Our modern world has entered an entirely new phase of the information age associated with the increasing digitalization of all aspects of our life. The new “digital environment” nowadays penetrates not only into everyday practices but also into professional activities, changing their forms and restructuring the consciousness and even the lifestyle of most people.
The beginning of digitalization of the economy, finances, trading, and other areas with a new level of development of information technologies and their widespread introduction into economic processes is undoubtedly on the rise. Thus, we are increasingly entering the “virtual world.”
The introduction of digital platforms radically changes the ways of organizing business and managing economic processes around the world.
The decentralization of systems made possible by blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is viewed by many crypto enthusiasts and believers as the road to a potential “digital utopia” based on these technologies.
Now, everybody is talking about the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies. This topic has become extremely important in today’s environment. Thus, it would be useful to delve deeper and understand the nuances and aspects that are involved. We find it reasonable to help others understand and explain blockchain technology along with cryptocurrencies. That is why we will present Top 5 educational programs or courses to our readers, where they can gain relevant knowledge from professionals across the world. Perhaps, over time, you will become an expert on these technologies that are promising great opportunities in the digital sphere.
But where do these technologies come from, and who is responsible for them?
It all began in the last century when David Chaum, a cryptographer, proposed a blockchain-like protocol in his 1982 dissertation “Computer Systems Established, Maintained, and Trusted by Mutually Suspicious Groups.” Sixteen years later, in 1998, Nick Szabo, a computer scientist, worked on a project under the name “Bit Gold”, which was developed to become a decentralized digital currency but was never realized. It’s often regarded as the direct predecessor to Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin Protocol, which came ten years later.
In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous person or a group of people, created the first decentralized blockchain. Nakamoto launched the first blockchain as the public ledger for Bitcoin transactions. This happened on January 3rd, 2009. But what exactly did Satoshi do, and why do many consider it revolutionary?
What is blockchain?
Among the many revolutionary technologies that are able to radically change the internet, the blockchain is one such technology. Though it has been around for a while, it still needs to take some time to reach its true potential. How can this be?
Well, because governments, banks, largest institutions, and businesses have just begun to widely adopt blockchain and have great plans further on.
From the technical point of view, blockchain is a distributed peer-to-peer ledger system where every single entity can see other users’ entries. Thus, it increases a higher level of transparency in the whole digital system. However, no one can manipulate it.
It all sounds excellent, but the reality is that this technology most likely will not take over the traditional centralized database network that is being used now. Nevertheless, blockchain developers can probably build a new, more transparent, and sufficient network with a whole new type of functionalities. With new technology being introduced each year, we are on the verge of seeing a new era.
The theory sounds great, but what does this technology mean?
Let’s check an example of how blockchain is used and how to accept Bitcoin payments and transactions. User A transacts Bitcoin, which is visible to many computers (nodes) that validate blocks of each transaction. The validation process, known as mining, is completed by cryptocurrency miners, and they earn a specific part of Bitcoin for every block they validate. Every new block and the transaction information it contains is instantly copied worldwide to Bitcoin miners’ local versions of the Bitcoin blockchain, which creates consensus regarding the current state of the Bitcoin blockchain. Also, remember that once you send a transaction to the network, it will not be possible to cancel or reverse the transaction.
But why is it so popular, and why is everybody talking about it? Well, because blockchain serves not only cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin but is bringing much more value in other industries too!
Bitcoin is the most popular digital currency. There is no physical form of it, just a digital transaction record, which cannot be faked or changed. This makes blockchain one of today’s safest and most secure information recording and financial transaction mechanisms!
What are cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular over the past several years. As of 2022, there are approximately 20 000 of them or more. With that has come to an increase in demand for developers of the blockchain, business owners, and more.
You have probably heard or read about cryptocurrencies in 2018 during its first significant eye-catching bull run. It became a daily topic in mainstream media or journals.
Of course, there are too many people who either ignore it or criticize it. Yet, crypto optimists claim that digital currencies are the future of money and are meant to replace or provide an alternative to traditional centralized fiat money controlled by governments.
So, cryptocurrencies are digital currencies reliably secured by cryptography, making it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. What makes cryptocurrencies so attractive, among other benefits, is that they are almost totally decentralized and are based on blockchain technology. Another crucial feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority. Therefore, government interference or manipulation is reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, many progressive users started using cryptocurrency as payment due to the possibility of avoiding the attendance of third-party intermediaries.
