CFA Exam Adds Crypto, Blockchain Topics To Their Curriculum

Finance and crypto worlds have become increasingly intertwisted. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program is set to add cryptocurrencies and blockchain topics to its exam curriculum in August 2019. Candidates will get their first look at the new material next month.

CFA is named as the most brutal exam in the world of finance. The three-part of the exam covers different aspects of finance with an emphasis on ethics. It also featured topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The decision was taken by CFA following the announcements of new projects in the cryptocurrency field by several institutions. Both topics will be part of a new section called “Fintech in Investment Management” with other emerging topics like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automated trading.

CFA Exam Adds Crypto, Blockchain Topics

“We saw the field advancing more quickly than other fields. We also saw it as more durable. More crypto topics, such as the intersection of virtual currencies and economics, may be added to the curriculum” said Stephen Horan, managing director for general education and curriculum at CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“It will be beneficial for us. Since there’s been a huge expansion and adoption of crypto in our investment universe. But more importantly, the focus is on the blockchain. How it works to improve, unravel or even disrupt certain sectors.” said Kayden Lee, 27, a financial economics student at Columbia University who took the CFA Level I exam in June and is interning as a fund analyst in Singapore during his summer break. Also read UAE Introduces Virtual Reality to Treat Stroke Patients

Each year, more than one lakh people appear for the CFA exams and nearly half of them clear the first round. Only 1,50,000 candidates managed to complete all the three rounds. The program is back in 1963 and accredited as CFA “shareholders”. The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association formed a new advisory board consisting of cryptocurrency experts in February 2018. Recently, Digital Currency Council had previously launched their own cryptocurrency and blockchain related professional accreditation program for financial advisors.

CFA Institute scheduling three-level program by adding the topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain to its Level I and II curriculums for the first time next year. It helps to train more than 150,000 financial professionals. Material for the 2019 exams will be released in August. This gives candidates their first opportunity to start a recommended 300 hours of study time.

The worlds of finance and crypto became progressively intertwisted after last year’s Bitcoin boom, with regulated futures now trading in Chicago, blue-chip firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. dabbling in digital assets, and scores of Wall Streeters joining crypto-related startups. While digital coins have fallen suddenly in 2018.

The real-world impact of blockchain ventures has been limited. Some observers say the technology could ultimately transform swathes of the global financial system. The new topics will also make an appearance in the CFA readings on professional ethics, an area that some say is lacking in the crypto world. Many virtual currency projects operate in a legal gray zone. Digital-asset trading venues and initial coin offerings are rife with examples of fraud, market manipulation, money laundering and theft.

Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, has lost more than half of its value this year amid growing regulatory scrutiny and a series of exchange hacks. A record 227,031 people in 91 countries and territories registered to require CFA exams in June. It seeks a better understanding of finance, improved job prospects or some combination of the two.

A majority of the candidates came from Asia, happened to be the world’s virtual currency trading. About 45 percent of Bitcoin transactions are paired against the Japanese yen. Korean crypto exchanges are some of the world’s largest. “It’s positive that organizations like CFA are drawing attention to space. More education is always good” said Darius Sit, a former foreign-exchange and bond trader at BNP Paribas SA who’s now managing partner of cryptocurrency trading firm QCP Capital Pte in Singapore.

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