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Course: Foundations of Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies

Course: Foundations of Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies

Introduction

68 Resources | 33+ Hours

Have you heard of the Blockchain? Have you wondered why Fortune 50 corporations and tech entrepreneurs are joining industry alliances to be ahead of the curve? Why is everyone saying that Blockchains, Smart Contracts, and Decentralized Applications will be the next disruptive technology paradigm? This is your chance to learn! Welcome to this free learning path. We will provide an overview of a Blockchain, step through the inner workings and mechanics of a Blockchain, and learn about thousands of applications already using Blockchain technology.

Why this course?

Companies want to be on the bleeding edge of this movement and drastically improve global processes, combine Internet of Things (IoT) with the Blockchain, incorporating automation, and remove contract conflicts from collaborative interactions without a central arbitrator. This is a great opportunity to learn about this fast-moving domain and get a head start on this revolutionary movement. As you are hard at work with your projects, this course covers the most important principles in succinct terms, and, then provides an exhaustive list of additional material, resources, and tools that you can access afterward.

At the end of this course, you will: understand what a Blockchain is and learn about the different types of Blockchain implementations, understand what the principal features are of Blockchain technology and how those can be used towards solving some complex problems (e.g., multi-party transaction processing, multi-signature wallet solutions, how to establish governance in a trust-implied environment) and finally, will acquire enough knowledge to appreciate why Blockchain technology is considered as innovative as Internet technology.

Who is this for?

The Blockchain Business Learning Path is primarily for people who are relatively new to or have a basic understanding of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, this includes: financial technology executives, business board members, lawyers, doctors, accountants, professional service and consulting firms, public sector officials, growth hackers, students, and professors. This also includes content that can be useful for more advanced Blockchain developers and software engineers operating in the space, who would like to learn more about the Blockchain industry landscape and track where it is heading in the near future.

1.0 An introduction to Blockchain

 1.1 What is Blockchain?

[Video] What is Blockchain? [5m]

The blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that underlies thousands of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and platforms like Ethereum, Lisk, and Factor. It is also known as a distributed ledger technology (DLT). This video is produced by The Institute for the Future (IFTF) which is a Palo Alto, California, US-based not-for-profit think tank.

What is Blockchain Technology? [15m]

This is a great introductory article explaining the basics of what a Blockchain is. After reading it, you will learn that the key differences between a centralized, traditional database (e.g., SQL database) and a decentralized, distributed database (e.g., Bitcoin Blockchain, Ethereum Blockchain), is the fact that the latter “Transactions are broadcast, and every node is creating their own updated version of events.”, This is a critical point. If one node fails or tries to cheat the network, the other nodes will be immediately notified.

What is the difference between a centralized, decentralized, and distributed ledger? [10m]

This graphic explains the differences quite well; most Public Blockchains will resemble the distributed map of peer to peer nodes, whereby there is no single point of failure, and the network automatically corrects if a node tries to be mischievous or manipulate the data maliciously.

[Optional] Blockchain Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty [20m]

Although this video is optional, I would strongly recommend asking your friends, colleagues, children, nephews, nieces, etc.. Of varying ages to watch it. If you feel up to it, you can watch the expert’s definition of Blockchain technology, discussing that a Blockchain should function in a trustless environment, meaning, that the nodes contributing to the network don’t need to trust each other, but they do need to respect the consensus algorithms together.

1.2 What is the difference between a public, private, and hybrid Blockchain?

Comparison Table [15m]

This compares and contrasts public and private blockchains. You will see key differences in the way the information is controlled and disseminated among network participants.

Public vs. Private vs. Semi-Private Blockchain [10m]

This is a great article by William Mougayar, who is the author of The Business Blockchain (Wiley, 2016), where he discusses the semi-private and consortium Blockchains, these have important implications as several are being pursued by the private sector. Retail and commercial banks are looking to create consortiums to facilitate transactions, increase settlement speed, and reduce reconciliation errors.

