Modulus CEO: BitMex Fiasco Illustrates that CompSci Taught in K-12 Schools is a National Security Concern

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Last week, Code.com launched a list of more than 500 business, education, and non-profit leaders who authored an open letter calling for K-12 curriculum updates to include computer science education. The letter is signed by executives in companies including Hasbro, American Airlines, Wells Fargo, and Walmart. Currently, only 5% of American students are introduced to computer science in high school.

“The content of the letter is absolutely true. Students should have an opportunity to immerse themselves in computer science. The earlier the better. If we’re looking to advocate for the public policy of the future, we should be looking at implementing basic coding practices as early as elementary school. However, there’s another reason that we should embrace early technology education. In short? Government needs more techies,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.

“What we’re seeing right now is a government that is having a hard time regulating what they can’t understand. Look at what’s happening with cryptocurrency regulation. Regulators have been dragging their feet. In the US, Senators Lummis and Gillibrand brought forward regulatory language, but it was widely viewed as a non-starter before the looming election. Only now that the EU moved forward on MiCA are we starting to see anxious movement from politicians and bureaucrats,” said Gardner.

“Really, though, it isn’t their fault. Blockchain technology is so advanced that most of the people that we’ve elected, as well as those we’ve put in charge of regulating such innovative technologies, simply don’t understand them well enough to develop a proper course of action. Also, cybercrime is on the rise. International bad actors are actively turning to cybercrime as a foreign policy bludgeon,” said Gardner.

“All of this means one thing: we need more people who understand complex, high-performance technology in government. Right now, we’re seeing a shortage of those folks, especially those with the proper security clearance, even to fill private sector jobs. There’s definitely a deficit in the government apparatus,” said Gardner.

“I agree with the signatories of that letter, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to go one step further, calling for early childhood computer science education as a response to a national security concern. Even if such a curriculum was initiated next year, we’d still be waiting somewhere in the neighborhood of five to fifteen years to see most of those students in the workforce. Fifteen years into the future, how much more important will cybersecurity and the financial regulation of digital assets be?” posed Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Modulus has provided its exchange solution to some of the industry’s most profitable digital asset exchanges, including a well-known multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable institutions, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“Right now, cryptocurrency exchange operators are running roughshod over the industry. A large portion of exchanges are operating to make fast cash, regardless of the corners they cut. Just look at the BitMex founders, who showed a wanton disregard for law and order, actively turning a blind eye to money laundering. The result? A $10 million fine. A veritable slap on the wrist for an operation of its size. With regulators that had a better understanding of the technological components of the operation, perhaps justice would’ve been better served. The public sector is in dire need of trained technologists. Fixing that should be a top priority,” said Gardner.

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