3 free online courses to learn the fundamentals of blockchain

SOURCE: Jure Makovec / AFP
Blockchain is poised to revolutionise the ways the digital world handles data and ultimately how it does business.

By U2B Staff 

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Blockchain has been gaining traction over the past few years, and the technology has many advantages in our tech-driven world.  In the simplest terms, blockchain is a digital ledger that gives people a platform to conduct various transactions without a central or trusted arbitrator. It was first conceptualised in 2008 when Bitcoin came to be, but the technology behind this dynamic cryptocurrency has evolved by leaps and bounds since then. 

Today, blockchain is poised to revolutionise how the digital world handles data, and ultimately, how it does business. Several applications have popped up, formed to leverage its principles and capabilities. Not only has the technology solidified its position as a digital ledger, but it is also highly secure, traceable, and reliable.

Research confirms that the technology is not slowing down anytime soon. Gartner, leading research and advisory consultancy, estimates blockchain technology will generate 3.1 trillion US dollars in new business value by 2030. The report also postulates that it will be ready for more mainstream adoption through 2023, which makes right now the perfect time for organisations to explore a career in the field.


A report by LinkedIn confirms this, revealing that among top blockchain-recruiters are multinationals such as IBM, Oracle, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Amazon, and American Express.

As Fortune 500 companies continue to incorporate the technology into existing infrastructure, qualifications and experience is set to grant experts access to various career options.

These professionals typically function as developers, cryptocurrency analysts, blockchain consultants, blockchain solution architects, a senior software engineer in cryptocurrency, and research analysts.

If you’re looking to upskill your way to the top, grasping the fundamentals is a crucial first step. Here are three free courses that can help lay a solid foundation in blockchain fundamentals:

Blockchain Fundamentals by BerkeleyX

Developed by Blockchain at Berkeley and the faculty from UC Berkeley’s premier Computer Science department, the Professional Certificate in Blockchain Fundamentals programme is a comprehensive survey of core topics in cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, and blockchain technology. This programme is ideal for people of all backgrounds.

Upon completion, students will have a deeper understanding of the technology, which they could use to formulate their own informed blockchain mental models, hypotheses, and use cases – all of which are imperative to understand the industry as a whole.

Introduction to Blockchain Technologies by INSEAD

In this free course, instructors discuss the limitations of the internet for business and economic activity before explaining how blockchain technology represents the way forward. 


Upon completion, learners will be able to explain what blockchain is, how it works, and why it is revolutionary. Key concepts are taught such as mining, hashing, proof-of-work, public key cryptography, and the double-spend problem. It takes approximately 29 hours to complete. Upon completion, participants will be able to describe seven design principles for blockchain technology, and the challenges facing the people developing it. 

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies by Princeton University

How does Bitcoin work? What makes Bitcoin different? How secure are your Bitcoins? How anonymous are Bitcoin users? What determines the price of Bitcoins? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? What might the future hold?

This free course answers all the above and more in just 23 hours. Participants will be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They will also have the conceptual foundations needed to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network.