Review of edX Professional Certificate in Blockchain Fundamentals by Berkeley

Review of edX blockchain courses offered by BerkeleyX

Review of edX Professional Certificate in Blockchain Fundamentals by Berkeley
Blockchain - A disruptive tech of the decade

This 2-course professional certification has been created by UC Berkeley’s Computer Science department which ranks among the world’s top destinations when it comes to computer technologies.

This course is great for starters in Blockchain since it provides a very beginner-friendly environment initially and then ramps it up gradually. By the end, one would have a thorough understanding of the Bitcoin protocol and consensus, blockchain history, bitcoin mechanics and optimizations, wallets, mining, game theory, network attacks, enterprise blockchain, real-world applications, and even look at things from a regulatory perspective.

Bitcoin and Ethereum steal the the show as they represent some of the most successful implementations of blockchain technology. The team at Berkeley has managed to provide quite an excellent look at these specifically. You will get to know how smart contracts and decentralized applications work.

Courses in this program

  1. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies:
What you'll learn
  • The basic properties and intent of centralized/decentralized currency and an in-depth understanding of Bitcoin from the ground up, including - Identity, Transactions, Record Keeping, and Consensus.
  • The roots of Bitcoin in the Cypherpunk movement and Libertarian ideals, and the revolutionary significance of Bitcoin as opposed to some of its early predecessors.
  • The mechanics behind Bitcoin, such as the Bitcoin network, cryptography , cryptographic hash functions, Bitcoin Script, privacy, and hash commitment schemes.
  • Real-world aspects of Bitcoin, such as wallets, wallet mechanics, mining, transactions, and Bitcoin governance, and the various ways one can interface with the Bitcoin network.
  • How to destroy Bitcoin, including various network attacks.
  • The properties behind the second largest blockchain platform, Ethereum, including the Ethereum Virtual Machine and the idea of Turing completeness, the key protocol differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum, the use cases of Ethereum.

2. Blockchain Technology:

What you'll learn
  • A formal definition of distributed consensus and foundational topics such as the CAP Theorem and the Byzantine Generals Problem.
  • The alternative consensus mechanisms to Bitcoin’s Proof-of-work, including Proof-of-Stake, voting-based consensus algorithms, and federated consensus.
  • The meaning and properties of crypto-economics as it relates to its two compositional fields: cryptography and economics, as well as the goals for crypto-economics with respect to distributed systems fundamentals
  • The various enterprise-level blockchain implementations, such as JP Morgan’s Quorum, Ripple, Tendermint, and HyperLedger, including the industry use cases for blockchain, ICOs, and the increasing regulations surrounding blockchain.
  • The challenges with scaling and obstacles to widespread blockchain adoption, as well as the possible solutions within vertical scaling (e.g. blocksize increases, Segregated Witness, and the Lightning Network) and horizontal scaling (e.g. sidechains, sharding).
  • The measures that governments have taken to regulate and control blockchain technology e.g. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, anonymity goals, and government techniques for deanonymization of entities on blockchain.
  • An exploratory look into blockchain ventures today, such as venture capitalism, ICOs, and crowdfunding.

Enrollment Options

The course offers both Verified (Paid) and Audit (Free) tracks.

In the free Audit track, you may not be able to access and complete course materials including, but not limited to, graded assignments and exams.

In the Verified track, both the courses can be taken individually and cost ₹8161/- each. But if you enroll for both courses together, the combined cost would amount to ₹14690/-.

A comparative table for Paid and Free versions of courses

Course Endorsements and Popularity

Both the courses are decently popular with a combined enrollment of 291,282 and have garnered endorsements from credible institutions like IBM Blockchain and Cosmos.

To summarize, this is a solid brand to have on your CV if you need the boost. You will receive an instructor-signed certification with institute logo on completion and verification. The focus on enterprise-level blockchain solutions would be especially helpful to those to work at large tech firms or financial institutions

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