Top Blockchain University: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Students and professors at 22nd-ranked UIUC have won prestigious blockchain competitions and recognition globally.

AccessTimeIconNov 26, 2021 at 12:13 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 10, 2024 at 2:59 a.m. UTC

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) offers a variety of blockchain-related courses for students. The career prospects and awards that its students enjoy in the field reflect the thorough education they receive.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Total Score
Regional Rank

UIUC offers courses around blockchain and cryptocurrencies such as “Cryptography,” “Smart Contracts and Blockchain Security” and “Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies,” among others.

The Decentralized Systems Lab at UIUC focuses on actually building distributed systems, drawing on expertise from across different branches of computer science. Researchers at the lab publish some of their results in the form of blog posts, accessible to anyone with the inclination to learn.

The director of the lab is Andrew Miller, an assistant professor at the university. He is also an associate director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3) and a board member of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance. He has been published extensively on distributed ledger technologies. He has also been awarded a National Science Foundation career award.

Students who have participated in the Decentralized Systems Lab at UIUC have gone on to work at Google and Blockstream, among other places, as well as taking up PhD studies at MIT and Princeton. The institution provides a solid launchpad into enterprise and further research.

UIUC student Amin Kharraz won the best paper award at The Web Conference 2019 for his work titled “OUTGUARD: Detecting In-Browser Covert Cryptocurrency Mining in the Wild.” The work was a collaboration with other postgraduate students at the university as well as professors.

Urbana-Champaign is part of a network of schools under the University of Illinois. Others are in Chicago and Springfield. UIUC itself is one of the largest universities in the U.S. by number of students.

This article was originally published on Nov 26, 2021 at 12:13 a.m. UTC


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.