Students at elite business schools bypass Wall Street for blockchain

A growing number of students at America’s elite business schools say they plan to pivot away from conventional jobs in finance for the lure of blockchain, the underpinning of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Robbie Mitchnick is one of those students.

“We’ve got a lot of people who came from traditional finance backgrounds that are forgoing the chance to go back into that world to get involved in blockchain,” Mitchnick, a MBA candidate at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, told CNBC.

Following graduation next spring, Mitchnick, who previously interned at the payments network Ripple, hopes to find work making cryptocurrencies more accessible to a mainstream audience.

Blockchain is a global online database that allows millions of users to exchange cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and litecoin, securely and anonymously. Wall Street has grown enamored with the technology even as some prominent bankers downplay the staying power of bitcoin, the price of which as soared to over $11,000 this year.

Students in the graduate business programs at Harvard, Stanford and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School have pressed for more on-campus opportunities to learn about blockchain, and schools are responding.

Last summer, a group of Stanford MBA students including Mitchnick, wrote a letter to Yossi Feinberg, the senior associate dean for academic affairs, arguing that blockchain is of fundamental importance to business and the economy and listing reasons a course should be developed for business school students…

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