Blockchain Glossary [30m]

This is one of the most comprehensive blockchain glossaries I have seen; it includes the main definitions and terminologies worth looking at. Also, I would suggest spending time looking at this Blockchain Dictionary, this outline, these cryptocurrency terms, and this A-Z guide.

 

2.0 What can you do with a Blockchain?

2.1 What are the principle features of a Blockchain?

Features of Blockchain technology [15m]

There are four main properties of Blockchain technology, and the importance of these should not be understated: establishing digital identification of assets (digitization of virtual assets), serving a primary system of record (one version of the truth), proving immutability (unchangeable objects), and serve as a distributed platform (fault-tolerant and expandable).

The Foundation of the Blockchain [30m]

Blockchain-based networks, decentralized apps (DApps), and distributed ledgers are becoming the foundation of much of our digital lives, and this article walks through this in more depth.

How Blockchain and Proof of Work enables trustless consensus [15m]

The author explains the main principles of this technology, which are: 1-consensus, 2-distributed, and 3- trustless. Also, this is a great introductory guide on alternative consensus algorithms (methods to reach network agreement). The next section has more in-depth content on how consensus algorithms work, as applied from a mining standpoint.

What do you mean Blockchains are trustless? [10m]

This is a wonderful post explaining the difference between eliminating trust and ‘minimizing trust.’ This is an important concept to grasp because by distributing the trust among actors in the system, it incentivizes actors to cooperate and function with genuine intent. Otherwise, they will be penalized economically.

 

2.2 What are some applications and use cases of Blockchain technology?

Do you need a Blockchain? [45m]

In this article, the co-authors, Karl Wüst and Arthur Gervais, critically analyze whether a blockchain is indeed the appropriate technical solution for a particular application scenario.

Blockchain Landscape [60m]

This article from TechCrunch provides a great overview of the Blockchain application landscape in map form, and it does a good job of categorizing some of the well-known companies into industry verticals. It is a good idea to take a handful of examples from each vertical and get to know what problems those companies aim to solve. This gives you just a small glimpse into the possibilities of this technology!

[Video] What is Bitcoin? [5m]

This is one of the most-watched Bitcoin introductions for a reason, produced by Bitcoin.org; it explains how bitcoin works and the importance of this paradigm-shifting technology. Bitcoin is the first and most known application of Blockchain technology, whereby traders are transferring value (in the form of Bitcoin) across borders, safely and consistently. For example, you can send $1,000,000 in Bitcoin to someone who is 10,000 miles away for less than a few cents, and it will arrive in less than 10 minutes.

Six use cases for blockchain in security [45m]

There are countless applications of Blockchain technology to information security (InfoSec) and risk management; this article highlights six fairly disruptive ones. The underpinnings of Blockchain technology is cryptographic security, so it can be assumed that even more subdomains within InfoSec will be replaced by Blockchains (you can sign up for a free membership to CSO Online to become an Insider and read the full article).

30 Non-Financial Use Cases of Blockchain Technology [40m]

You might have repeatedly heard this statement “Cryptocurrency technology is only being used for trading cryptocurrencies,” which could not be further from the truth. This article provides a quick glimpse into this world. It shows at least 30 non-financial use cases and applications of the same technology. Nevertheless, core financial applications of Blockchain technology will be in the limelight due to the significant interest of the influential parties participating: banks, traders, and institutional investors. It is certainly worth clicking through some examples and taking a quick peek at the strategic value those companies provide.

19 Industries the Blockchain will disrupt [30m]

FutureThinkers created this video which aggregates different unrelated industries that are inevitably going to be impacted by Blockchain technology.

Applications of Blockchain Technology Beyond Bitcoin [30m]

This summary hones in on the Web 3.0 platform; some experts are defining this as applications on top of Blockchain technology.

