Blockchain is a core technology in FinTech. The original design of blockchain focused on the cryptocurrency “Bitcoin”. Due to its specific characteristics, many companies and users now find blockchain very useful for applications in many areas, not limited to cybercurrencies, including finance, logistics, insurance, medicine and even music. However, the design of blockchain involves cryptographic technology, which cannot be easily understood by those who are not professionals in the area of IT and security. In order to better understand what kinds of applications best fit blockchain and other forms of distributed ledger technology and the potentials of these emerging technologies, it is important to understand the design rationale, the basic technology, the underlying cryptographic fundamentals, and its limitations. This 6-week online coursewill walk you through the following: The design rationale behind blockchain and the issues for such decentralized ledger (transaction) systems. The underlying technology (e.g. how the fundamental algorithms – the cryptographic primitives – work together) behind and how it makes blockchain works and safe. The differences of the various existing blockchain platforms and what these platforms can provide (e.g. pros and cons of the major platforms). What kinds of applications (both traditional and emerging) best fit the blockchain technology and how blockchain technology can benefit these applications. Blockchain does have its limitations. We will uncover the problems and the limitations of blockchain technology to enable developers and researchers to think about how to enhance the existing blockchain technology and practitioners to better address the issues when using blockchains in their applications. This course will also briefly discuss the downside of blockchain with respect to the protection of criminal activities (e.g. why ransomware always ask for bitcoins as ransom, and the money laundering problem). The course aims at targeting a wide audience: This course will provide learners a good understanding of the technological, applicability, limitations and “illegal” usage of the blockchain technology.
An excellent online course offered by edX: how it works
edX courses consist of weekly learning sequences. Each learning sequence is composed of short videos interspersed with interactive learning exercises, where students can immediately practise the concepts from the videos. The courses often include tutorial videos that are similar to small on-campus discussion groups, an online textbook, and an online discussion forum where students can post and review questions and comments to each other and teaching assistants. Where applicable, online laboratories are incorporated into the course.
edX offers certificates of successful completion and some courses are credit-eligible. Whether or not a college or university offers credit for an online course is within the sole discretion of the school. edX offers a variety of ways to take courses, including verified courses where students have the option to audit the course (no cost) or to work toward an edX Verified Certificate (fees vary by course). edX also offers XSeries Certificates for completion of a bundled set of two to seven verified courses in a single subject (cost varies depending on the courses).
An edX learning programme under Other Experiences