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The new rules of Wall Street exam

Diana Asadova

In 2019 CFA Institute, which has trained 15.000 finance specialists, will become the first to add blockchain and cryptocurrency topics to its Level I and Level II curriculums. Material for the exams will be released in August 2018.

CFA added the topics to the curriculum as the financial industry participants started to show a high interest to the new field. Last years’ Bitcoin boom caused a strong intertwining of crypto industry and financial sphere. Flourishing firms (like Goldman Sachs Group Inc.), dabbling in digital assets, and scores of Wall Streeters, who are joining crypto start-ups, are the prime examples.

Although blockchain enterprises’ impact on the economy has been highly limited, some specialists believe that the technology can change the global financial system.

“We saw the field advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable,” says Stephen Horan, managing director for general education and curriculum at CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. “This is not a passing fad.”

CFA releases the material on blockchain and cryptocurrency along with other fintech subjects including artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and automated trading. Stephen Horan claims that even more crypto topics (for instance, the intersection of virtual currencies and economics) might be added soon.

New topics will also appear in the CFA readings on professional ethics, the area that crypto world usually lacks. Many virtual currency projects operate in a legal grey area, while forums are full of fraud, market manipulation, money laundering and theft examples. Being the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has lost more than a half of its cost amid growing legacy regulation and several hacker attacks on crypto exchanges.

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