Blockchain Technology in the Oil and Gas Sector [15m]

Major Oil and Gas companies are planning on using Blockchain technology to reduce operating costs, securely store and manage data, and improve the speed of transaction processing. They are also using the technology to:

  • Improve financial settlements and reconciliation processes for record management, enhancing business compliance and cybersecurity in the sector
  • Create smart contracts (enforceable business rules) and decentralized applications to facilitate transactional verifications for material exchanges
  • Enable companies to share data in real-time to maximize visibility
  • Use triple-entry bookkeeping and distributed ledgers improve collaborative interactions, walk-through of examples

It is critical to have an objective, unalterable data trail that is transparent for reducing litigation fees and arbitration complexities. Some of the largest oil companies are using blockchain-based platforms to facilitate energy trading and shifting away from paper contracts. Most consider these paper contracts to be an antiquated and inefficient process. There is an entire movement being created from the convergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Blockchain, and experts believe it is going to revolutionize IoT by offering decentralized security models which are accountable and transparent, powered by smart contracts. For example, Korean industrial giant Hyundai is going to back Hyundai Digital Asset Currency (known as HDAC) which is looking to build a private permissioned blockchain that is focusing on IoT, most of this will be considered proprietary code, but there may be licensure opportunities in the future. Also, Filament, a blockchain startup, is going to manufacture a chip that can be incorporated into existing IoT devices to enable connectivity with various blockchains. The intent of this is not just data transmission into the blockchain, but more importantly, it is to establish a secure foundation for decentralized information exchange. This IBM post quickly summarizes seven use cases that show why IoT and Blockchain can be best friends.

Blockchain and the Internet of Things [20m]

IoT can benefit from blockchain technology as much as blockchain technology can benefit from IoT. As explained in this whitepaper produced and published by Tata Consultancy Services, the main ways that IoT can leverage blockchain technology are: trust building, cost reduction, accelerated data exchanges, and scaled security.

A Secure Model of IoT with Blockchain [15m]

This article provides a strong case for why blockchain technology can be used to secure existing and new IoT models. It walks through the urgency of a security framework that can solve this massively distributed denial of service attacks that we have seen recently and outlines both the benefits and challenges of the technologies joining forces.

Is Blockchain’s Future in Oil and Gas Transformative or Transient? [30m]

This is a short-read, and worth your time if you are interested in the oil and gas sector, produced by the research group at Deloitte, they do a wonderful job of explaining four potential opportunities in this sector.

Public sector opportunities of Blockchain Technology– Part 1: Concepts [60m]

There are countless applications using secure, immutable, and incorruptible decentralized ledgers and distributing computing for Governments of all sizes, including, but not limited to these five ideas:

  1. Introduce triple entry accounting to process and settle transactions and trades; introduce objectivity and disintermediate the key parties, voting registration and administering local votes in your jurisdiction
  2. Radically evolve the property and titling process; these types of property and land records are a natural fit for a distributed ledger or a blockchain, as it provides a clear, chronological time stamp ledger of a chain of events.
  3. Partner with local community colleges and state universities to reflect some of their course credentials and diplomas through a blockchain
  4. Work with a technology-friendly health provider to transform registries to reconcile the large, seeming insurmountable data gap; this would involve simplifying the human-input process and reducing the number of touch points, validation of physician and nurse licenses, tracking and monitoring of prescriptions and physiotherapy care.
  5. Initiate some form of sustainable or renewable energy credit marketplace to offer credits for the best-performing citizens, as simple as issuing a token (we can name it GovEnergyToken) for every Megawatt-hour of electricity that is generated via solar panels or wind turbines. These tokens can then be traded on secondary and tertiary markets and embedded into a digital will for succession planning.

The Deloitte paper linked above discusses what a government can do with such a distributed ledger.

Public sector opportunities of Blockchain Technology– Part 2: Data Management  [60m]

This is research produced by McKinsey, showing that Blockchains should not just be used by the private sector and exclusively by financial institutions, government agencies worldwide can use this digital ledger technology to protect trusted records and simplify interactions with citizens. We already see countries facilitate national votes on Blockchain platforms.

