By Margarita Vznuzdaeva
December 31st, 2018

Where to learn more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies?

Where to learn more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies?

By Margarita Vznuzdaeva
December 31st, 2018

The rapid dissemination of information brings tremendous opportunities to those who have an insatiable hunger for knowledge. The compilation of recommendations based on personal experience and life hacks shared on the Internet, is likely to accompany a reader to the world of blockchain technologies.

Where to receive information from?

Now there are various options where to find the knowledge on this specific area. Among all options, the most effective and accessible ones are books and online sources. If we talk about hard copies, their core advantage lies in giving a broad overview of the sphere, sharing basic knowledge of its famous representatives and mechanisms of blockchain functioning. The main problem is the time factor: while the book is being published, the amount of information continues to grow, making the content of said book obsolete and unactual.

Online courses are a different story. It is quite complicated to make one, explaining difficult topics in simple words and integrating practical, interactive assignments, nevertheless, it is much easier to update the course to keep the target audience in touch with the advancements.

The third alternative channel to help broaden your knowledge are the courses provided by different international universities. Their most important advantage is reputation and trust, depending on the level of the university’s acceptance. The shortcoming of this option is the limit of the possible attendees because some educational programs are not recorded and broadcasted on the Internet.

Here is a detailed view of what’s described above.

Which books to read?

It can be imprudent to recommend an op-ed “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” written by anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto to the newcomers. This kind of reading can be rather difficult for those have no knack for maths and programming mechanisms, so it is better to learn about it later on, just as in geometry you first learn a theorem and only then the proof. The same approach can be applied to the “Hashcash” article, written by Adam Back, and other fundamental “textbooks” under the names of cryptography founders.

To sensitize better read non-fiction books with simple entertaining language and clear explanations. Here there are top-three books that can provide insight into the sphere of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, inspiring the reader to continue exploring the subject.

  • The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order,” written by The Wall Street Journal observers Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey. This book is highly rated on Amazon by 60% of the readers, giving it the top score. As it was written before, it offers an overview of the cryptocurrencies’ origins, functions, and mechanisms through digital coins. Its only disadvantage is outdated information that is presented as an actual one: the book was published in 2016. Since then the attitude towards crypto has changed a lot.
  • The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything” by the same authors. This book was published in February 2018, so its relative novelty can be considered an advantage. Its content perfectly complements “The Ages of Cryptocurrencies” and gives more detailed submission of the blockchain technology, that is related not only to the digital coins subject.
  • Blockchain Revolution” by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapsсott. Written by CEO of the “Northwest Passage Ventures” consulting company and the business consultant and the governmental advisor, the advantage of this book lies in the updates of it’s printed editions. The last update was made in June 2018, so this hard copy is more up-to-date than the other ones.

Which online courses to attend?

There are two options, the fee all-included courses and the ones that you are free to attend but pay for the certificate. The courses on OneMonth and Udemy, oriented towards a rather broad target group and BlockGeeks, for developers and a non-tech savvy audience (free trial included), are classified under the first category. Coursera, EdX, and FutureLearn are considered the second. The Class Central webpage helps to monitor the world of free online courses, proclaiming itself a full-fledged search engine.

Paid courses

Jeff Haden in his article for proposes the following paid courses:

  • All the BlockGeek courses, covering everything from the introduction to the building of a decentralized personal application Paying for access, depending on your type of subscription, you can enter the BlockGeek Library, Accelerated courses, weekly webinars, and coding workshops.

Free courses

According to the latest digest of free online courses from Quartz, there are 3 valued courses about the blockchain sphere.

Two of them, Blockchain Technology, provided by University of California, Berkeley and Blockchain and FinTech: Basics, Applications, and Limitations by the University of Hong Kong are based on EdX, and the other one, Blockchain: Foundations and Use Cases, by Consensys Academy, is available on Coursera.

Speaking of the courses on digital coins and cryptocurrencies, here there are only two courses. The one, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, is again from Berkley and if it is combined with the Blockchain Technology course, it can provide a professional certificate in Blockchain Fundamentals to a person, who will pay for it and pass the exam.

The other, An Introduction to Cryptography, is the FutureLearn online course, a part of the cryptography program, which is one of the building blocks of the MSc Cyber Security degree, as written in the course bio.

Which face-to-face courses to choose from?

The Inc list consists of four courses provided by the Universities without any delegation to Coursera, FutureLearn or EdX. One of the those, called Bitcoin Engineering by Stanford University, is now called Heroku Dev Center and taught by the Salesforce company. It helps to learn about building, deploying, and managing applications on Heroku. The other Stanford course is called Cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and smart contracts. It is a series of face-to-face, online lectures that are likely also to appear in the University’s program next year. The questions and problems of the cryptocurrencies’ regulation are discussed on the Law and Business of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies course, provided by the NYU Law School and Stern School of Business. Duke University narrow the crypto topic to the theme of investment with Innovation and Cryptoventures program.

Ten years ago, when Satoshi Nakamoto first published his whitepaper, there was no awareness of digital currencies and blockchain technology, now the educational background broadens, and it is much easier to learn about the crypto economy not just through the words of crypto enthusiasts, but from the educational centers. Nevertheless, the samples of those courses are still incomplete, and as the sphere continues to develop, more academic knowledge needs to be analyzed and transformed into the useful lectures for future developers, traders, potential investors, and more. Our team will keep our finger on the pulse of education trends and make sure updates are coming, now in the New Year 2019!