How to Learn Cryptocurrency - 14 Bootcamps to Get You Started

By: The SwitchUp Team
Last Updated: January 9, 2020

What You Need to Know about Cryptocurrency

The concept of cryptocurrency has been around since the early 80s when Dave Chaum designed cryptographic electronic money called ecash. Eventually, ecash evolved into Digicash, which was an early form of cryptocurrency that required a specific software to make payments. By the mid-90s, the government started looking into the security of “electronic cash,” and the NSA released a paper through an MIT mailing list about a potential cryptocurrency system1. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that the anonymous developer, “Satoshi Nakamoto”, created the first decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin2. Cryptocurrency has been gaining in popularity ever since.

If you want to learn more about cryptocurrency, there are courses that cover important fundamentals like blockchain basics and trading and others that dive into advanced practices like financial investment. Some programs teach students about cryptography and how to create their own cryptocurrency. For students interested in learning cryptocurrency at a bootcamp, check out our comprehensive list below.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is an internet-based form of digital currency created to be a medium of exchange. Cryptocurrency has a few defining characteristics:

  • It is digital money made from code
  • It is an encrypted string of data that is created using blockchain technology
  • It is decentralized, and its economy is monitored by a peer-to-peer internet protocol

Cryptocurrency’s nature makes the transactions irreversible (which makes it secure and immutable), more anonymous to use, fast and global, and permissionless, meaning you don’t have to ask anyone to use it or have any limitations on amounts or how you can use it.

What is Cryptocurrency used for?

People have begun to use cryptocurrency to invest in startup companies, make private financial transactions, travel, as payment for renting out extra hard drive space to the cloud, or as payment on a blockchain-based platform, like Steemit. Cryptocurrency also provides quicker transactions and more anonymity and security.

Why learn Cryptocurrency?

Interest in cryptocurrency is growing because it is secure, decentralized, and easy to use. If you want to enter a financial field or industry that is beginning to use cryptocurrency, it’s helpful to understand what it is, its benefits, how it's used, and why it’s used. If you’re a developer or want to be a developer that works with blockchain, knowing about cryptocurrency and the technology behind it is helpful. It’s also crucial to learn about cryptocurrency if you have plans to use it or invest in it. Industries that are using or accepting cryptocurrency include:

  • Tourism
  • Banking
  • Fast food
  • Education
  • Private Equity investment
  • Real estate
  • Social media
  • Automotive
  • Art
  • Gambling

Learn Cryptocurrency at a bootcamp

Bootcamps, courses, and certificate programs are great ways to learn about cryptocurrency. Udemy covers it in a Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Bootcamp course, while the University of Washington teaches it in a FinTech bootcamp. Blockchain at Berkeley offers a 6-week course of edX called Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies. If you’re looking for programs that teach cryptocurrency, start by looking at our comprehensive list below.

Comprehensive List of Cryptocurrency Bootcamps

References

  1. How to Make a Mint: The Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash. [online] Available at: https://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/classes/6.805/articles/money/nsamint/nsamint.htm [Accessed 30 July 2020]
  2. What is Bitcoin? [online] Available at: https://bitcoin.org/en/faq#what-is-bitcoin [Accessed 30 July 2020]
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