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University of California, Irvine

The Blockchain

University of California, Irvine via Coursera


Begin your exploration of blockchain technologies with a look at fundamental blockchain concepts along with an application in which blockchain technology plays a critical role — cryptofinance. This course also introduces distributed digital systems in terms of software and network architecture, and shows how these systems underlie the functionality of the blockchain. In this and the following courses in the specialization you'll have a chance for hands-on-practice to cement your learning.

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)


  • Foundations of Blockchain and Digital Currencies
    • In this module, we will begin to explore blockchain technology in terms of its fundamental purpose as well as inspect the key elements of the blockchain’s underlying software architecture. Additionally, we will investigate the use of the blockchain in handling digital currency transactions and view the potential and future of industry leaders like the Ethereum Foundation.
  • The Need for Blockchain
    • We will continue to examine the foundational principles and architecture of blockchain technology. This module's focus will be on the need for blockchain, the problems that can be solved by blockchain, and the layers of system requirements.
  • Peer-to-Peer Software Systems, Trust, and Integrity
    • This module brings us to the concept of a peer-to-peer system, which lies at the core of the blockchain. A peer-to-peer network makes it possible to have a decentralized way to keep track of transactions.
  • Peer-to-peer Business Concepts and Bitcoin Value
    • In the final module of this course, we will scrutinize bitcoin and study how well it has, or hasn’t, maintained value during the last few years. You will practice “exchanging” different currencies and see an example of how industry leaders in cryptocurrency exchange and manage digital assets. We will also discuss how the adoption of peer-to-peer business concepts can change entire industries.

Taught by

Stefano M. Stefan


4.1 rating at Coursera based on 152 ratings

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