If you don’t understand how blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, works, you are not alone.
However, the secrets of blockchain are now within reach. RMIT University today launched Australia’s first university unit on blockchain, an eight-week short course.
The course was developed by the university’s Blockchain Innovation Hub, fintech hub Stone and Chalk and professional services firm Accenture.
Jason Potts, director of the Blockchain Innovation Hub, says the new technology is complex.
“It’s actually quite hard to understand,” he told Business Insider.
“It’s one of those things where a whole lot of different technologies have come together to contribute to it working.
“Much of this course is designed to help executives and business leaders to understand not just how this new technology works, and understanding what’s actually behind it, but also how it reflects business models and business strategy.”
The Blockchain Innovation Hub is monitoring the growth and dynamics of an emerging blockchain economy, and research with industry partners, into applications for banking, insurance, trade logistics, healthcare, and creative industries.
Blockchain uses computers with advanced encryption to keep track of transactions, giving confidence to both buyers and sellers. Transactions of the cryptocurrency bitcoin are tracked used blockchain.
Among Australia’s early adopters is the ASX which has decided to replace its CHESS system to record changes in shareholding with distributed ledger technology found in blockchain.
Alan Tsen, Melbourne general manager of Stone & Chalk, says the fintech hub has been in discussions with businesses and governments for years around the emergence of blockchain and the impact it will have on industry.
“Banks are already behind blockchain technology in a big way,” he says.
“There is a real demand for blockchain training and a skills gap in the market that needs to be addressed.”