Gain a fundamental understanding of blockchain technology and its components. Learn how such applications as cryptofinance makes use of the blockchain for decentralized, peer-to-peer transaction processing. Apply your knowledge of blockchain technology to enhance your trust and confidence in cryptocurrency trading and other situations where the blockchain is used.
Begin your exploration of blockchain technologies with a look at fundamental blockchain concepts along with an application in which blockchain technology plays a critical role — cryptofinance. This course also introduces distributed digital systems in terms of software and network architecture, and shows how these systems underlie the functionality of the blockchain. In this and the following courses in the specialization you'll have a chance for hands-on-practice to cement your learning.
Cryptography and Hashing Overview
Continue learning about blockchain technology by diving into the nature of ownership and how the blockchain is one way to approach decentralized transaction handling. This course also demystifies cryptography and hashing, which are critical for authenticating users and guaranteeing transaction privacy.
The Merkle Tree and Cryptocurrencies
Apply what you have learned about cryptography and hashing in previous blockchain to the Merkle Tree, which underlies the process of adding new blocks — representing new transactions — to the blockchain. This course also introduces the concepts of proof of work and proof of stake, which play an important part in ensuring the integrity of the blockchain.
The Blockchain System
Learn how the blockchain authenticates transactions and distributes data to peers — nodes connected to the network. This course shows you how multiple versions of a blockchain are reconciled into one, discusses blockchain limitations, and delves into organizational applications of blockchain technology.
Throughout this course, you'll have opportunities for hands-on practice involving such blockchain elements as cryptography, hashing, and the assembly of blocks. You'll also have a chance to propose new uses of blockchain technologies for industries other than finance. The creative skills you'll learn and practice in this course will be useful both when using blockchain applications and when exploring new opportunities for applying blockchain concepts.
A general knowledge of computers and the Internet is helpful but not critical.