Cryptocurrency, the secure financial transaction technology that is taking the world by storm, is all over the news. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Lightcoin, they are all a form of alternative currency that uses decentralized control known as blockchain to increase the safety of each transaction. Blockchain technology is expected to revolutionize the world and is advancing at an unprecedented pace. That’s why, as University at Buffalo computer science and engineering teaching professor Bina Ramamurthy says, there is urgency in supporting those who will propel it forward.
“We need to educate people at all levels – developers, researchers, users and decision makers – to enable them to innovate and be informed users of the technology,” she says.
Ramamurthy is the instructor of a set of four new online courses about blockchain offered on the Coursera platform, which features 25 million registered users and courses from 150 universities online.
The first three courses of the blockchain specialization are now available, and the fourth will launch June 25. Courses were developed by UBuffalo’s Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), the business outreach center of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
The blockchain enables peer-to-peer transfer of digital assets without any intermediaries. The UBuffalo courses introduce foundational concepts, preparing learners to program on the Ethereum blockchain, design and implement smart contracts, and develop decentralized applications.
They are ideal for the beginning developer who is comfortable programming in a high-level language and desires to advance his/her career in the blockchain field. Courses may also appeal to those who are curious about the Internet-like technology and its vast possibilities.
Those who sign up for these courses will have access to course content that consists of video lectures complemented by reading materials, assessments, project work and peer interaction. The pace and scale is also up to the user, as learners may sign up for individual courses or the complete series.
There is no charge to access videos and readings. The fee for gaining access to all content – which includes assignments – and the opportunity to earn a certificate in blockchain is $49 per month.