Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

Provided by University of California, Berkeley (BerkeleyX)
$99 USD
for a certificate
(or study for free)
Introductory
See Prerequisites

Learn the fundamentals of Bitcoin and the Cryptocurrency space, including the basics of smart contracts, the Ethereum platform and how to build decentralized applications.

Professional CertificateBlockchain Fundamentals
Course Format:Instructor-Led
Start Date:Sep 30, 2018

What you will learn

  • The basic properties and intent of centralized/decentralized currency and an in-depth understanding of Bitcoin from the ground up, including - Identity, Transactions, Record Keeping, and Consensus.
  • The roots of Bitcoin in the Cypherpunk movement and Libertarian ideals, and the revolutionary significance of Bitcoin as opposed to some of its early predecessors.
  • The mechanics behind Bitcoin, such as the Bitcoin network, cryptography and cryptographic hash functions, Bitcoin Script, privacy, and hash commitment schemes.
  • Real-world aspects of Bitcoin, such as wallets, wallet mechanics, mining, transactions, and Bitcoin governance and the various ways one can interface with the Bitcoin network.
  • How to destroy Bitcoin, including various network attacks. 
  • The properties behind the second largest blockchain platform, Ethereum, including the Ethereum Virtual Machine and the idea of Turing completeness, the key protocol differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum, the use cases of Ethereum.

Overview

Developed by Blockchain at Berkeley and faculty from UC Berkeley's premier Computer Science department, this course presents Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as the motivation for blockchain technologies, and provides a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the fundamental concepts of the crypto space with a particular emphasis on Bitcoin.

The course covers basic properties of bitcoin, the mechanics behind it (e.g. including cryptographic hash functions, Bitcoin Script, privacy, and hash commitment schemes) and its roots in the Cypherpunk movement and Libertarian ideals. You'll learn about practical applications of Bitcoin such as wallets and mining, as well as how to destroy bitcoins, including network attacks and malicious mining strategies. We will also take a brief look at Ethereum and how blockchain can be used outside of cryptocurrencies.

This course is open to anyone with any background. Whether you are planning your next career move as a blockchain developer, crypto trader, data analyst, researcher, or consultant, or are just looking for an introduction to the Bitcoin technology. This course will help you to begin developing the critical skills needed to future-proof your career.

This course is part of the Blockchain Fundamentals Professional Certificate program.  If you are planning to enroll in the entire series, we suggest starting with this course and then progressing on to CS198.2x Blockchain Technology.

Before you start

This course has no formal prerequisites. However, cryptocurrency and blockchain are technical in nature, so coming into the course with knowledge of computer science or cryptography will be helpful.
  • Instructor-Led: course contains assignments and exams that have specific due dates, and you complete the course within a defined time period.
  • Course ends: Dec 6, 2018

Also in Computer Science at edX

Propelling

Drive your career forward with university-backed credit programs and verified certificates

Convenient

Study and demonstrate knowledge on your schedule

Flexible

Try a course before you pay

Supportive

Learn with university partners and peers from around the world