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University of California, Irvine

Cryptography and Hashing Overview

University of California, Irvine via Coursera


Continue learning about blockchain technology by diving into the nature of ownership and how the blockchain is one way to approach decentralized transaction handling. This course also demystifies cryptography and hashing, which are critical for authenticating users and guaranteeing transaction privacy.

This course requires the purchase of two books for the completion of assignments:

Drescher, D. (2017). Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps. (ISBN-13: 978-1484226032)
Antonoupoulos, A. M. (2017). The Internet of Money, Volume Two. (ISBN-13: 978-1947910065)


  • The Nature of Ownership
    • This week we will examine and study the ways that the blockchain keeps track of ownership transactions through the use of electronic ledgers. After an item changes hands many times, one can literally see each handoff by looking at the continuously growing string of data blocks in the blockchain.
  • Organizational Usage of Blockchain Technology
    • In this second week we will explore and discuss the vast array of benefits that a blockchain technology system can bring to different industries and business markets. We will also consider together how Blockchain technology is an ideal system to manage educational achievement and merit.
  • Cryptography and Hashing
    • The key to the blockchain’s success is the use of hash values and encryption. These are the same technologies that allow you to log into your favorite website without revealing your password and the same technologies that allow you to send a private, encrypted text message. By the end of the week you will apply a hashing algorithm to a character string and see the results.
  • Applying Hashes
    • As you will see in this final week, it is sometimes important to step back from a purely functional discussion of what the blockchain can do to what it means when it does it. You will apply cryptography and hashing to a simple scenario in order to determine the authenticity of a simulated email message.

Taught by

Stefano M. Stefan


4.5 rating at Coursera based on 39 ratings

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