It seems like the entire world has been told to stay inside their homes as the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc. As a result, the world has become almost entirely digital.
A recent article from NPR showed that visits to news sites have increased by 60%, and that people are spending more time playing online video games. At the same time, online teaching platforms have started offering free, or heavily discounted, virtual courses. Below are a list of online blockchain and cryptocurrency courses worth exploring while spending time at home.
Coursera: “Blockchain Revolution Specialization”
Ranked by e-learning hub Digital Defynd as the best blockchain-certification course, Coursera’s “Blockchain Revolution” course series is designed to introduce learners to blockchain for business, government and society.
The courses are taught by Don Tapscott, a globally recognized speaker and the executive director of the Blockchain Research Institute, and Alex Tapscott, the author of the best-selling book “Blockchain Revolution” and a new book called “Financial Services Revolution.”
The BRI’s director of communications, Luke Bradley, told Cointelegraph that students from all different backgrounds have found the Blockchain Revolution course series valuable:
“There’s no coding experience required to take the course. All you need is about 8–12 hours a week, and we’ve had some learners finish the course by putting in 4–6 hours a week.”
Bradley also mentioned that the course is unique from others, noting that students eventually get to apply what they’ve learned through a “blockchain opportunity analysis.” He described this as “a hands-on opportunity to come up with and analyze a blockchain application in a student’s profession or organization.” Upon completing the four-course series, students receive a certificate from INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.
Bradley further noted that the BRI recently launched an additional course series that specifically caters to financial-services professionals called “Blockchain Revolution in Financial Services.” This series is intended for students with a background in banking and finance who want to learn about the fundamentals of blockchain.
The BRI is currently offering 50% off of the first month of the Blockchain Revolution course series.
Udacity: “Become a Blockchain Developer”
As blockchain adoption continues to grow, the demand for developers in the space is also increasing significantly. Udacity’s “Become a Blockchain Developer” course allows students to create their own private blockchain, secure digital assets using blockchain identity, explore the Ethereum platform, and use Solidity and smart contracts to develop a decentralized application, known as a DApp.
Udacity’s CEO, Gabe Dalporto, told Cointelegraph that the overall goal of the program is to bring hands-on projects to students:
“During the course, students will build a decentralized app that allows them to create, sell, and transfer ownership of a unique star token (CryptoStar) on the Ethereum blockchain using smart contracts and the nonfungible (ERC-721) token standard.”
Another project the course offers is tracking items through the supply chain. Dalporto noted that this teaches students how to manage and audit blockchain product ownership as the product is transferred down the supply chain. “This can help improve your notarization service with a smart contract to support transferring of ownership, product auditing, and supply chain management,” he explained.
Other projects within the course focus on building DApps with multiple smart contracts and creating a decentralized property-listing application, where students will represent their ownership rights using zero-knowledge proofs. Tokens will then be minted to represent the claim to the property. According to Dalporto, Udacity’s blockchain developer course is unique due to its interactive experience:
“This course offers an open opportunity for anyone seeking to enter the field. Plus, blockchain is still an emerging technology, so you have the chance to start making an impact right away. The critical differentiator in an emerging field is hands-on experience, and that is exactly what you’ll get in this program.”
Dalporto explained that the course takes four months on average to complete, which involves about 10 hours of work per week. Upon completion, students will receive a nanodegree certification from Udacity, which Dalporto says can be added to a LinkedIn profile.
Udacity is currently running a site-wide promotion of 50% off until March 24, for all those interested in signing up.
Hyperledger and the Linux Foundation: Blockchain training courses
Hyperledger and the Linux Foundation offer an entire catalogue of blockchain training courses, including five that are completely free to take in partnership with EdX. The executive director of Hyperledger, Brian Behlendorf, told Cointelegraph that the most popular of the free introductory courses are:
- LFS170 - Blockchain: Understanding Its Uses and Implications
- LFS171 - Introduction to Hyperledger Blockchain Technologies
According to Behlendorf, these courses help students understand exactly what a blockchain is, and its potential to enable change around the world. “These courses allow students to analyze use cases in technology, business, and enterprise products and institutions,” Behelndorf explained. Students who complete both of the free courses are eligible to receive a professional certificate in blockchain for business from EdX.
In addition to the free courses, there are more advanced programs that go into detail on how to administer and utilize specific Hyperledger projects, including Aries, Fabric, Indy, Sawtooth and Ursa. The Linux Foundation also offers certification exams for both Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Sawtooth to help professionals demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
Behlendorf noted that the Hyperledger blockchain courses are unique because they are designed to equip students with the knowledge necessary to prepare for Hyperledger certification exams, which is helpful for those interested in working professionally with Hyperledger.
“Blockchain: Understanding Its Uses and Implications” takes about 20 hours to complete, while “Introduction to Hyperledger Blockchain Technologies” requires about 40 hours. Students interested in receiving a verified certificate of completion can obtain one from EdX for a $199 fee.
Udemy: Lolli’s “Earn and Learn” program
Udemy, a global marketplace for e-learning, offers over 2,000 courses related to Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain. The e-learning giant formed a partnership with Lolli, a Bitcoin-rewards platform, to provide its users with tools to learn about Bitcoin, finance and other crypto-related topics.
Alex Adelman, Lolli’s CEO and co-founder, told Cointelegraph that the partnership with Udemy was initially launched to offer Bitcoin back for purchasing online courses. He noted that Lolli is now expanding its partnership with Udemy to launch “Earn and Learn,” which will start on March 24. According to Adelman, this program will include a dedicated landing page on Udemy’s site that will recommend online courses at discounted rates for Lolli users:
“We understand most people are staying in their homes during this time and we want to provide resources for them to learn more about Bitcoin, specifically those who are new to Bitcoin and crypto. We want to incentivize them to spend this time learning and earning free Bitcoin in the process.”
Lolli users have already streamed over 1,000 blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related courses from Udemy. Adelman expects this number to increase as more people are forced into quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In order to accommodate new users, Adelman said that many of the online courses selected on the Udemy/Lolli landing page will be discounted during quarantine periods. Lolli will also be increasing the rate of return so that users receive 16% back in Bitcoin, starting March 20 and lasting through April 30.
Ivan on Tech Academy
Well-known crypto YouTuber Ivan on Tech launched the “Ivan on Tech Academy” to empower individuals to learn about the opportunities in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. According to Ivan, the most successful people in the space are not traders but rather builders. He told Cointelegraph:
“All new industries are filled with opportunities. Imagine working with mobile apps 10 years ago or the Internet in the 90s, or computers in the 80s. However, most people miss out on the great opportunities to build a great career or a business.”
In order to bring blockchain education to the masses, Ivan created his courses for individuals who do not have any prior skills or knowledge of the blockchain space. He noted that 15,000 students are currently enrolled in his program and that each student earns a certificate upon course completion. He said:
“Our students gain results quickly and can build Dapps within days, as we offer a very hands-on approach. We also provide help with employment and for people interested in launching their own projects.”
Other in-home learning options
In addition to the courses listed above, Class Central offers a database of 95 courses on blockchain and 66 courses on cryptocurrency. Additionally, a new app called Bitcoin Lessons is geared toward educating the younger generation on Bitcoin. The first four lessons are free, and students can earn Bitcoin upon course completion. Cryptocurrency-investing app Abra also just launched a free 10-day course on crypto.
Finally, there are a number of cryptocurrency and blockchain influencers who offer free educational series on YouTube. For example, Crypto Wendy O’s YouTube channel consists of videos designed to break down complex indicators for individuals interested in learning more about trading.