3.0 How does the Blockchain work?

As you are learning in this course, blockchain is the technology that underpins Bitcoin and almost all other cryptocurrencies today, and there has been a recent explosion of interest from multiple sectors in looking to make distributed ledger technology work for their businesses. Below is a primer on how blockchain technology works, an introduction to cryptocurrency mining methods, cryptographic hash function overview, how digital signatures work, and some optional material on more advanced topics of mining algorithms.

[Video] How does the Blockchain work using Bitcoin as an example [5m]

This video shows the Essence of how blockchains work, and it provides a non-technical overview using Blockchain’s first killer app, Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency the first, logical application on top of Bitcoin’s public blockchain, analogous to how email was the first killer application on top of the internet, thanks to the formalization of two protocol suites, called TCP-IP and SMTP in the early 1980’s.

How does Blockchain Technology work? [20m]

As stated in the above material “An Introduction to Blockchain,” there are three foundational technologies that combine to create a blockchain. Neither of which are new technologies, however, the way they are combined and mended together is where the true genius is. The result is the framework for the first edition blockchain.

What is a cryptographic hash? [5m]

A cryptographic hash function is a special class of hash function whose characteristics make it a viable candidate for cryptography. This function is a mathematical algorithm that maps data of arbitrary size to a bit string of a fixed size (a hash function). Also, this is designed to serve as a one-way function—in other words, a function that is infeasible to invert. A cryptographic function plays a somewhat different role than other cryptographic algorithms and is employed in several aspects of data security. It can not only encrypt a block of data, but can also generate an abbreviated digital fingerprint of that content—called a hash value, or a message digest.

The latest generation of cryptographic hash algorithms is based upon SHA-3 (designed to work alongside SHA-1 and SHA-2 algorithms, as specified in National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)- FIPS 180-4, Secure Hash Standard. Although the creation of SHA-3 was initially triggered by several successful attacks on the legacy protocols of MD5, SHA-0, and SHA-1, the majority of information security practitioners now claim that SHA-2 is secure and usable. SHA-256, meanwhile, is one of the SHA-2 cryptographic hash functions designed by the National Security Agency. In fact, interestingly enough, SHA-256 is the same framework employed in the creation of Bitcoin. This framework was implemented in the Bitcoin network for the following reasons:

  • It comprehensively protects data integrity and ensures that transactions flow flawlessly across the Bitcoin network. This is the core value proposition of the Bitcoin innovation, as it ensures a near-zero probability of double-spending, and provides a complete solution.
  • Computational mining uses SHA-256 for its proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. Mining is defined as the act of contributing hash power in the form of a CPU, or GPU, or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) on various computer nodes, to validate and process transactions on behalf of the community. In return for their time and effort, these nodes are compensated by earning a block reward. At the time of this course, the current block reward is 12.5 Bitcoin a block. The next block reward halving is scheduled for 2020 when the block reward will be reduced from 12.5 to 6.25 Bitcoin a block. The value of a single Bitcoin is now $1,185.
  • SHA-256 is employed in the creation of every bitcoin address. This ensures confidentiality, security, and privacy of the data being transmitted.

How Bitcoin Mining Works [5m]

This is the best introduction to Bitcoin mining. This industry has been burgeoning and is certainly worth learning more about, as Bitcoin is only one example of a cryptocurrency that you can mine, others are much more profitable and less difficult to pursue.

Cryptocurrency Mining Options [15-30M h]

Cryptocurrency mining has been rising in popularity among the tech-savvy. It is a great way to generate passive income and it is quite fun to pursue, even though profitability has sharply dropped as a result of increasing difficulty (which is a function of the # of participating nodes which are mining, as the number of miners increases, the hash power of the network increases, the mining difficulty rate needs to increase proportionally). This guide briefly discusses Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and Monero mining.

