Coursera – Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies (2016)
There’s a lot of excitement about Bitcoin, but also a lot of confusion about what Bitcoin is and how it works. We’re offering this course focusing on the computer science behind Bitcoin to help cut through the hype and get to the core of what makes Bitcoin unique.
To really understand what is special about Bitcoin, we need to understand how it works at a technical level. We’ll address the important questions about Bitcoin, such as:
How does Bitcoin work? What makes Bitcoin different? How secure are your Bitcoins? How anonymous are Bitcoin users? What determines the price of Bitcoins? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? What might the future hold?
After this course, you’ll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You’ll have the conceptual foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network. And you’ll be able to integrate ideas from Bitcoin in your own projects.
Arvind Narayanan, Princeton University
Joseph Bonneau, Princeton University
Edward Felten, Princeton University
Andrew Miller, University of Maryland
The course consists twelve topics, each corresponding to a lecture, and a chapter in our textbook. Most weeks will have two topics each.
Intro to Crypto and Cryptocurrencies
How Bitcoin Achieves Decentralization
Mechanics of Bitcoin
How to Store and Use Bitcoins
Bitcoin and anonymity
Community, Politics, and Regulation
Alternative Mining Puzzles
Bitcoin as a platform
Altcoins and the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
The future of Bitcoin?
[Bonus lecture] History of cryptocurrencies
The class will consist of lecture videos broken up into 5-7 segments, each 10-15 minutes in length. Each segment contains 1 or 2 integrated quiz questions.
There will also be standalone homeworks that are not part of video lectures.