Introduction to Bitcoin, Blockchain and Decentralized Technology

I’m excited to announce a new course available at pluralsight:


Module 1: Bitcoin Concepts and Basic Use

– Demo: buying a digital video online
– What gives Bitcoin value?
– Big Ideas: openness, privacy, decentralized, cryptocurrency, programmable
– Basic structure: a collectively maintained ledger
– Transactions: how money is sent in Bitcoin
– Smart Contract example: crowdfunding
– Getting Bitcoin: exchange, ATM, in person, pros / cons
– Demo: buying Bitcoin on an exchange
– Wallets: How to store and use Bitcoin, mobile, online, hardware, cold storage
– Demo: using a hardware wallet
– Bitcoin mining
– Demo: accepting Bitcoin on a website with BitPay

Module 2: How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood

– Bitcoin software universe: from wallets and libraries to full nodes
– Demo: Installing Bitcore, javascript Bitcoin library, create Bitcoin address
– Digital Signatures,
– Bitcoin addresses
– Transaction structure, UTXOs, scripts
– Demo: creating and sending a transaction on testnet with Bitcore
– Ledger consensus (voting) & security
– Cryptographic hashes
– The blockchain: structure that holds transactions
– Coin creation, double spend attacks
– SPV (Simplified Payment Verification) Wallets

Module 3: Advanced Bitcoin

– HD (Hierarchical Deterministic) Wallets
– Mnemonic codes (human friendly private key storage)
– Demo: derive Bitcoin HD addresses securely on public server without private keys using Bitcore
– Multisignature Addresses for shared wallets & backup
– Low trust escrow with multisignature addresses
– Bitcoin challenges: centralization due to mining & software control, blocksize debate
– Soft vs Hard Forks (software upgrade procedures)
– Segregated Witnesses
– Payment Channels & Lightning Networks (secure, off-chain transactions)
– Check Lock Time Verify (time-based script logic)
– Replace by Fee (update stuck transactions)
– Payment Protocol (secure payment address delivery)
– CoinJoin (mixing transactions for privacy)

Module 4: Beyond Bitcoin

– Altcoins, metacoins, colored coins & side chains
– Comparison metrics
– Byzantine General’s problem
– Proof-of-Work Consensus Alternatives (Primecoin, Foldingcoin)
– Proof-of-Stake (Peercoin, NXT, future Ethereum, Bitshares delegated Proof-of-Stake)
– Permissioned / Private blockchains for banking, enterprise (distributed database or something more? Multichain, R3)
– Seeking high performance blockchains (Tendermint, Ripple, BigChainDB)
– Privacy procotols & projects – why needed? (Monero, Ring Signatures, Stealth Addresses)
– Zero Knowledge Proofs & Zerocash
– Stability coins: Digix, Tether, BitUSD, Nubits, MakerDAO
– Ethereum – Open, Decentralized Computer for Smart Contracts
– Demo: create and use Smart Contract (create your own token) on Ethereum
– Prediction Markets & Augur
– IoT (Internet of Things) and DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), with
– Decentralized Storage with Storj & IPFS (Interplanatary File System)
– Decentralized Identity and Reputation (Namecoin, Identify & Onename)