The emergence and popularity of Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency brought to limelight the concept of blockchain. At the moment, so many people are taking advantage of the benefits that blockchain technology offers in eliminating fraud, remaining anonymous while carrying out transactions, among others. This article takes a detailed look at the various ways to learn about blockchain technology in 2021. Read on to find out more.
What is Blockchain?
A computer cryptographer named David Chaum first proposed a blockchain-like concept in his thesis “Computer Systems Established, Maintained, and Trusted by Mutually Suspicious Groups” in 1982. He was also referred to as the father of digital currency because of the first digital currency called eCash created by his company DigiCash.
The concept of securing chains of blocks with cryptography was further outlined by two researchers W. Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber, in 1992. They wanted to enforce a system where timestamps of documents cannot be altered. This gave room to multiple certificates being collected into a single block, thereby increasing its efficiency.
The world had to wait nearly 20 years to see the first real implementation of the blockchain concept. The launch of Bitcoin by an unknown person or group of persons, Satoshi Nakamoto, made sure that blockchain became a household name.
Bitcoin’s protocol is based on blockchain, and it was referred to as “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party” by the creator. For these reasons, it’s impossible to talk about blockchain and not talk about Bitcoin.
As of January 2021, there were over 4,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, and most of the currencies make use of blockchain technology. It is, however, important to note that blockchain can find applications in a variety of other places and not just for recording cryptocurrency transactions.
Bitcoin only makes use of blockchain to ensure that there is a transparent record of the payment ledgers. Blockchain can be used to record any amount of data, with the advantage that the data cannot be altered once inputted and stored. Seeing the level of security, transparency, and control offered by blockchain technology and the continuous global growth into one digital community, knowing blockchain will be worth it.
Books to help you learn about blockchain technology in 2021
After picking up interest in blockchain, the next hurdle will be learning about how this technology is changing our world today. There are many resources, both offline and online, that can transform a person from novice to an expert when it comes to blockchain. Here is a collection of blockchain books we can recommend. Please also refer to our previous article: Top 6 Blockchain Books to Read in 2021.
Cryptoassets by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar
This book looks at the financial side of blockchain. It was mainly written to enlighten investors, which makes many explanations appropriate and understandable. When investing in new technologies, the financial implications are more important to the investors than the technical details. The book begins by emphasizing the financial crisis of 2008 and Bitcoin’s origin. It entails the basics and the important differences between Bitcoin and the rest of the blockchain technology. It explains the various types of crypto assets, such as crypto commodities and crypto tokens that are now available. It also talks about practical attributes of blockchain investing, and it also covers cryptocurrency exchanges, initial coin offerings (ICO), and blockchain wallets. Besides the financial aspects, it covers important concepts of technology.
The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology
This book was written by William Mougayar, an experienced consultant, entrepreneur, executive, author, analyst, blogger, and investor. He has been described as the most knowledgeable blockchain business thinker. He is also a board member of organizations like Ethereum Foundation, Coin Center, and OpenBazaar.
In the book, he made emphasis on two claims. The nature of blockchain is to diversify, resulting in different effects. Secondly, he opined that asking what problems blockchain solves will only streamline the views of its potential. He advised that new opportunities should instead be thought of and even more challenging to tackle this technology.
This book will give technologists a better understanding of the business opportunities of blockchain and give those interested in business an understanding of the various sides of the blockchain protocol. Mougayar envisions a future where a major shift is caused by blockchain technology. The book contains seven chapters, namely.
What is Blockchain?
How Blockchain Trust Infiltrates
Obstacles, Challenges, and Mental Blocks
Blockchain in Financial Services
Lighthouse Industries and New Intermediaries
Implementing Blockchain Technology
Decentralization as the Way Forward.
This book was written by the father and son duo of Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott. The book explains cryptocurrencies’ impact and that the impact of the blockchain platform.
According to them, blockchain technology will improve how the ever-growing financial services are delivered and provide better security for a person’s information.
This book also talks about how money, businesses, and transactions will be changed in the future due to blockchain technology. They both see the distributed ledger of this technology as a tool that helps with the anonymization and security of financial transactions.
Acknowledging that it was still in its initial stages, they properly differentiate between its current capabilities and what it could offer in the future.
Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy
Written by Melanie Swan, this book discusses in detail smart contracts and cryptocurrency. It emphasizes using blockchain’s public ledger in health data, real estate, finance, and public projects. According to the author, the book provides an understanding of Bitcoin’s core concepts and functionality.
Blockchain Technology Explained: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
This book, written by Alan T Norman, focuses on the potential use of blockchain technology in sectors such as banking and government. The technological aspect emphasizes the importance of blockchain tech stack, blockchain industry adoption, different types of blockchain technologies, and the regulations surrounding this technology. Topics in this book include
What problems does blockchain solve?
How can technology make our institutions faster and less expensive?
Could technology replace our institutions altogether?
How does blockchain build trust between strangers?
How does blockchain increase security for transactions and contracts?
Can blockchain be used outside of finance?
What is a block?
What is the chain, and why do we need it?
What’s a technical explanation of what happens in the blockchain?
What is mining, and why do we need it?
Are there alternatives to mining to create a blockchain?
What’s the story of Bitcoin?
Does Bitcoin have any problems?
What is Ethereum, and what is a smart contract?
Are there other blockchain technologies I should know about?
How are companies adopting blockchain?
What regulatory hurdles might slow blockchain adoption?
Courses to help you learn about blockchain technology in 2021
Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals
Created by George Levy, this course is one of the bestsellers on Udemy. It gives a strong understanding of blockchain technology and teaches essential vocabulary commonly used in blockchain and Bitcoin business discussions. The course also provides an understanding of Bitcoin and how it works.
As a bonus, this course has a glossary that contains more than 100 major Bitcoin and blockchain terms and an infographic that guides students on the best ways to manage any possible Bitcoin Hard Forks in the future.
The course is ideal for those who want to quickly grasp and increase their knowledge of the working procedure and business application of Bitcoin and blockchain. It is also appropriate for business-minded people who want to more on the impact Bitcoin and blockchain have on the business world.
It has four sections and 38 lectures which span a total of 3 hours and 3 minutes.
This course has gotten over 77,000 students, with more than 24,000 students giving it a combined rating of 4.6 stars.
Blockchain for Business: The New Industrial Revolution
This is another course that would help in the quest of how to learn about blockchain in 2021. This course is available on the Udemy platform and created by 365 careers. This course will help students to
Have a solid understanding of blockchain and its potential world impact
Understand key concepts like mining, cryptography, decentralized consensus, smart contracts, etc.,
Realize the business opportunities that blockchain presents, and major crypto-assets and blockchain projects
Know the major companies already using blockchain technology and know the blockchain’s current state, limitations, issues, and possible solutions.
Know why blockchain is called the “Internet of money” and blockchain’s business applications
Have a wider view of innovations based on blockchain frameworks such as decentralized structures of organizations, applications, and networks.
Know blockchain’s potential impact on different sectors like finance, transportation, technology, etc.
Know the new potential tech leaders and how blockchain can impact Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, and keep up to date with the major projects shaping the new generation of blockchain.
This course is appropriate for students, bankers and financial professionals, business managers and executives, entrepreneurs, accounting and legal professionals, government officials, public sector professionals, and tech enthusiasts. It has 11 sections and 71 lectures which all span a total of 6 hours and 5 minutes. This course has been bought by over 19,000 students, with over 4,000 of them giving it a combined rating of 4.5 stars.
Try Blockchain Technology in Practice with OriginStamp
Another way to learn about blockchain technology is to jump right in. OriginStamp is a service that offers blockchain-based timestamping for digital content. And it’s free for up to 5 timestamps per month. You can access OriginStamps’s timestamping service here. OriginStamp is widely used in education to demonstrate blockchain technology in practice. For a comprehensive introduction, check this guide for trusted timestamping by unblocktalent.com.
Fundamentally, you can use OriginStamp to prove that a document or digital asset existed at a specific time and wasn’t changed since.
Blockchain technology is revolutionary; it is currently changing how things are done all around the world. It is also poised to cause a change in various sectors, including health, government, etc. Therefore, it is an excellent investment to learn about blockchain technology by reading some of the books and going through the courses listed in this article. Playing with the OriginStamp timestamping service is highly recommended as well.