BitCoin Textbook
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 12 February 2016

University courses usually rely on textbooks. In the case of Princeton's course on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, the textbook is being based on the course and a complete first draft is now available, for free, online.



The Princeton Bitcoin course sets out to:

cut through the hype and get to the core of what makes Bitcoin unique

by addressing the following questions

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?

It came about in  response to demand for structured educational materials from computer science students at Princeton University  and was initially taught there by Arvind Narayanan and Joe Bonneau in 2014. Due to its popularity it was then opened up to a wider audience on the Pizza platform starting February 2015, with video lectures presented by Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau and Edward Felten from Princeton University and Andrew Miller (University of Maryland) and then transferred to Coursera in September 2015.

According to Arvind Narayanan the Coursera course, which is the version on which the textbook is based, had 30,000 students. The book was also used by other classes, including Stanford’s CS 251 taught by Dan Boneh and Balaji S. Srinivasan .

As the Coursera MOOC was such a success Narayanan et al plan to offer a revised version:

Specifically, we’ll be integrating the programming assignments developed for the Stanford course with our own, with Dan Boneh’s gracious permission.

This would be a welcome addition as the programming exercises give developers a chance for hand-on exploration of Bitcoin and be ready to be part of the future of this emerging cryptocurrency technology.

As we reported recently (see Stanford Bitcoin Engineering MOOC Proposed) if there is sufficient demand the Stanford MOOC itself might be offered online in MOOC format. 

Even if you did'nt start back in September, the Coursera course is still available online (until April 23rd) and it has links to the latest draft of the textbook which corresponds to to the course as one chapter per lecture. 


More Information

The Princeton Bitcoin textbook is now freely available

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies by Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller, Steven Goldfeder (draft in pdf).

Coursera Bitcoin MOOC

Related Articles

Bitcoin MOOC On Coursera

Stanford Bitcoin Engineering MOOC Proposed 

Bitcoin Course Offered Free Online


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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 February 2016 )