The University of Alabama is teaming up with Chainalysis, a provider of compliance and investigation software of virtual currency transactions. Through the partnership, both organizations will aim to offer “cutting-edge” education and training for students.
Blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis noted in a blog post that it will provide access to its software and training programs – which have reportedly been developed by instructional design and training experts “for integration into a course offered through the UA Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.”
According to Chainalysis, students will be learning about the role of cryptocurrencies in the financial system and criminal transactions. They’ll also develop an understanding of the principles of the underlying blockchain or distributed ledger technologies (DLT) that underpins virtual currencies.
Students who manage to do well in the class will be able to take tests and get certified in Chainalysis software, which is extensively used by financial institutions, government departments and law enforcement agencies. Students who obtain a certification will be considered “subject matter experts” in cryptocurrency and blockchain or DLT analysis, and “will be able to perform and lead cryptocurrency tracking and tracing for companies or government organizations,” the announcement noted.
UA is notably the first higher education institution to form this type of partnership with Chainalysis.
Dr. Diana Dolliver, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal justice who will be teaching these courses, remarked:
“There are not nearly enough individuals with this skillset, so the students who successfully complete the course and obtain the certifications will be extremely sought after by companies and government agencies for employment. No other students in the world currently have this opportunity offered at The University of Alabama.”
Dolliver is serving as the Academic Director for the Joint Electronic Crimes Task Force at UA and is responsible for training and working with law enforcement officials on cases involving cybercrime.
Even smaller, domestic police departments come across virtual currencies as, for example, controlled substances might be found with a suspected dealer, Chainalysis noted. However, there might not be cash present or a way to trace the movement of funds to keep the investigation going, the blockchain firm explained.
“There’s a major component of criminal investigations that can be missing. As criminal activity continues to move to this digital currency realm, more people are needed who can identify and trace the money in this cryptocurrency form.”
Jason Bonds, Chief Revenue Officer at Chainalysis, remarked:
“Chainalysis is excited to partner with UA to make cryptocurrency education available to students interested in the future of crime and investigations. Government agencies, cryptocurrency businesses, and financial institutions need talent to ensure the future of finance grows safely and securely.”
The course is scheduled for this spring semester as a “special topics” course. However, it will be “ingrained in the curriculum as part of the cyber criminology minor that’s housed in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, which draws students studying business management information systems and computer science,” Dolliver confirmed. (Note: for more details, check here.)