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October 2018

Olga Poleshchuk, Belarusian National Technical University: The Belarusian Decree is a signal for foreign investors

Olga Poleshchuk, Belarusian National Technical University: The Belarusian Decree is a signal for foreign investors

The Decree on the Development of Digital Technologies has shown the whole world that Belarusian high-tech companies are open to foreign investments. Eventually, it will allow to create new jobs and improve the country’s situation on the international blockchain market. This is the opinion of Olga Poleshchuk, a professor at Belarusian National Technical University who holds courses on cryptocurrency market and blockchain operations.

Olga Poleshchuk has experience in securities management at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Belarus. In the interview, Olga shared her opinion regarding the Belarusian Decree and told us about Belarusian National Technical University’s training in the work with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Interviewer: Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Belarus (BCB)

Respondent: Olga Poleshchuk (OP)

BCB: Hello, Olga. Please tell us what the training in the cryptocurrency market and blockchain is aimed at.

OP: Our program is based on the cross-disciplinary interaction between various economy sectors and IT industry. For example, the relation among blockchain technologies and financial market that leads to the emergence of new business models and forms of cross-sectoral economic contacts. We aim to show our audience how to expand the application of their skills and professional competence in new realities of the digital economy.

BCB: Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are the rapidly developing sectors with constant updates. How do you form an educational program?

OP: The educational program for training securities market specialists in a degree in Cryptocurrencies and Derivatives lasts 1 year and 8 months. We have developed basic modules, including blockchain technology and cryptocurrency market functioning. However, the content of these modules is constantly corrected. This is necessary in order to provide the audience with relevant knowledge, fresh analysis of the market and business strategy within ever-shifting market conditions.

BCB: What topics are the most interesting for the audience? Which ones are the most difficult and doubtful?

OP: We receive quite a positive feedback on such topics as ‘Cryptocurrency market forecasting’ and ‘Cryptocurrency market trading’; their author is Leonid Zheltonoga. A great deal of interest was generated by Konstantin Zheltonoga’s lecturers on crypto exchange operations.

Despite the fact that the first session has ended in the spring and the next one begins in the fall, the audience constantly seeks our advice, including tips on the implementation of their own projects.

Besides, it is necessary to mention the role of all lecturers engaged in the educational process. Any program topic is an author’s course prepared by the expert and professional. The difficulty of grasping certain topic depends on the initial training level of the audience rather than the presenting material. But we tried to improve everyone’s understanding of the subject.

BCB: How can you assess the results of the past semester? What changes have you introduced to the program based on the semester’s results?

OP: The first semester focused on the basis. For instance, we revealed features of blockchain architecture, operations of cryptocurrency exchanges, application of smart contracts, as well as IT security issues, including cryptocurrency storage and usage.

As to the new group, which training will start in October, we are going to examine scaling issues of leading blockchain networks and their solutions more thoroughly. The second semester for people being trained will be dedicated to case studies. Based on real projects and examples, we will analyze the concept of technology and the relation between the cryptocurrency market and conventional financial system.

BCB: Why do you think that cryptocurrency and blockchain education will be useful? What is your target audience?

OP: Our audience consists of people desiring not only to gain insight on the blockchain industry but also to work in one of the most promising and rapidly developing high-tech and financial sectors.

The integration of blockchain technologies into many business processes resulted in the great demand for such specialists. Therefore, one establishes special blockchain schools as well as creates educational programs as part of universities and other educational institutions in various countries.

Belarus should not only stay abreast in this regard but also be a leader. Indeed, the lack of specialists, as well as the absence of required skills and knowledge, can retard the industry development and integration of new technology in our country. In this case, interesting ideas of enthusiasts, which could turn into global projects, will remain unimplemented because of the lack of professionals able to put them into action.

BCB: In one of the interviews, you have mentioned that experience gained in the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Belarus helps you in the university. How does it affect the course program and your method of training the audience?

OP: I worked with the securities market, including the attraction of investment resources by issuing various financial tools. It allows to be well-versed in traditional investment methods from a practical perspective.

However, blockchain technology is changing existing economical models and business areas, providing wide possibilities and flexibility of their implementation. The emergence of new tools and players on the market leads to new ways of investment raising.

This aspect should be taken into account during the educational process. Education is aimed at providing students with the whole picture of modern information technologies and their integration into businesses. People should be able to consider a variety of parameters, advantages, and disadvantages of blockchain systems.

BCB: Your educational program examines the Decree “On the development of the digital economy”. How will it affect the economy in Belarus?

OP: Everything depends on further steps towards the development and legislative regulation of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. One expects positive prospects for the Belarusian economy. It refers to new jobs, emergence of future professions, integration of modern technologies into existing business processes, growth of tax revenues, and country’s reputation as a leader in the cryptocurrency sector. I hope that Belarus will have more projects related to blockchain technologies that will positively affect the whole industry.

BCB: Your opinion: what are the real benefits of the Decree for the country?

OP: The adoption of legislation in this sector is a quite significant signal for investors that Belarus is open to foreign capital and new technologies. Moreover, it is a serious motivation to bring new services and products for various industries to the market as well as develop and integrate blockchain solutions. It is also an opportunity for talented people in our country to implement their own ideas, plans, and projects in this area.

However, much work remains to be done in order to become a competitive jurisdiction. The technology is evolving and changing pretty fast. One should always keep an ear to the ground and take into account these changes when regulating the blockchain industry.