Many consider Bitcoin as “digital gold” because of its unique specifics. It is the most significant and first cryptocurrency in history, with a limited supply of 21 million coins. The price of bitcoin changes daily due to its volatility. It is worth mentioning that it reached an all-time high of 69 000USD per unit last November. However, there are more exclusive cryptos that have different functions. For example, the second-largest crypto asset, Ethereum, is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality, or Litecoin, considered as a “digital silver” and many more. Are you interested already and want to try these assets? With B2BinPay, you can send, receive, exchange, and accept cryptocurrencies fast like never before!
But why is blockchain important, and why should you care?
Here we briefly describe three main aspects that will make you think about the importance and advantages of this technology.
1, Cyber security: earlier in the day, attacks in cyberspace were existential and challenging to combat. Several organizations were developing an effective solution to counter these threats. Since blockchain came around, he can identify cyber-attacks due to the peer-to-peer connections where data cannot be altered. Besides that, each and every single piece of data stored on the blockchain network is securely verified and encrypted using a complex cryptographic algorithm. Most importantly, in the absence of a single centralized system, blockchain provides a transparent and secure way of recording transactions.
2, Supply Chain Management: a few years ago, the lack of transparency caused supply chain management to experience difficulties such as unreliable service, lack of coordination between departments, and lack of reliability. But, since we have blockchain, tracking of any product can be done way more sufficiently by having an opportunity to trace it across the entire supply chain. It offers to view digital records transactions, such as timestamp, date, history, etc. of any product in a decentralized distributed ledger. Blockchain allows everyone to verify a product’s authenticity and view its delivery status.
3, Banking and Finances: sending money overseas or having to pay extra transfer fees are very inconvenient when there are unfavorable exchange rates, hidden fees, and long waiting times involved. Great news. Blockchain eliminates the need for a middleman and is disrupting the banking system’s global leadership by providing a peer-to-peer payment system with the highest security and deficient fees, which amount you won’t even notice. With this technology, you can enjoy instant and borderless payments across the globe. You can check records of all transactions in a public ledger, and crypto users are already familiar with how it feels. It is accessible by literally anyone, but you will never know who is behind it.
And why are cryptocurrencies important?
Here is a short explanation of why cryptocurrencies are important nowadays and why you should bother to acquire some.
1, Using your finances more efficiently and more cheaply. With cryptocurrencies, the transaction cost is meager, unlike the fee for transferring money by centralized institutions and banks, especially between different jurisdictions. Every user can make transactions at any time of the year, with no limits on purchases or withdrawals. Also, every single person on this planet is welcome to use cryptocurrency, unlike setting up a bank account, which requires lots of paperwork. The fact that they are decentralized will provide a functional alternative to the current fiat currencies, which the government controls.
2, Anonymity. However, it is already apparent that there will be several conflicts between regulation and anonymity in the future. Governments want and, in some cases, should regulate cryptocurrencies. But this is the thing with crypto; nobody can really trace it. The main focus of cryptocurrencies is to ensure that users remain anonymous. The technology is not bad itself, of course. It is just the “bad guys” who try to take advantage of it.
Due to blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies gained value and began to be appreciated as means of exchange. When we consider how easy it is to use, it is evident why the cryptocurrency is growing in demand.
3, Instant Settlement. You only need a smart device that can connect to the internet to use them. Basically, you become your own bank, transferring funds globally within seconds from anywhere and at any time.
We gave you a few reasons and briefly described why are these modern technologies efficient and beneficial to use. But since they started adopting in the real world, new opportunities are coming by every day. Therefore, many educational programs or on/offline courses have become available where you can get the best knowledge from the best professionals across the world.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT is one of the highest ranked universities in the world. The university is known for its vital academic programs, exemplary instruction, most respected professors, etc.
When discussing financial technologies, this institution has one of the highest numbers of blockchain publications released. It organizes many prestigious conferences featuring many popular speakers from the finance industry.
MIT offers more than ten blockchain courses under its “Digital Currency Initiative,” two of which are a free-to-participate online program and a FinTech graduate course. One of the unique programs offered by MIT is called “Entrepreneurship Without Borders.” It is a graduate course that delves into how blockchain technology is involved in global entrepreneurial opportunities and focuses on creating new ventures. Another option is the “Blockchain Ethics course,” which focuses on the impact of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies on modern society, functioning payment systems, and innovations.
Among the programs and courses available at MIT are Blockchain and Money, Crypto and Finance, Cryptocurrency Engineering and Design (free online course), and Entrepreneurs without Borders (free online course).
The university’s teaching staff is unique. For instance, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, Gary Gensler, taught blockchain courses at MIT.
