Web Analytics

Online Courses in Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology

Online Courses in Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology

…Everybody talks about Bitcoin in the same breath as the blockchain, because the Bitcoin blockchain is the biggest. But to me, the blockchain, the underlying technology, is the biggest innovation in computer science—the idea of a distributed database where trust is established through mass collaboration and clever code rather than through a powerful institution that does the authentication and the settlement.

—Don Tapscott

By now everyone has heard of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Every day a new application of the blockchain is being heralded, or the market ticker shows cryptocurrency shares soaring or crashing or generally resembling the heart rate of a schizoid jackrabbit. But do we actually know what any of these things mean? For technologies that have been hailed as revolutionary, the general public—as well as many experienced politicians, business professionals, and, yes, tech experts—seem woefully uninformed (and in some cases, misinformed).

Part of this inevitable. While the concepts that underlie blockchain and Bitcoin are less arcane than commonly assumed, it’s also true that the actual technology is rather thorny (no doubt because it’s still being developed). The problem is that neither blithe indifference nor willful ignorance will do any good and, in fact, could be dangerous.

To that end, we’ve compiled a rundown of the best online classes in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, including free and paid courses, divided into three target audiences:

  • Business Professionals and Investors
  • Developers
  • General Public

Of course, course subgroups may overlap, and student crossover is expected. Cryptocurrency investors may want to understand blockchain from a develop’s perspective and vice versa; both could benefit from (re)introductory lessons. So explore what interests you. We’ll start with classes in that much-discussed and debated blockchain: Bitcoin.

(Note: Depending on the platform, some courses are free to “audit” but charge a premium for other features; as Class Central points out, Coursera operates this way, but there are a few workarounds. Bottom line: most MOOCs offering certification cost money.)

Online Courses in Bitcoin and Blockchain for Business Professionals and Investors

Bitcoin holds a curious place in the blockchain universe: on the one hand, it’s by far the most well-known cryptocurrency and is responsible for popularizing blockchain technology. At the same time, Bitcoin is synonymous with elitism, shady financial transactions, and outright crime. The reality is both are true.

The goal of these courses is to teach business professionals and investors the best practices and procedures for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies: trades, transactions, “mining,” storage, and more. Because the long-term viability of cryptocurrencies largely depends on the people using them.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Princeton’s online cryptocurrency course is one of the best available, particularly for newcomers. Answer basic questions like: What is Bitcoin and how does it work? What determines the price of Bitcoins? What’s the future look like? In particular, lessons include an intro to crypto build blocks, Bitcoin decentralization and protocols, how to use and store Bitcoin, mining, security, Bitcoin as a platform, and altcoins, among other subjects. In addition to video lectures, students can complete exercises and programming assignments to test their knowledge and hone skills. (The course is also available on YouTube as a series of in-class recordings.)

Professor Arvind Narayanan leads the Princeton Web Transparency and Accountability project, and won the 2008 Privacy Enhancing Technologies Award for his research on data anonymization.

  • Cost: Free
  • Expert Level: Beginner

Blockchain for Business: An Introduction to Hyperledger Technologies

Presented by The Linux Foundation, this primer on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies focuses on Linux’s Hyperledger Project: a global community that promotes open-source blockchain software for cross-industry usage. Students with a technical background will learn how to install Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Fabric blockchains, as well as how to develop applications on top of each. (Prerequisites may include basic understanding of programming languages.) Students with a business background will learn how blockchains generate, store, and share information; how blockchains increase efficiency and save money; and how to evaluate whether using blockchain is right for your business.

Instructors Navroop Sahdev and Nathalie Salami are independent blockchain professionals. Alexandra Groetsema, Robert Schwentker, and Arianna Groetsema work at DLT.Education.

  • Cost: Free / Certificate for $99
  • Expert Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Entrepreneurship Without Borders

Offered through MIT’s OpenCourseWare, Entrepreneurship Without Borders covers challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs around the world, including Europe, Latin America, and Asia, with a special emphasis on blockchain technology. In particular, the course examines how blockchain’s decentralized network can be used to solve or mitigate bureaucratic inefficiencies, boom-bust financial cycles, and economic and political corruption. All course materials are available for download, and students have full access to readings (mostly online articles) and study guide questions. Contrary to the above courses, MIT’s is a general economic study of contemporary uses of blockchain in the real world. It is administered by the Sloan School of Management as a graduate-level course for MBA tracks and other business-related programs.

