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LearnQuest

Fundamentals of Blockchain Architecture

LearnQuest via Coursera

Overview

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This course is ideal for individuals with a basic understanding of digital technology as well as developers or security professionals wishing to expand their blockchain knowledge. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the world of blockchain technology. We will delve into the core principles of blockchain, exploring the critical decision-making processes involved in adopting this innovative technology. This course offers an overview of various blockchain platforms, hosting decisions, associated technologies, and the key development languages used. An important aspect of this course will be the introduction to the concept of consensus mechanisms and their integral role in maintaining the integrity of the blockchain. By the end of this course, you will be able to: - Describe how blocks are chained together - Compare and contrast Pure versus Hybrid blockchains - List the blockchain layers and describe what each of them does - Describe the difference between on-chain and off-chain data storage - Determine the right language and tools based on the blockchain platform and use case - Describe the Byzantine Generals Problem - Explain the blockchain trilemma - Explain how cryptography, consensus, and immutability enhance blockchain security

Syllabus

  • Blockchain Solution Architecture - Fundamentals of Blockchain Architecture
    • Welcome to Blockchain Solution Architecture - Fundamentals of Blockchain Architecture! In this course, we will delve into the core principles of blockchain. It offers an overview of various blockchain platforms, hosting decisions, associated technologies, and the key development languages used.
  • Module 1: Introduction to Blockchain
    • This module provides a comprehensive introduction to blockchain technology. We will discuss what blockchain is, the structure of blocks and chains, basic concepts like distributed ledgers, consensus mechanisms, and smart contracts. We will also explain the different layers of a blockchain like the protocol, network, and application layers, as well as explore blockchain wallets, public/private keys, and blockchain addresses. Finally, we will provide a detailed history of blockchain from its origins in Bitcoin to its evolution and mainstream adoption.
  • Module 2: Blockchain Use Cases
    • We dive deep into real-world blockchain use cases across industries like finance, supply chain, healthcare, real estate, and more. It analyzes the value blockchain provides in different contexts. It provides a decision framework and checklist to determine when blockchain is an appropriate solution. It discusses alternatives like centralized databases. It covers the differences between on-chain and off-chain data storage and when to use each.
  • Module 3: Blockchain Languages and Tools
    • Here we survey popular blockchain development languages like Solidity, Vyper, and Hyperledger Fabric. It explores blockchain toolsets and frameworks like Truffle, Embark, and OpenZeppelin for building dApps. It shares learning resources and developer communities to enable getting started. It provides guidance on selecting the right language and tools based on the blockchain platform and use case.
  • Module 4: Consensus Deep-Dive
    • An in-depth exploration of blockchain consensus mechanisms like proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, delegated proof-of-stake, and practical Byzantine fault tolerance. It explains the Byzantine Generals Problem that consensus aims to solve. It analyzes the pros and cons of each consensus approach.
  • Module 5: The Blockchain Trilemma
    • This module directly addresses the blockchain trilemma involving scalability, security, and decentralization tradeoffs. It explores potential solutions like sharding, sidechains, state channels, and directed acyclic graphs.
  • Module 6: Blockchain Security Overview
    • This module examines the blockchain security advantages like cryptography, consensus, and immutability. It also discusses security issues like private key management, Sybil attacks, 51% attacks, and more.

Taught by

Kris Bennett

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