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
All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion.
What you will learn
Introduction to Crypto and Cryptocurrencies
Learn about cryptographic building blocks (“primitives”) and reason about their security. Work through how these primitives can be used to construct simple cryptocurrencies.
How Bitcoin Achieves Decentralization
Learn Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism and reason about its security. Appreciate how security comes from a combination of technical methods and clever incentive engineering.
Mechanics of Bitcoin
Learn how the individual components of the Bitcoin protocol make the whole system tick: transactions, script, blocks, and the peer-to-peer network.
How to Store and Use Bitcoins
This week we’ll explore how using Bitcoins works in practice: different ways of storing Bitcoin keys, security measures, and various types of services that allow you to trade and transact with bitcoins.