When IBM announced a free online blockchain course for Indian students in June, it probably didn’t anticipate the response it would get. The inaugural edition of the course – titled “Blockchain Architecture Design and Use Cases” – has seen more than 21,000 registrations.
In fact, the course has proved to be so popular that it can barely keep up with the demand. In an email sent to course participants today, the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) revealed that the unexpected interest in the course has created a backlog of registrations on IBM’s website. The cause is students trying to sign up for the IBM blockchain starter program as part of their coursework.
Hard Fork has since obtained a copy of the email, here is what it said:
There have been a huge number of requests for starter plan due to this course. The backend team is working on increasing capacity and approving the free credits for the registrants from this course. Please use a non-gmail address when registering for starter plan (if you used a gmail address, please register again with a university or work e-mail). We do not know how long it will take for registrations to be approved, so please wait to get an e-mail approving your free credits.
IBM is offering the 12-week course in collaboration with National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a popular elearning platform in India. The course is taught by Praveen Jayachandran, Blockchain and Smart Contracts researcher at IBM India, and Sandip Chakraborty, a professor at IIT Guwahati.
There has been a rising interest towards blockchain technology among students due to increased employment opportunities in the sector. A recent survey conducted by cryptocurrency exchange desk Coinbase found that nearly half of the world’s top universities are now teaching courses on blockchain technology.
We have reached out to IBM for a comment. If we get a response, we’ll update the story.