Professor Simon Johnson is a British American economist and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Instructors Michael Casey and Brian Forde are senior members at MIT Media Lab.

  • Cost: Free
  • Expert Level: Beginner

New Technologies for Business Leaders

Rutgers’s online course in new business technologies is a general survey of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, the internet of things, mixed and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and big data. The blockchain unit is the most extensive: 16 videos, 2 readings, and 2 assignment opportunities. In addition to blockchain fundamentals, students learn how blockchain can change traditional customer-client relationships and how business can combine blockchain, the internet of things, and AI to create synergy.

Instructor Mark Mueller-Eberstein is the CEO of Adgetec Corporation, with over 15 years of experience in information technology and specializing in project management, business development, and marketing strategies.

  • Cost: Free
  • Expert Level: Beginner

Online Courses in Bitcoin and Blockchain for Developers

Bitcoin at its most fundamental level is a breakthrough in computer science—one that builds on 20 years of research into cryptographic currency, and 40 years of research in cryptography, by thousands of researchers around the world.

—Marc Andreeseen

For developers, blockchain is one of the most exciting fields of work: the front line of the future internet. From 1016-2017, blockchain jobs increased over 200%. But even if the blockchain is only peripheral to your interests or professional niche, understanding the basic tech is crucial for staying updated on the latest digital trends. You don’t have to be a blockchain expert, but you can’t afford to be a blockchain Luddite, either.

Below, we’ve included blockchain development courses that vary in depth, range, and specialization: from Ethereum and Solidity dev, to the distributed ledger, smart contracts, Bitcoin, and blockchain fabric development and architecture. While these courses make up a decent representation, there’s a huge selection online that may offer a more tailored approach. Udemy offers over 100 blockchain courses.

IBM Blockchain Foundation for Developers

IBM’s course is designed for software developers new to blockchain (basic knowledge of object-oriented programming, the command line, and some JavaScript are helpful). After outlining the basic benefits of blockchain technology, instructors cover IBM’s role in the Hyperledger Project as well as blockchain fabric development and architecture. Plenty of practice sessions are available to hone your skills, and each unit concludes with a quiz. In terms of general application and repute, particularly if you pursue a certification, IBM’s is one of the best introductory blockchain development courses online.

Instructors Ant Cole, WW Blockchain Enablement, and Dave Gorman, Global Blockchain Labs Engagement, each work on blockchain for IBM.

  • Cost: Free
  • Expert Level: Beginner

Ethereum and Solidity: The Complete Developer’s Guide

There are a few quicker and more more popular courses on Ethereum and Solidity development, but this one definitely takes the cake on comprehensiveness, featuring 243 lectures and nearly 24 hours of video. Curriculum highlights include: What is Ethereum?, Smart Contracts with Solidity, Building Interactive Front-Ends, Real Projects with Ethereum, Ethereum Project Infrastructure, and a round-up Appendix. Students also benefit from practical examples of blockchain application, and focus on core technologies to help a build a bottom-up skill set and avoid the nonstop flux of tools and libraries in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Instructor Stephen Grider is a front-end JavaScript developer with experience at multiple top corporations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Cost: $14.99-94.99 (Frequent Sales)
  • Expert Level: Intermediate

Build a Blockchain and a Cryptocurrency from Scratch

This bestselling course consists of 71 video lectures, a little less than 7 hours of material, and 44 supplementary resources. In addition to an introduction to blockchain, the curriculum covers a piecemeal blockchain development module, a blockchain network lecture, wallets and transactions on the blockchain (including collecting and mining), proof of work, and a final wrap-up with bonus content. Designed for engineers, coders, and software developers, some experience with JavaScript helps, but every line is explained, and each unit has a written summary so you can move along at your own pace. The main focus in on blockchain as a concept, step-by-step, with the premise that practice makes perfect.

Instructor David Katz is a software engineer studying Computer Science at the University of San Francisco.

  • Cost: $14.99-199.99 (Frequent Sales)
  • Expert Level: Intermediate

Ethereum For Beginners: Build A Hello World Blockchain App

If you’re looking for a short primer on Ethereum blockchain development, this course fits the bill. Learn how to build a Hello, World blockchain application on a private network in less than an hour, and test out the development waters: if you like what you see, you’ll be ready to move on to the instructors’ more advanced blockchain courses like Ethereum Developer Masterclass, Ethereum Blockchain Game Development, and others. Any knowledge of web development, JavaScript, Ajax-Requests, AngularJS, Gulp/Grunt, or the Node Package Manager will suffice as a prerequisite.

