Turkey Establishes Country’s First University-Level Blockchain Center
Turkey has inaugurated the country’s first university blockchain center, in an attempt to increase deployment of the technology and narrow the blockchain expertise gap, reported news outlet Daily Sabah on August 3.
The Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center is the first of its kind in the country and was inaugurated at Bahçeşehir University (BAU) on Friday. Bora Erdamar, the director of BlockchainIST Center said:
“The BlockchainIST Center is set to become the most important center of research and development and innovation in Turkey in which scientific studies and publications are made in blockchain technologies.”
The director further added that the country holds a great chance to become the leading country in blockchain technology, a technology that can possibly “transform humanity”. He stressed the importance of collaboration and cooperation with other governmental institutions, educational establishments, and businesses to provide an environment to conduct proper research and explore all possible applications of the technology.
However, Turkey is not the first country to embrace the benefits of blockchain technology, crypto-related courses, and smart contracts. Many countries around the world have already established educational centers to facilitate blockchain research.
Earlier this year, Stanford University inaugurated the Center for Blockchain Research, partly supported by the Ethereum Foundation. Meanwhile, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, a major Brazilian university started offering its students a master’s degree in crypto finance. In Addition, Ripple donated a whopping $50 million to 17 universities across the world to fund education in crypto and blockchain.
While Erdamar stressed that the country is a becoming digitalized and is constantly looking for new ways to keep pace with rest of the countries, the authorities have maintained an ambiguous stance on the topic.
In 2017, the Turkish authorities, more specifically the lawmakers of the state Directorate of Religious Affairs said the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin was not compatible with “Islam”. But, earlier this year, the authorities mentioned the possibility of TurkCoin, a national digital currency.
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