Cryptographic Hash Functions [30-90m]

This is another great production by the Khan Academy to accompany the above write-up.

Proof of Work (PoW) [20-30m]

This lecture is from the Khan Academy, one of the first educational institutions that provided formal knowledge on Bitcoin, years before it hit the mainstream newswire. This clip focuses on teaching the user about the Proof of Work methodology.

Digital Signatures [20-30m]

It is important to understand the basics of public-key cryptography and the differences between a public key and a private key, this short clip explains it succinctly. These same learnings can be applied to all cryptocurrencies.

Consensus Algorithms [120-180m]

This the best lecture I have seen on how consensus algorithms work, brilliantly explained by Andreas Antonopoulos. Consensus algorithms are at the core of not just Bitcoin, but all cryptocurrencies. A consensus algorithm is ultimately a process in computer science used to achieve agreement on a single data value among network participants (also known as computing or mining nodes). These algorithms are in place to help achieve reliability, safety, and governance protocol.

[Optional] How to Setup a Miner [30m]

This is an important tutorial as these steps will largely be consistent across all cryptocurrencies. Generally speaking, a miner is also known as a “worker ID,” and that worker needs to be up and running 24/7, if possible.

[Optional] How to Access Mining Pools [30m]

This is a start-up guide on how to access some of the well-known mining pools, worth a few minutes of your time.

[Optional] How to Pick and Choose What To Mine– Option 1 [30m]

CoinWarz is widely being used by full-time miners because it includes an in-depth comparison of mining profitability of major cryptocurrencies, and it allows you to filter to specific mining algorithms, this is most helpful when you are using a CPU or a GPU to mine, as you may not necessarily have access to an ASIC mining chip.

[Optional] How to Pick and Choose What To Mine– Option 2 [30m]

WhatToMine is another option to identify which cryptocurrency is worth mining at that particular time. The trick with crypto mining is that sometimes the network changes take multiple days to be enacted. Therefore, it is wise to mine cryptocurrencies that have varying degrees of competition and fast response time to rising levels of demand.

[Optional] How to Choose Mining Pools [15m]

You can use PoolPicker to pick and choose the most profitable and reliable cryptocurrency mining pool. Pools typically can function in advanced ways, for example, you can set up a mining rig that connects to a pool which would: automatically switch between cryptocurrencies sharing the same consensus algorithms, automatically switch between difficulty rates for the same cryptocurrency, create redundancy to maximize mining coverage, and much more.

[Optional] How to Choose Cloud Mining Contracts [15m]

This is a real-time comparison table showing the most profitable cloud mining contracts, this section of the site also includes in-depth customer reviews.

 

4.0 An overview of Cryptoeconomics (Tokenomics) and DAOs

[Video] Overview of decentralization using the Ethereum network [30m]

This is a great interview of Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum by the founder of Angellist, Naval Ravikant at the TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco Conference in 2017; he discusses topics that combine cryptography, mathematical proofs, and economic game theory reasoning altogether and provides a succinct overview of consensus algorithms.

[Optional] Overview of Cryptoeconomics [120m]

This is a great introductory overview of what cryptoeconomics is, by the founder of Ethereum and one of the first to coin the term, Vitalik Buterin.

[Optional] Making Sense of Cryptoeconomics  [30m]

An in-depth article is walking through different examples of how cryptoeconomics can look at the real-life implementation.

Decentralized Autonomous Organization [8-15m]

A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) also known as a decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), is an organization (virtual) that is run through rules encoded as computer programs called smart contracts. This is still a relatively new concept, and there doesn’t exist much literature on the subject. However, this video provides a great overview of the topic and provides evolutionary concepts that moved us to this point.

 

5.0 Overview of Blockchain Alliances

There are countless alliances being created by leading institutions in the world with the intent of advancing standards, establishing reference architecture, encouraging blockchain interoperability and a great degree of connectivity overall. Below are two of the largest blockchain alliances globally, and they are leading the way by being completely open-source projects. Here is another example of an alliance that was recently created by Aion, ICON, and Wanchain, in a bid to allow blockchains to communicate in the same language (blockchain compatibility).