Instructors Ravinder Deol, Certified Bitcoin Professional, and Thomas Wiesner, experienced Bitcoin and Ethereum developer, are co-partners and Udemy collaborators. Through B21 Block and Bitcoin Academy, they’ve taught over 100,000 online students in over 190 countries.

  • Cost: Free
  • Expert Level: Beginner

Online Courses in Bitcoin and Blockchain For Beginners, Amateurs, and Everyone Else

Who says blockchain is only for tech professionals and business executives? In fact, as blockchain, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies become increasingly prevalent, the general public needs to understand the basics: risks, rewards, current and future applications, and the basic concepts that make up these new technologies. Fortunately, numerous blockchain 101 courses are available online, including free and low-cost options.

Bitcoin: What is it?

Khan Academy’s free introductory course on Bitcoin is one of the most popular on the internet. Part of their unit on money, banking and central banks, the curriculum covers all the bases: a general overview of Bitcoin’s practical use and purpose, cryptography, digital signatures, transaction records, proof of work, transaction blockchains, money supply, and bitcoin security on the blockchain. While the lessons are a little dated by blockchain standards, they still serve as an excellent primer, especially if you’re not looking for an exhaustive rundown: each video lectures runs about 10 minutes and includes helpful graphics to reinforce information.

Instructor Zulfikar Ramzan is Chief Technology Officer at RSA Security. He specializes in cybersecurity, including cryptography, malware, web application security, network security, and mobile security.

  • Cost: Free
  • Expert Level: Beginner

Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals

Boasting a near-perfect rating on 7,000+ reviews, Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals is one of the most popular courses of its kind on Udemy. No prerequisites are necessary so long as you have a general interest in Bitcoin and how blockchain technology works in business. Following a breakdown of key terms, students cover the ins-and-outs of blockchain in a seamless, step-by-step format: mining, hash functions, digital tokens, smart contracts, DAOs and DACs, blockchain uses beyond Bitcoin, and more. The last quarter of the course is devoted to helping you getting started with Bitcoins, including wallets, storage, security, basic transactions, and conversions. Five free resources and a PDF glossary are available upon completion.

Instructor George Levy Chief Learning Officer and a certified Instructor on blockchain, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency at Blockchain Institute of Technology (BIT).

  • Cost: $14.99-94.99 (Frequent Sales)
  • Expert Level: Beginner

The Basics of Blockchain

This course asks us to remember (or imagine) the early, halcyon days of the internet, when it was still called the “information highway” and viewed as a fun, surprising, democratic tour de force. While those days may be waning, blockchain technology is on the verge of creating a similar (better) digital revolution and, in the process, radically transforming our society, economy, and day to day lives. The technology supporting blockchain may be complicated, but the general concepts, benefits, and applications are relatively simple. For anyone interested in the current state of blockchain and where its heading, this course is a straightforward, practical beginner’s guide, including 33 lectures and 1.5 hours of material. In addition, course content features interviews from industry leaders at the Ethereum Network, Dfinity and String Labs, Casper, and Ethcore.

Instructors Tom Serres, Bettina Warburg, John Fitch, and Tate Ryan-Mosley are senior leaders at Animal Ventures, a venture studio and consultancy.

  • Cost: $14.99-34.99 (Frequent Sales)
  • Expert Level: Beginner

Blockchain at Berkeley Workshops

Berkeley’s free open source undergraduate course in Blockchain is equally comprehensive and convenient (its closest equivalent is MIT’s OpenCourseWare listed above). With over a dozen units, students can select individual blockchain subjects or navigate the whole curriculum on their own time. In addition to the foundational core, Berkeley offers in-depth slides, videos, and livestreams on Ethereum, consensus algorithms, business engineering, smart contract security, market research, blockchain vs. database, cryptography, and more. The group’s list of blockchain resources is particularly useful for quick reference.

Blockchain at Berkeley is an organization made up of UC Berkeley students, alumni, community members, and blockchain enthusiasts from a variety of backgrounds. In addition to educational outreach, the group offers consulting services and perform research and development projects.

  • Cost: Free
  • Expert Level: Beginner