Since bitcoin first emerged in 2008, it’s grown from a niche hobby explored mainly by computer scientists, cryptographers, and libertarians, into an entire genre of study at formal institutions and online education portals. Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re a seasoned pro, everyone has a preferred way to discover bitcoin. To help you find your best fit, we scoured the web and hand-picked a diverse collection of online resources.
The career-focused programmer or entrepreneur
Our pick: Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Technologies
Course Length: 11 Weeks
What you get: A way to discover bitcoin through code
Skills and expertise in bitcoin and block chain technology can be hard to come by, but their demand is on the rise. If you’re a programmer or entrepreneur who is interested in taking a technical first step towards a career in bitcoin, Princeton University offers a free MOOC (that’s Massive Open Online Course) through Coursera, which may give you the initial edge you need. The course lecturer, Assistant Professor Arvind Narayanan, says that anyone without a programming background will still gain a lot even if they don’t complete assignments.
Pros: Along with hands-on experience, the course has an accompanying textbook (or a free online draft) and a class discussion forum, where mentors provide guidance.
Cons: If you don’t have prior knowledge of java, you may find it particularly difficult to complete assignments.
The not so tech savvy, infinitely keen beginner
Self-described as “the most comprehensive bitcoin course”, this Udemy online collab course between Draper University and Zapchain is great for the beginner who keeps hearing about bitcoin and wants to be able to join the conversation. 7 hours of video lectures, insightful interviews from industry pros, and quizzes provide a solid intro foundation to discover bitcoin and the unique benefits of decentralized currencies.
Pros: With lifetime (web and mobile) access upon signup, it’s a less intimidating course that guides you through the content at your own pace.
Cons: The majority of information for this course (which hasn’t been updated since 2014 according to their Udemy page) is presented through video content, but without supplemental animations or step by step tutorials. If you’re a visual or kinesthetic learner, this may not be your best fit.
The learner interested in bitcoin, altcoins, & other niche topics
Our pick: Coin Academy
Course Length: (Varies)
What you get: An appreciation for the diversity of bitcoin content available online
Let’s go back to your very first rendezvous with bitcoin. Maybe a friend sends you some or it catches your eye after a mention in the mainstream media. However it happened, you’re hell bent on learning more (and maybe learning about litecoin, doge, and block chain technology, too), but aren’t sure where to get started. Coin Academy has done all the grunt work by searching the web for all the best third party educational cryptocurrency content. They also offer their own more detailed and step-by-step series of courses that they’ve shaped entirely from scratch.
Pros: Aside from zero cost (donations are welcome), both Coin Academy’s third party Curated Collections and their own courses offer an array of niche resources, like Bitcoin For Merchants, and Digital Currencies and Social Activism. Plus, a question form at the end of each lesson allows registered users to ask and answer questions to help each other along.
Cons: With no predetermined order to their third party Curated Collections, certain collections (both the beginner & intermediate Bitcoin Tutorials, in particular) have quite a bit of content and for a newer user this may be overwhelming. It’s also possible for some overlap and repetition in multiple videos, since Coin Academy didn’t produce the third party resources.
The next-level all-in (aspiring) digital currency guru
Our pick: MSc in Digital Currency
Course Length: 18 months
Cost: 11,760 Euros with 5% discount for students paying with bitcoin
What you get: Master’s Degree
If you’re the go-to bitcoin enthusiast in your social circle and want to become immersed in bitcoin full time (as a hobby or career), the University of Nicosia’s Master’s Degree in Digital Currency may be the route for you. This 18-month online degree offers an academic environment in which to dig in and build a foundation for a notable role in the future of currency and distributed technology.
Pros: The first course is a free open-enrollment way to see if the program is a good fit. The program’s Twitter feed is regularly updated with the latest live open session (like the above session hosted by Andreas Antonopoulos). If you decide to commit, you can pay your tuition fees with bitcoin at a 5% discount!
Cons: If you’re interested but don’t yet have the program prerequisite of a Bachelor’s Degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher, you’ll have quite a long-term commitment ahead of you (but don’t let that stop you!).
The bootcamp enthusiast
Our pick: Bitcoin & the Blockchain
Course Length: ~1 hour
What you get: A well-rounded understanding of bitcoin, block chain technology, and their potential.
If you’re into the fast-paced intense learning a bootcamp-style program offers, you’ve probably heard of OneMonth. Co-Founded by Mattan Griffel and Chris Castiglione, OneMonth offers 30-day accelerated bootcamps on an assortment of programming and business-oriented topics. Castiglione is joined by Blockstack Labs Co-Founder, Muneeb Ali, to teach Bitcoin & the Blockchain, a free mini-course that invites you to embark on a one hour learning adventure to discover bitcoin and the technology that powers it.
Pros: If you’re new to OneMonth (and their programming or business courses sound interesting), this course lets you get a quick taste for their teaching style and course structure for free. Plus, if you complete a paid course and “don’t love it,” they’ll give you a full refund.
Cons: With this being the only bitcoin-focused course offered on OneMonth, you’ll have to seek out a new platform if you want to pursue the topic further (which brings us back to the precise purpose for this blog post!).
What’s your learning style or favourite way to discover bitcoin? Comment below & let us know if you have a preferred course or program that we missed!