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Crypto knowledge now a requirement for future CFA holders

The volatility of cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, may leave many investment and finance professionals looking at the crypto rush as just a fad. But for those gunning for a CFA certification, there is no other choice: they should be able to have a deep understanding of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

The CFA Institute recently announced that it will be including topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain to its Level I and Level II curriculums starting next year. Level I focuses on investment tools and foundations of business, while Level II sheds light on applying these tools in the analysis of asset classes.

For finance professionals applying for certification, the material for the 2019 exams will be released in August, giving them enough time to accomplish the recommended 300 hours of study time.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain will be part of a new reading dubbed Fintech in Investment Management. They will appear alongside other subjects including artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, and automated trading. CFA Institute managing director for general education and curriculum Stephen Horan said additional topics might be included in the curriculum in the future, such as the intersection of virtual currencies and economics.

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

Cryptocurrency and blockchain will also be study elements of a professional ethics topic.

According to Bloomberg, over 227,000 professionals in 91 countries are expected to take CFA exams in June, the majority are hailing from Asia.