CFA Institute Exam to Feature Crypto and Blockchain Financial Investment Topics

The CFA Exam Now Features Crypto and Blockchain Topics

The CFA Institute has officially embraced blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The organization’s grueling three-level program has helped train more than 150,000 finance professionals – and now the three-level program features topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Bloomberg is saying “it might be the definitive sign that cryptocurrencies have arrived on Wall Street.”

The CFA Institute is adding cryptocurrency and blockchain-related topics to its Level I and II curriculum for the first time next year. Material for the 2019 exams will be released in August, giving candidates a chance to begin their recommended 300 hours of study time.

The crypto topics are part of a new reading called Fintech in Investment Management. The CFA Institute added the topics after industry participants “showed surging interest in surveys and focus groups,” as reported by Bloomberg.

It’s no secret that Wall Street is increasingly getting involved in cryptocurrencies. Goldman Sachs has been dabbling in digital assets. Other firms have explored launching their own cryptocurrency exchanges. Regulated bitcoin futures trading now takes place in Chicago. Against all of this news, it should be no surprise that the CFA exams now feature cryptocurrencies.

The CFA Institute had been monitoring cryptocurrencies for some time and became eager to add it to the program after seeing cryptocurrencies surge in 2017.

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

The three-level CFA program is notoriously challenging, and it has only become more challenging in recent years. When the program first launched the three-level test in 1964, the pass rate was as high as 94.0%. By the 1980s, the pass rate had dropped into the 80% range, and it dropped into the 60% range by the 1990s. In 2017, only 47% of testers passed the CFA Level II exam.

The crypto and blockchain material will appear beside other fintech subjects, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and automated trading. Other crypto topics, like how blockchain technology and virtual currencies are affecting modern economics, may be added to the curriculum in the future.

This is all good news for the crypto industry. Obviously, getting added to the CFA exams shows that crypto is becoming more legitimate. However, it’s also preparing the next generation of financial industry leaders to regulate and manage cryptocurrencies.

The new crypto-related topics in the CFA exam cover professional ethics in regard to cryptocurrencies. Today, many projects operate in a legal grey zone, while markets are rife with frauds and scams. Increased regulation would reduce these incidents.

A record 227,000+ people in 91 countries registered to take the CFA exam in June. The majority of these candidates come from Asia, which is also where most of the world’s crypto trading takes place. 45% of bitcoin to fiat transactions take place with the Japanese Yen, with the Korean Won also dominating crypto trading.

More education is always good for a new industry. The fact that the CFA Institute has added crypto and blockchain topics to its famously difficult three-level exam is a big deal.

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