Free Online Courses – Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain

According to many experts, in the time we live, it’s going to be cryptocurrencies to the rescue, most especially for the youth. Even JP Morgan, which is the largest investment bank in the world, based on recent reports by major finance magazines, is all fired up for these investments. This very bank, in the past, was many a time seen waging a war of words on cryptocurrencies. In this article, we will have a look at some of the more interesting free online courses to understand cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

First of all, let’s try to understand what cryptocurrencies are. These are nothing but assets like any other except that for the most part, it is in digital form. To begin with, it is bought digitally using fiat currencies such as dollars and euros via the crypto exchanges and thereafter it can be traded the same as any other asset or held as an investment. By means of these exchanges, one cryptocurrency can be traded for another or for fiat currencies. Those who trade in them, largely keep the currencies in their account with the exchanges, and the ones who have decided to, invest and hold, usually transfer the currency from the exchange to their digital or paper wallets. Based on the understanding once receives from many who are adept in the business, paper wallets are the safest for storing cryptocurrencies.


Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP Ripple

According to most analysts, after the trailblazer Bitcoin, it is Ethereum and XRP Ripple which are the two most important cryptocurrencies. XRP Ripple is especially favored by students and youth on account of its price at present which is around 0.25 US$. More about this later.

Estimated 38.4 percent of young adults between the age of 25 and 34 currently live in a shared household or with their parents. This is higher than at any time in the past. If analysts are right it will be investments in cryptocurrencies that will most help such young adults buy their own accommodations. What these analysts are pledging on is the prospect of flat currencies getting debased and losing their value.

So let’s give a closer look at the three cryptocurrencies which we have mentioned. Bitcoin, as recently as 2013 was being quoted at around 120 $, and today it’s being traded at around 13,000 $. Ethereum had a value of less than a dollar in 2016 and is now valued at around 400 $. The price of XRP Ripple hasn’t seen a rise anywhere in that order. However, many an expert predicts that the price will go through the roof, mainly since the currency is different from Bitcoin and Ethereum and is meant as a real-time gross settlement system without any charge, unlike the fee that is paid while using SWIFT transfers and other such methods. They further go on to point out that the company has already tied up with more than 100 major banks and is already the third-largest by market capitalization.

As for Blockchain, it was initially dismissed as ‘snake oil’. Today, technology is used in a vast number of businesses across the spectrum and is taught by many of the top universities and business schools across the world.

Given the above backdrop, let’s have a look at some of the more interesting free online courses being offered which are suited for the understanding of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.


Blockchain Opportunity Analysis

The course is offered by INSEAD which is a business school having its locations in different parts of the world. According to the Financial Times, this business school headquartered in France is the best business school in the world.

The course assists you to identify new ideas and opportunities for blockchain, including your ideas to create new value for your clients, identification of business model decisions, and what you need to change at the operational level.

The course shall require about 13 hours to complete


Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin coins / Photo: Roger Brown from Pexels
Bitcoin coins / Photo: Photo by Roger Brown from Pexels

This course is​ offered by The University of California, Berkeley. The course serves​ for a thorough understanding and an overview of the basic concepts behind cryptocurrencies.

The course is useful for most and does not call for any specific qualifications. It would also be useful to those who are planning to become blockchain developers, crypto traders, data analyst researchers or even consultants. This course is said to help develop critical skills needed for crypto.

The length of the course is 6 weeks and requires an effort of 3 to 5 hours each week.


Blockchain – Understanding its uses and implications

Blockchain / Photo: Launchpresso on Unsplash
Blockchain / Photo: Launchpresso on Unsplash

The course​ is offered by the Linux Foundation. Blockchain technology is said to be changing how business is conducted and is different in how it works compared with other technologies.

The course takes you through the main concepts of Blockchain, it delves into how

Blockchain began as a triple ledger system for the administration of Bitcoin and how it is now used by different organizations such as governments, banking, supply chain and many other industries.

The course analyzes the concept of transparent ledgers and takes you through how Blockchain is replacing traditional accounting methods as well as international trade. It further examines the use of Blockchain for the understanding of problems, their solutions and the application of the technology in actual practical situations.

The duration of the course is 14 weeks and shall require that you put in 2 to 3 hours each week.


Cryptocurrency and Blockchain  – An introduction to digital currencies

The course is offered by Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

This is a short course lasting just 4 hours and introduces you to what are cryptocurrencies and how they are innovative and effective. The course is for individuals and organizations who plan to invest or trade in cryptocurrencies. The same as most assets, cryptocurrencies come with their own associated risks and the course helps you to be able to assess these. They mention that by the time you have completed the course you will have in depth understanding of the realities related to cryptocurrencies, the complexities of Blockchain technology in cryptocurrencies and strategies to combine cryptocurrencies in your portfolio.

Title photo: Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels / Photos: Roger Brown from Pexels; Launchpresso on Unsplash

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