Blockchain Basics

This specialization introduces blockchain, a revolutionary technology that enables peer-to-peer transfer of digital assets without any intermediaries, and is predicted to be just as impactful as the Internet. More specifically, it prepares learners to program on the Ethereum blockchain. The four courses provide learners with (i) an understanding and working knowledge of foundational blockchain concepts, (ii) a skill set for designing and implementing smart contracts, (iii) methods for developing decentralized applications on the blockchain, and (iv) information about the ongoing specific indus

Created by: Bina Ramamurthy

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Overall Score : 92 / 100

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Course Description

This first course of the Blockchain specialization provides a broad overview of the essential concepts of blockchain technology - by initially exploring the Bitcoin protocol followed by the Ethereum protocol - to lay the foundation necessary for developing applications and programming. You will be equipped with the knowledge needed to create nodes on your personal Ethereum blockchain, create accounts, unlock accounts, mine, transact, transfer Ethers, and check balances. You will learn about the decentralized peer-to-peer network, an immutable distributed ledger and the trust model that defines a blockchain. This course enables you to explain basic components of a blockchain (transaction, block, block header, and the chain) its operations (verification, validation, and consensus model) underlying algorithms, and essentials of trust (hard fork and soft fork). Content includes the hashing and cryptography foundations indispensable to blockchain programming, which is the focus of two subsequent specialization courses, Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications (Dapps). You will work on a virtual machine image, specifically created for this course, to build an Ethereum test chain and operate on the chain. This hands-on activity will help you understand the workings of a blockchain, its transactions, blocks and mining.Main concepts are delivered through videos, demos and hands-on exercises.

Instructor Details

Bina Ramamurthy

Dr. Bina Ramamurthy is a Teaching Professor at University at Buffalo, Computer Science and Engineering Department. She has been involved in the STEM area research, curriculum development, and instruction for the past two decades. She is the Program Director of the SUNY approved certificate program in Data-intensive Computing at University at Buffalo. She is the Director of the Blockchain ThinkLab that has been awarded University at Buffalo's President's Circle Funding. Bina has designed and implemented emerging technology training programs for diverse industries with international participation including manufacturing, automotive and healthcare. She recently received the Best Teaching Faculty of the Year award (2017) from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Buffalo. She has been the Principal Investigator on four National Science Foundation (NSF) grants and a co-investigator in five Innovative Instructional Technology grants (IITG) from SUNY. She has given numerous invited presentations at prominent conferences in the areas of data-intensive and big-data computing. Bina Ramamurthy received the B.E. (Honors) in Electronics and Communication from Madras University, India, the M.S. in Computer Science from Wichita State University, KS, and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University at Buffalo, NY.



138 total reviews

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By Debashish C on 24-Feb-19

Blockchain in itself is a very complex topic to study & teach. I think the material could have been made lore suitable to "laymen" by simplifying the language of delivery, currently it sounds very "academic" and "quoted" from published material, not colloquial. Though the Videos are short, via the reference material too much is being left on the student to "go figure" on their own, I think instead of ref material more stuff could have been included via lectures. The final project was a let-down, it should be more hands-on (for example: why provide a GUI, you could have provided the CLI commands and asked students to execute the commands), it did not really pose the challenge one expects. Even with the GUI, I failed to appreciate the flow that the project was supposed to teach me. Either that or may be at 47 I am getting too old to study :)

By Rahul J on 23-Feb-19

If you really don't know anything of block chain and want to become a pro who want to actively participate in adoption of the block chain, then this is the course is definitely the stepping stone for you.

By Joseph A on 23-Mar-19

Learned a lot in this course. The only frustration was with completing the final programming assignment. The assignment wasn't difficult. What was difficult was the "Environment Set up."! Importing the Ethereum file into VM and executing it! Please specify the browser type (e.g. firefox, not Chrome) and VM version in the BODY of the programming assignment, not in the FAQs! This will eliminate 90% of the frustration and will speed up completion of the final assignment.

By Marko M on 24-Feb-19

Quality of recorded lectures is substandard. Most of the reference material are websites which have not necessarily gone through a peer review. Quizzes are trivial. This should not be paid content. It is an equivalent of a youtube / google search on the topic.

By Ghifari R on 6-Sep-18

the introductory is really, really bad. I went through all the videos and get 100% of the quiz yet I still have ZERO ideas about the overall architecture. Thankfully, I found a website that gives me a way more comprehensive explanation about blockchain. Why pay $40/mo if I can get a much better resource for free? Moreover, why are there so many people who rate this course 5-star???

By Robert P M on 5-Mar-19

A really great course, interesting material that was well presented. Totally recommended.

By Julio C T d S on 27-Feb-19

As an introductory level course, it was a good jumpstart into the technology. But I think it could dive further into the details of real world use cases. Otherwise, it is perfect for a beginner like myself.

By Sachin G on 10-May-19

Easy Explantion and All tasks went with ease due simple lessons

By Nirva B on 8-May-19

Great teacher - programming assignment needs more details to follow

By gabriele r on 11-Nov-18

very superficial

By Mohamed T M on 26-Jun-19

not clear enough content

By fabrizio f on 23-Nov-18

Should make more use of better visuals. Videos are way too short and basically reading a reference text. Not sure what the benefit of taking this course is compared to buying an audiobook on the subjectExtremely dry for something that was actually created on very practical basis. Hopefully it will improve in next courses