5.1 Introduction to the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) [60m]

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is the largest Blockchain consortium in the world; it connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts. It intends to develop standards and technology to make it easier for enterprises to use blockchain code Ethereum in the latest push by large firms to move toward distributed ledger systems. Together, they will learn from and build upon the largest smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production, Ethereum, to define enterprise-grade software capable of handling the most complex, highly demanding applications at the speed of business. They currently have three focus areas:

  • Focus 1: Configurable consensus
  • Focus 2: Privacy
  • Focus 3: Rules-based access control

5.2 Introduction to Hyperledger (Digital Asset Holdings) [60m]

Hyperledger is an umbrella project of open source blockchains and related tools which was established by the widely respected Linux Foundation. Similar to the EEA, Hyperledger’s goal is to support the collaborative development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers. It uses five Blockchain development frameworks, named Burrow, Fabric, Iroha, Sawtooth, and Indy, and it has three important workstreams:

  • Focus 1: Finance proof of concept
  • Focus 2: Healthcare proof of concept
  • Focus 3: Supply Chain proof of concept

 

6.0 News Sources

There are many resources and online publications covering Bitcoin, Blockchain, and cryptocurrencies in general, some of my personal favorites in addition to creating a Daily Google Alert for the terms “Blockchain” and “Ethereum” are:

Also, a Bitcoin Directory was released which is incredible as its all socially curated submissions from the public that meets the quality code: High-Quality Bitcoin Websites.

 

7.0 Tools

https://blockchain.info/ | Free

This is the explorer for the Bitcoin Blockchain, similar to other explorers; you can track all transactions and blocks across all addresses. This is true immutability in action!

Etherscan | Free

Arguably the best Blockchain Explorer for the Ethereum network – it’s perfect for researching and investigating transaction history, wallet constructs, ERC20 / ERC23 tokens (Ethereum issued tokens)

https://ethplorer.io/ | Free

This is an alternative Blockchain explorer being used to explore the Ethereum network.

https://coinmarketcap.com | Free

This is one of the most visited websites in the crypto technology sphere, it displays the prices of all cryptocurrencies in circulation today, and it even has a token view where you can see individual crypto-based assets and which development platforms they are built on.

https://cryptowat.ch | Free

This is a completely free charting tool for technical analysis; it includes some of the prominent cryptocurrency exchanges.

https://www.tradingview.com/markets/cryptocurrencies/prices-all/ | Free

You can use this page to see all available crypto assets that are being shown on TradingView.com, extremely powerful charting and advanced analysis tool used by traders of all kinds; there are now more than 200 cryptocurrencies shown. The widely known metrics such as the closing price, total and available number of coins, traded volume and price change percentage are all available at a quick glance, but more impressively, you can see hundreds of technical indicators in the Oscillators and Trend-Following tabs, this information will greatly help you in determining the direction of the trend relative to the volatility observed.

https://www.cryptocompare.com/ | Free

This website aggregates much of the disparate crypto-related information you can only find online by visiting dozens of websites. It provides a great overview as well as a detailed summary of crypto-related subjects, including project overview, price assessment, exchange support, crypto mining costs and hardware comparisons, wallet options, and even a built-in forum function.

https://cointrading.ninja/correlation | Free

CoinTrading Ninja is an awesome website which allows you to track the correlation between cryptocurrencies. Specifically, it displays the daily returns correlations between Bitcoin and other widely distributed cryptocurrencies using the Pearson Correlation Coefficient; the possible range of value is between 1 (positively correlated) and -1 (inversely correlated).

https://bitcointalk.org/ | Free

I wouldn’t let the vanilla forum template discourage you; this is one of the most visited crypto websites ever. It is a forum which covers these main sections: Bitcoin Discussion (Business and Technical Aspects), Economy, Alternate Cryptocurrencies, and Local content (national translations).

