Published February 26, 2019
Waquas Saeed is an implementation specialist whose success depends on navigating innovations of the financial technology sector. That’s why he signed up for an online four-course series about blockchain, offered by the University at Buffalo.
The Pakistani works at Wirecard Processing in Dubai, where he is responsible for analysis, design, and development of new requirements and projects. The company roadmap calls for integrating blockchain technology with the existing payment processing system. The goal is to add “an extra layer of trust between the systems and participants,” as Saeed puts it.
Before enrolling, Saeed’s knowledge about blockchain was limited to the basics. He associated the revolutionary technology with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
But now he realizes it does more than support an alternative method for conducting transactions. “These courses have given me a different perspective: blockchain technology can reshape the world.”
Saeed explains blockchain is restructuring the economy and governance. Conventional systems and processes are shifting away from centralized models, where information and data pass through a single point. They are moving toward decentralization, characterized by the peer-to-peer transfer of digital assets without intermediaries.
“Features like verification and validation can now be done within seconds,” he says. “User data can be made available within different countries in a controlled way, where users are allowed to restrict who can view the data or make use of it.”
He credits the course for providing insight into smart contracts – the computational element of blockchain technology – and platforms.
“I learned a lot while going through this specialization,” he reflects. “The Decentralized Applications course, in particular, showed me how a blockchain platform can be designed to provide an intuitive web interface to end users.”
Whom does he think should take these courses? Anyone interested in the emerging technology, whether a professional in the medical field or business sector, or those whose livelihoods could benefit from a general understanding.
The Blockchain specialization was developed by the UB Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) in coordination with the UB Computer Science and Engineering Department and industry partners.
“The way each (course) has mixed lecture with video and interviews of leaders in industry has been extremely engaging and compelling. The courses are more challenging than I expected, which keeps me coming back, too.”
- Jay Stephens, salesman, Sandvik Coromant (Fairview Heights, IL)