Why I Enrolled in the MSc in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia

“What started as a conversation grew into a calling – and that calling has compelled me to pursue the Master’s degree in Digital Currency and act as an ambassador to increase awareness and access to crypto”.

Darin Carter, Security Governance, Risk and Compliance Manager of Coinbase shares why Blockchain education is invaluable and how he aims to increase representation through education.

My first opportunity out of college was with Ernst & Young, where I spent my time learning about emerging technologies; virtual reality, drones and of course blockchain. Ernst & Young was an amazing place to launch my career. After a few years in Philadelphia, it was time for a change. My next move was to Silicon Valley – a destination that could truly satisfy my appetite for tech.

One of my roommates in San Francisco put me to crypto by introducing me to Bitcoin and I immediately wanted to learn more. At that time, crypto was still relatively young and it was rare to find a college that taught a formal class on blockchain. I realized that I needed to get creative with my approach to learn more and I started reading more books, dabbled in trading and I even attempted a podcast about breaking into blockchain. Simply put, I was hooked!

I believe everyone finds a different opportunity in this space; some people focus on the investment, whereas some purely focus on the technology. I focus on crypto as an opportunity to empower my community financially, academically and professionally.

In early 2019, I officially joined Coinbase. As a security compliance professional, I remember how exciting it was to find a role that fit my experience and my interests. On my first day at Coinbase, the price of Bitcoin was barely holding at 10K, we were in the midst of a long “crypto-winter” and all I could think about was how excited I was to work in crypto.

I had been a crypto-enthusiast for so long, and that moment stood out because my profession and my passion were finally aligned. I’m thankful for my journey into the industry. Since then, I have been fortunate to work with some incredibly talented, smart and passionate coworkers.

Reflecting on my experience as a person of color who has been fortunate to work in some very high-achieving environments, I had to wonder; what will it take to make sure my community is included in this huge opportunity? 

Building diversity, equity and inclusion in any space takes persistence, patience and presence. Thankfully, I’m here for all of that. As a lifelong learner and someone who had worked in the crypto industry for over a year, I was anxiously waiting for an opportunity to study blockchain at the next level. When my coworker Trey Edwards told me about the Master’s program in Digital Currency and how the MSc program helped him break into crypto and secure his current job, I was inspired and energized to finally enroll at the University of Nicosia. I strongly believe that becoming a well-studied professional will amplify my potential impact in the space.

Today, I can say that enrolling in this program has been my best decision of 2020. My coursework is directly aligned with my mission, my professors are exceptional at making the content engaging and my classmates are all doing interesting work across the world. It’s an exciting ecosystem to participate in, with enormous opportunity for growth and impact.

If you are thinking about joining the program, I am excited for you! I’m very much interested in welcoming the most curious and the most passionate people into this ecosystem – but I hope my story also acts as a nudge for underrepresented minorities all over the world – pursue your potential! You belong here.

If you’re interested in hearing more, please check out introduction to crypto – presented at AfroTech by myself and Trey Edwards.

Darin Cater

Security Governance, Risk and Compliance Manager, Coinbase

MSc in Digital Currency student – UNIC