Blockchain is a buzzword that you’ve likely heard before. The technology has a multitude of applications and is expected to break out in a major way over the next decade. In fact, the global business value-add of blockchain will exceed $3.1 trillion by 2030, according to Gartner. More than 23 percent of large enterprises are now actively working on blockchain apps.
But what exactly is blockchain and how can you go about learning what you need to know to embark on a career in the industry? Below, we’ve listed out some of our favorite online resources for doing just that! If you don’t want to miss out on the blockchain gold rush, then keep reading
What is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized and trustless distributed ledger system. This essentially makes them a highly secure type of data storage built from code. Unlike non-digital ledgers, they can’t be altered by any third-party due to their chained nature and through cryptography.
This type of technology offers greater security, better transparency and increased efficiency for digital transactions, leading to its widespread adoption. You’ve probably heard about blockchain via its application and it pertains to cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin are all blockchains. Outside of this use, blockchain has a wide range of applications within the financial sector and can also be used in tech such as smart contracts, secure voting, medical data, capital markets and more.
Already intrigued and ready to learn more? Check out our comprehensive beginner’s guide to blockchain for a more detailed breakdown of blockchain’s components and a glossary of terms.
Prerequisites to Learning Blockchain
Blockchain development is not necessarily a skill that can be picked up by a total ameatur. All blockchains are built using coding, so some background in programming languages is a necessity at a minimum. Essential prerequisites to have in your knowledge base before diving into blockchain include:
- An understanding of the origins of the technology and ability to define the basic terminology associated with blockchain
- Knowledge of leading blockchain platforms and systems, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Spark Solidity and Hyperledger
- Experience with distributed systems, peer-to-peer networking and cryptography
Blockchain Learning Resources for Beginners
If you’ve conquered the basics and are ready to dive headfirst into blockchain, we’ve compiled some of the top resources from across the web to help you start leveling up with the technology. In the case of generalized providers, we’ve noted the specific blockchain courses they offer.
If you’re looking to learn from professors at top universities like MIT, Harvard and Berkley at a fraction of the price, EdX is the site for you. Their online courses come from some of the world’s top universities and are self-paced to allow for learning around your schedule. Courses can take anywhere from several weeks to several months and the site offers professional certifications, awarded for completing different bundles of courses. For example, students can earn a Professional Certificate in Blockchain Fundamentals from Berkely by completing a six week course on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies and another six week course in Blockchain Technology.
Course Offerings Highlights: Blockchain Fundamentals, Blockchain for Business, Developing Blockchain-Based Identity Applications
IBM Developer is the computer giant’s homebase for those looking to learn in-demand development skills, ranging from programming, to building apps to yes, blockchain. Their “getting started with blockchain” learning path is an excellent option for beginners, clocking in at just two hours. From there, students can access additional tutorials and videos on topics like blockchain security, hyperledger fabric and advanced use cases of the technology.
This site houses one of the largest selection of online video courses, with 183,000 and counting currently available. A search for blockchain yields more than 1,000 results, with more than 100 of those being totally free. Offerings range from introductions for beginners that take less than three hours to advanced developer guides with hundreds of lecture topics. We also love the ability to filter courses by topic, great for anyone interested in specific topics such as nun-fungible tokens (NFTs), financial training, DApp and more.
Course Offerings Highlights: Blockchain A-Z: Learn How to Build Your First Blockchain, Ethereum and Solidity: The Complete Developer’s Guide, Complete DApp
This is another provider known for developing curriculums in collaboration with leading universities like Stanford and Penn and major companies such as Google and IBM. Courses can take anywhere from less than 2 hours to more than three months and blockchain-related content has been developed in partnership with Microsoft, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and more. Many of their most popular programs are also available totally free.
Course Offerings Highlights: Blockchain Revolution, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Infrastructure, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies
This site is primarily designed for matching developers with live mentorship and freelance projects, but it also houses an excellent blockchain resource center. From articles and interactive tutorials, to instructional videos and development tools, the center links out to all types of useful resources. Interested in incorporating a little bit of blockchain into your daily routine? Check out their list of podcasts to play on your commute or thought leaders you can add to your social media feeds.
This provider of instructor-led online training is geared towards those looking for a live learning experience. Their Blockchain Certification Training takes place every weekend over a six week window, providing students with regular immersive instruction. More than 20,000 students have registered for their courses so far, according to the site, and the curriculum includes Bitcoin mining, basic and advanced solidity and developing a DApp using Truffle.
Course Offerings Highlights: Blockchain Certification and Ethereum Developer Certification courses
Blockchain Industry Resources
A large part of becoming a blockchain developer or similar profession is keeping up with the industry and understanding the terminology and trends of this somewhat-futuristic sector. Here are a few places to get you started.
Decrypyt’s mission is to demystify the decentralized web. They are an editorially independent and technologically agnostic news publication that helps readers understand the Web3 and blockchain technologies. In addition to news pieces, the site offers explorers into hot topics like NFTs, live bitcoin pricing updates and videos and podcasts. A mobile app is available as well, with the ability to save pieces for later.
For beginners, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz has compiled the definitive guide to crypto readings and resources. Split up into sections like Building Blocks and Basics, Foundations, Key Concepts and Governance, it truly is the one stop shop for trusted readings and articles on any topic within the space imaginable.
Embarking on a FinTech Career
We hope this list has inspired you to set out on your own journey into the world of blockchain and FinTech! Below, we’ve compiled some additional resources if you’re interested in learning more!
- Browse our extensive selection of Fintech and Data Science bootcamps
- Learn everything you need to know about related career paths, such as Financial Analyst, Data Scientist, Artificial Intelligence Specialist and more.
- Check out our comprehensive guides to need-to-know Fintech topics, like top cryptocurrencies, best fintech firms to work for, and a guide to blockchain