If you are serious about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, this is the course you want to take. To borrow a line out of “The Chase UK”, it’s a course “right out of the top drawer“.
Don’t let the course title “Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies” mislead you. It’s all about “blockchain” technologies. With the “blockchain” rave rampant, this course highlights blockchain technologies specifically with bitcoins as the example application.
I missed the first intake for this course about a year ago but managed to enrol this time around. It’s presented as an 11 week course and with lectures via videos.
Summary of course. See full details here:
- Week 1: 6 videos, 55 min: Introduction to Crypto and Cryptocurrencies
- Week 2: 5 videos, 71 min: How Bitcoin Achieves Decentralization
- Week 3: 6 videos, 74 min: Mechanics of Bitcoin
- Week 4: 7 videos, 78 min: How to Store and Use Bitcoins
- Week 5: 5 videos, : 84 min: Bitcoin Mining
- Week 6: 6 videos, 109 min: Bitcoin and Anonymity
- Week 7: 8 videos, 69 min: Community, Politics, and Regulation
- Week 8: 5 videos, 42 min: Alternative Mining Puzzles
- Week 9: 5 videos, 83 min: Bitcoin as a Platform
- Week 10: 4 videos, 62 min: Altcoins and the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
- Week 11: 4 videos, 82 min: The Future of Bitcoin?
What was good and why?
- I was familiar with about 90% of the content already because I have spent the last 2.5 years studying bitcoins and blockchains. What the course did was take the equivalent of my 2.5 years of research and squeezed it into “11 weeks” and served it on a platter!
- It was very professionally presented with great analogies and actual examples.
- Even though it was published in late 2014, the material is still relevant and the fundamental principles don’t change.
- It was well structured. The first week introduces hash functions and digital signatures. Although technical, these concepts are critical to understand if you want to truly understand cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. This is one of the main reasons why I’ve written about them in the past also:
- Week 3 was the most technical talking about the details of a bitcoin transaction. I studied this 12 months earlier as the curiosity in me knew that this was going to be important so it was a great revision.
- Although there are numerous references to “bitcoin” in the lectures and the recent craze is all about “blockchain” technologies I am a strong believer that learning about bitcoin provides a solid foundation to learning blockchain technologies.
- Bitcoin anonymity in week 6 was a great section. It clears the question “is bitcoin really anonymous?”. Hint, the answer is that it is pseudo anonymous. You’ll have take the course to find out what that means!
Note there is a bonus lecture on the history of bitcoin which was valuable as well!
Improvements? Add a Bitcoin Address for Donations
I think adding a bitcoin address for donations would be useful.
All in all this was a great course, provides great fundamentals and will most likely leave the student with even more questions to continue their own learning.