Over the coming years blockchain technology, including digital currencies, is likely to become as integrated into our daily lives as smartphones and the internet are today. It’s not just the young and technically minded that use smartphone and the internet – the technology has been embraced by all ages.
Currently, blockchain technology, including setting up digital wallets and paying for good and services with Bitcoin, isn’t very user-friendly for beginners, but it’s getting easier. Bitcoin ATMs are now popping up in many towns and cities around the globe, but most of the population don’t know what they are for.
If you would like to get a head start with this new technology, there are plenty of resources available online. The internet is a great resource, but the information is not always accurate for the following reasons:
- Fake news
- Outdated information
- Biased information
- Scam sites
One excellent way to learn about digital currencies is the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) initiative, “Introduction to Digital Currencies,” run twice a year by the University of Nicosia. The university was the first in the world to accept Bitcoin for tuition fees and to offer an MSC in Digital Currency. They offer a FREE 12-week online course to introduce you to digital currencies, and as they state on their website:
“No previous knowledge of Digital Currencies is demanded, and no specialized knowledge in either computing, economics or finance is required (even though it can be helpful). The courses are self-contained, with plenty of resources for you to go further in the topics, and you don’t need to buy any books”.
The course lecturers are experts in the field of blockchain technology – just enter “blockchain” and the names Andreas Antonopoulos or Antonis Polemitis into Google, and you will find lots of their YouTube videos. These are the subjects covered over the 12 weeks, and all the resources are made available online.
- (Brief) History of money
- The Byzantine Generals’ problem
- Digital currency basics
- Bitcoin in practice – part 1
- Bitcoin in practice – part 2
- Alternative uses of the blockchain
- Alternatives to Bitcoin
- Digital currency and central banking
- Digital currency and financial institutions
- Regulatory and tax treatment
- Digital currency and innovation
- Digital currency and the developing world
Each week, one of the lecturers is available online via a live YouTube session, and there are tests for you to complete throughout the course. Students that pass the final exam receive a certificate that is registered on the Bitcoin blockchain that allows anyone to validate it as authentic.
There are over 6000 students globally who are registered on the Spring 2018 course. Registrations are still open, but the course started several weeks ago, so you might want to wait for another later in the year.
Financial analyst, smartphone app designer, technical writer, and crypto enthusiast. Blockchain verified graduate of MOOC 9, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, run by the University of Nicosia.