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Not A Fad: CFA Institute Adding Cryptocurrency to Exam, Buffering Wall Street

Cryptocurrency Adoption–CFA Institute, which distributes the exam for advisers to earn the coveted credential of Chartered Financial Analyst, has announced it will be adding topics related to cryptocurrency and blockchain in next year’s iteration of the exam.

In a bid to keep up to date with the shifting landscape of financial services, the CFA Institute is looking to steer up-and-coming industry participants in the emerging direction of cryptocurrency–both to better serve their clients and to prepare the world for the continued emergence of crypto. While CFA’s credentialing involves a three-tiered distinction of expertise, topics related to cryptocurrency will find their way on to the Level I & II exam, signifying a momentous shift for the potential of crypto adoption on Wall Street.

Stephen Horan, managing director for general education and curriculum at CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, reaffirmed the service’s commitment to preparing new analysts for the intricacies of cryptocurrency, a level of complexity that has made even government regulators shy away from,

“We saw the field advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable…This is not a passing fad.”

While the curricula continues to focus on the mainstays of financial service institutions and fintech development, such automated trading and big data, Horan contends that they may continue to expand the selection of crypto topics, such as the intersection of cryptocurrency and economics. In addition, the new iteration of cryptocurrency will make an appearance in CFA readings on professional ethics, an interesting twist given the largely lawless, unregulated landscape of the industry.

As Bloomberg points out, the large volume of analysts and CFA examinees coming out of Asia may be playing a large role in the institute’s decision to pursue cryptocurrency well ahead of Wall Street adoption.

227,031 people in 91 countries and territories registered to take CFA exams in June…A majority of the candidates came from Asia, which also happens to be where much of the world’s virtual currency trading takes place.

As Bloomberg continues, 45 percent of all Bitcoin trading is paired against the Japanese Yen, which gives a stark appearance of the landscape of cryptocurrency across the globe, and the massive following it has engendered in East Asian countries. In addition, Korean-based cryptocurrency exchanges constitute some of the largest by daily trade volume, again revealing a propensity for cryptocurrency and a growing push for adoption. South Korea has already made an effort to work with crypto exchanges and offer a clear path to regulation, which positions the country as a global leader in both cryptocurrency advancement and blockchain.

CFA Institute is responding to the need for more cryptocurrency and blockchain based education, in addition to providing the world–and Wall Street–with qualified individuals to guide finances into the modern reality that cryptocurrency offers. As many media outlets have pointed out, considering that Wall Street is filled with the ranks of CFA credentialed analysts, this move could be the first in building momentum to widespread adoption.

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