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Introduction to Blockchain and Web3

Web3 Foundation via edX


Developed by the Technical Education team at the Web3 Foundation, this course introduces the fundamental concepts of Blockchain technology and Web3.

First, we go over the history and the key terminology of blockchains, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Web3 and then take a deep dive into the technology that powers blockchains. The concepts of cryptography and hashing in the context of blockchains are explored along with hands-on activities that familiarize the learners with digital wallets and blockchain explorers. Next, we explore the concepts of block production and finality, consensus, nodes and networking in blockchain networks. Towards the end of the course, we will explore the blockchain layers and applications centered around networks like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Polkadot. We wrap up the course by exploring the current landscape of Web3 and the future of blockchain technology.

The course is open to learners from all backgrounds. The key objective of this course is to provide a strong foundational knowledge pertaining to Blockchain and Web3.


Blockchain Basics

Introduction to Blockchain. Blockchain terminology. Blockchain properties. Centralization vs Decentralization. Blockchains in action. A brief history of Money. Properties of Money. How is Money created? Chaumian E-Cash and the Issue of Double Spending.

Introduction to Bitcoin and Ethereum

Money backed by computation. Hashcash and Proof of Work. Bitcoin Blockchain. How Bitcoin solves double spend issue. Bitcoin Issuance. Introduction to Ethereum. Smart Contracts. Difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum. Ethereum Transactions.

Blockchain and Cryptography

Cryptography in Blockchain. Public/Private keypairs and how do wallets work?

Hashing and Block Mining

What is a Hash? Properties of Cryptographic Hashing. How Bitcoin blocks are mined? Anatomy of a Bitcoin Block. What is Forking? What is Hashpower? How can miners tamper with PoW? Energy implications of PoW. What are the other ways to mine/validate a Block? Proof of Stake.

Blockchain Nodes and Networking

Distributed systems. Can I run my own Blockchain node? How do Blockchain nodes communicate? Interfacing with Blockchain network. Full node vs Archive node vs light client. Consensus in depth.

Web3 and the Future of Blockchain

What problems can Blockchain solve? L0, L1 and L2 Blockchains. Anonymity and confidential transactions. zkledger. zkrollups. Scams and Attacks. Culture. Public policy. Regulations. Blockchain governance. Cryptocurrencies and DeFi. DAOs. Interoperability and Scalability. NFTs. Metaverse. Decentralized computing.

Taught by

Radhakrishna Dasari and Bill Laboon


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