
The announcement also explains what this CBDC will look like, described as a currency “with cash-like properties in digital form”.
These are its characteristics:
- Private: not anonymous, but highly private while guaranteeing compliance with all regulations, starting with anti-money laundering policies;
- Universally accessible: the currency must also be used by those who have no current account or a mobile phone;
- Resilient: it must not suffer from network overloads or power outages;
- Safe: because Canadians must use it with the same rate of confidence as they use cash.
Small detail: among the required skills there is knowledge of the IT environment but without reference to blockchain technology.
What is certain is that the ad is unequivocal and shows how Canada is serious and really wants to issue a digital state currency.