Photo courtesy University of Maryland.

The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is launching “The Blockchain Business Imperative,” a six-week synchronous online certificate program on blockchain technology and its potential economic impact across industries.

The program is designed to help leaders identify how blockchain technology can enable them to innovate and drive growth in their businesses. A free, online information session for the program is set for 11 a.m. Jan. 21. Register via https://go.umd.edu/qTA.

Participants may already be familiar with applications of blockchain technology like cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which rely on peer-to-peer networks. “But the potential of blockchain technology far exceeds its current usage,” said Tej Anand, program director and clinical professor of information systems.

“The time to think through how Blockchain can drive growth and profitability for your business is now. This course will help you cut through the hype and ambiguity to create sustainable competitive advantage,” Anand said.

Topics that the program will cover during its six weeks include an in-depth understanding of the economic inefficiencies that blockchain will impact, an overview of foundational blockchain technologies; a conceptual understanding of blockchain; implementation details for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Hyperledger; exploration of various blockchain business applications including NFTs, DeFi, CBDC; and a final discussion on potential opportunities and challenges stemming from blockchain.

BBI participants will also have an opportunity to put theory into practice by applying for Maryland Smith’s Blockchain Accelerator. The accelerator, a 60-day program beginning shortly after the completion of the BBI program in March, assists early-stage companies by providing them with mentorship and access to the FounderTrac virtual accelerator platform enabling them to leverage blockchain technology for the advancement of their businesses.