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University of Nicosia Launches Free, Open MOOC Led by Bitcoin Experts; "Introduction to Digital Currencies" Course Begins May 15


April 2, 2014 - Nicosia, Cyprus

Starting today, individuals worldwide interested in gaining a greater understanding of the fundamentals of bitcoin and digital currency can now enroll in "Introduction to Digital Currencies," a free, open enrollment MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered by the University of Nicosia. The course is taught by bitcoin experts and University of Nicosia professors in the related areas of Computer Science and Finance.

Last November, the University of Nicosia, the largest independent university in Cyprus and one of the largest English language universities in southern Europe, became the first accredited university in the world to accept bitcoin for tuition payments and to announce the development of a Master of Science Degree in Digital Currency. The MOOC is the first course in the master's degree program and students who successfully complete the MOOC will be able to apply credit for the course towards the full degree program.

"I am delighted to be teaching this course along with my colleagues at the University of Nicosia," said Andreas Antonopoulos, University of Nicosia Teaching Fellow and a leading bitcoin and digital currency expert and entrepreneur. "It is an excellent opportunity for anyone to develop a good understanding of the technical and non-technical aspects of decentralized currencies in general and, more specifically, explore both bitcoin (the network) and Bitcoin (the currency)."

The MOOC will cover technical, legal, economic and regulatory matters relating to Bitcoin and Digital Currency over a six week period and will be offered free of charge to students worldwide. The MOOC start date is May 15, 2014, for the initial session. Future sessions will be offered throughout the year, including in accelerated formats. More details about this introductory course and a registration form can be found here: www.digitalcurrency.unic.ac.cy.

For students interested in continuing their studies, the University of Nicosia also offers the first Master of Science Degree in Digital Currency, which will be available for students worldwide, both online and on-campus, in the English language. This interdisciplinary program bridges computer science and finance and is designed to help financial services and business professionals, entrepreneurs, government officials and public administrators understand the technical underpinnings of digital currency, how it will likely interact with existing monetary and financial systems and what opportunities exist for innovation in digital currency systems. The University of Nicosia is now accepting registrations for the graduate-level program, which also begins May 15 -- students will first complete the free "Introduction to Digital Currencies" MOOC and then progress to more advanced coursework. For more information or to register, visit www.digitalcurrency.unic.ac.cy.

"This is a truly unique program, linking computer science, finance and banking, to understand emerging electronic payment systems and their impact on business and financial markets," said Antonis Polemitis, an adjunct faculty member and University of Nicosia board member. "It will allow students from around the world to contextualize developments in digital currency within computer science, money and banking, regulatory regimes and financial institutions infrastructure." Polemitis was a member of the industry advisory panel that assisted faculty in the development of the University's Master of Science Degree in Digital Currency.

The total cost of the master's program will be EUR 11,760 (approximately $16,250 USD). The University will be offering up to EUR 5M of scholarships to students from 139 "low and middle income countries" (as classified by the World Bank). Students paying in bitcoins will receive a five percent discount.

To learn more about the University of Nicosia Digital Currency Initiative or to enroll in the MOOC or the Master of Science Degree in Digital Currency, go to www.digitalcurrency.unic.ac.cy.

About the University of Nicosia

The University of Nicosia is the largest independent university in Cyprus and one of the largest accredited English language universities in southern Europe. It offers more than 60 degree programs from the bachelor's to doctoral levels, and is a particular leader in the fields of accounting, business, finance, banking, computer science, law, architecture, engineering, psychology, medicine and international relations.

Currently more than 8,500 students from all over the world attend a program at the University of Nicosia or affiliated institutions such as the St. George's University of London Medical School at the University of Nicosia (a partnership between St. George's University of London and the University of Nicosia); Globaltraining, professional training division with campuses in Cyprus, Greece and Romania; Intercollege, vocational colleges in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca; Erasmus and Global Semesters exchange and study abroad programs; and UNIC Online, offering online programs to students worldwide.

The language of instruction for most University of Nicosia programs is English. To learn more about the University, please visit: www.unic.ac.cy.

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