https://ethstats.net/ | Free

This tool is a must-see for anyone operating in the Ethereum ecosystem, it shows network statistics, including best blocks, uncle transactions (pending), mining time, average network hash rate, difficulty levels, and gas-level (transaction fees) information.

https://etherchain.org | Free

A different Ethereum Blockchain explorer

https://coin.dance/stats | Free

This is a powerful tool showing key statistical data on the cryptocurrency market, such as pricing information, mining node registrations, mining node protocol consistencies, fork results, computing node consensus algorithms, and much more.

https://bitinfocharts.com/ | Free

This is another website showing key statistics for major cryptocurrencies, but one of the few that shows in table form the number of transactions per each proprietary Blockchain. Take a look at the advanced charting functionality which allows you to setup multiple indicators on a linear or logarithmic scale.

http://www.altcoinforecast.com/ethereum | Free

This shows news being superimposed onto a pricing chart, this particular example is used to forecast the price of Ethers (from the Ethereum network), it is an important indicator because it is somewhat based upon speculative output (news-driven) and sentiment analysis.

http://cryptomaps.org/ | Free

This is an awesome color-coded treemap of cryptocurrency prices.

https://coinmap.org | Free

This tool allows you to see geographically which retail shops and vendors near you accept any form of cryptocurrency. This is a work in progress, but you can see the adoption increasing by tracking this tool.

https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/volatility-index/ | Free

This is one of the only resources online that allows you to see the cryptocurrency volatility concerning the volatility of Gold, traditional fiat pairs (USD, EUR, GBP).

https://learn.blockcircle.com/ | Free

This website is dedicated to providing comprehensive guides, tutorials, and reviews of everything related to cryptocurrencies. It includes cryptocurrency exchange comparisons and wallet recommendations.

8.0 Concluding Remarks

Congratulation is in order! You have officially joined the ranks of Blockchainists. You now have sufficient knowledge to teach others how the Blockchain works and even showcase some live implementations of Blockchain technology. In this course you have learned what a Blockchain is, what the major features and benefits are of Blockchain technology, interacted with some live Blockchain applications, learned about the nascent field of Cryptoeconomics, and, hopefully, now understand why so many professionals are ecstatic at the prospects that lie ahead, thanks to this technological revolution.

To stay up to date with everything related to Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, I would suggest checking out some of the resources in Section 6.0 – News Sources on a daily or weekly basis, tracking some of the progress being made with respect to decentralized applications (these are all operating on some form of Blockchain platform) using State of the DApps and DAppRadar, following some prominent writers on Quora, subscribing to your favorite projects subreddit, interact with project teams directly using your favorite messaging application (most projects are on Slack, Telegram, or Discord), subscribing to industry wide newsletters, and finally, monitoring the tremendous amount of research and development on distributed computing and Blockchain technology that is being accomplished by academic institutions; some of the most prestigious programs worldwide are joining forces to push this field forward.

To flex your Blockchain brain muscles a bit, here are some fun exercises to pursue:

  • Building a business proposal for your company to adopt Blockchain technology
    • Feasibility analysis showcasing the benefits of the technology and outlining exactly what problems it will solve
    • Pros and Cons of the existing environment vs. the new environment (if the solution is accepted)
  • If possible, take an existing business proposal (internal to your company or externally available) and challenge the need for Blockchain in that particular case. For example, if a new business proposal is suggesting that a distributed ledger is critical for the solution to work correctly, question why a centralized ledger is inadequate? The blockchain is just another technology tool alongside hundreds of others, and it should not be blankly applied to all possible scenarios.
  • Explain how exactly how Blockchain Technology works with props and live examples to a five-year-old, ten-year-old, 20-year-old, 40-year-old, and an 80-year-old; this is more difficult than it seems.

Finally, we are always open for constructive feedback and if you have additional resources that you believe would be valuable, please contact me directly

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