National University of Singapore
The course provided by the National University of Singapore (NUS) is one of the best in all of Asia. This course is offered regularly online, and the next session will be held in August 2022.
What are course objectives? Well, this specific program will equip its students with the knowledge and skills to:
1. Understand the concept of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and how distributed ledger can be applied to the commercial sphere.
2. Understand in detail what advantages blockchain, cryptos, and distributed ledger offer and consider their applications to your businesses.
3. Develop a blockchain and cryptocurrency implementation project as applied to your business environment.
What to expect?
At the end of this online course, involved participants will be able to deeply understand the concept of blockchain technology, digital and cryptocurrencies together with distributed ledgers. Next, professors will teach and show how to identify potential risks and hazards of these modern technologies. Security, economics, and social aspects are included. You will find out how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work and understand the impacts of these currencies on the current global economy.
Last but not least, you will acquire the skills to predict the possible future trends of these technologies, where they might be heading, their value, and many more!
This course is meant for managers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, or students interested in developing the digital economy.
University of Nicosia
The last top-level program we would like to share is located in southern Europe, specifically in Cyprus.
The University of Nicosia (UNIC) is the largest in Cyprus and one of the largest overall in Southern Europe.
UNIC is one of the most progressive in the region regarding blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. It offers a program in cryptocurrency and other modern financial technologies that carries several various courses.
Among the topics covered at this well-respected institution are the basics of modern money and banking, financial systems, and emerging digital innovations.
Moreover, it is possible to learn how to apply blockchain technologies in the real world. You can also enjoy free courses online, which are already attended by 30,000 students from over 80 countries worldwide.
Applicants can choose between university’s master’s, certificate, and professional courses, where topics cover digital and cryptocurrency basics, benefits and risks of Bitcoin, blockchain applications, and tax regulations which is a very crucial aspect in the world of finance. Students who complete the free course will earn credits toward the two blockchain-related master’s degrees.
We believe there is no need to introduce you to Harvard University. It is one of the world’s most prestigious universities and the oldest higher learning institution in the U.S. It has also produced the largest number of billionaires of any university in the United States. When we search about FinTech at Harvard University, it has the highest percentage of students who established careers in the blockchain industry.
Harvard’s private school offers a six-week course on FinTech, which explores modern financial technology in banking, real estate, and other sectors, as well as a course on blockchain and Bitcoin.
Harvard also cooperates with the online platform Coursera to provide six free online courses on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. These courses range from beginner courses introducing blockchain technology to intermediate programs that showcase the technology’s various applications.
Furthermore, you can gain a lot of knowledge from the university’s cyberspace research center as well as business schools that devote a portion of their studies to financial technologies.
What programs and courses can you attend?
All interested can join these free courses and attend them online. Here is the list:
- Blockchain Specialization
- Blockchain Foundations and Use Cases
- Blockchain Foundations for Developers
- Blockchain Essentials
- Blockchain Fundamentals and Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is one of the world’s leading universities in the English-speaking world. This university is known for its prestige, strong academics, and many more achievements. Regarding financial systems, Oxford has already started publishing articles on blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies. It also offers several FinTech and blockchain courses that touch on subjects like software engineering and management.
Studying at Oxford, you can find special programs for FinTech and blockchain. It is ideal for beginners to start with a program that explores how blockchain can transform most industries.
The FinTech starter program offers topics such as modern digital platforms, digital banking networks, the digitization of currencies, and cryptocurrencies themselves.
Applicants can attend the following programs and courses, where the value of knowledge will be priceless.
The programs and classes offered are as follows:
- Oxford Blockchain Strategy Program
- Oxford Fintech Program
- Blockchain for Managers Blockchain Software Engineering
- FinTech for Managers
In conclusion, blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be a hot topic in the coming years. We are lucky enough to have the opportunity to learn about these revolutionary technologies online and enjoy the courses dedicated to blockchain offered by several globally recognized institutions.
Technologies will continually evolve and advance globally as more and more solutions are implemented. The idea behind blockchain has become a platform for a wide range of applications that are being used to operate effectively. However, it is still a new and rapidly developing technology, and many specialists say that blockchain has the potential to change the way we live and work as a society. Many also believe that blockchain is in the early days of its adoption like the World Wide Web used to be before becoming a daily part of our lives.
The same goes for crypto. People will learn how to use it and find it is beneficial and efficient enough for them. People will have to gain trust in these technologies for some time, but sooner or later, they will become more common and part of our daily lives. You still will have a choice of which asset you are going to pay. Crypto will be just another alternative with an improved infrastructure.