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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Blockchain Basics by University at Buffalo

7,245 ratings

About the Course

This first course of the Blockchain specialization provides a broad overview of the essential concepts of blockchain technology – by initially exploring the Bitcoin protocol followed by the Ethereum protocol – to lay the foundation necessary for developing applications and programming. You will be equipped with the knowledge needed to create nodes on your personal Ethereum blockchain, create accounts, unlock accounts, mine, transact, transfer Ethers, and check balances. You will learn about the decentralized peer-to-peer network, an immutable distributed ledger and the trust model that defines a blockchain. This course enables you to explain basic components of a blockchain (transaction, block, block header, and the chain) its operations (verification, validation, and consensus model) underlying algorithms, and essentials of trust (hard fork and soft fork). Content includes the hashing and cryptography foundations indispensable to blockchain programming, which is the focus of two subsequent specialization courses, Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications (Dapps). You will work on a virtual machine image, specifically created for this course, to build an Ethereum test chain and operate on the chain. This hands-on activity will help you understand the workings of a blockchain, its transactions, blocks and mining. Main concepts are delivered through videos, demos and hands-on exercises....

Top reviews


Nov 18, 2018

This is an introductory course to Blockchain. The supplemented material (in other words self-study) is excellent and in my opinion is the only way to master the concepts and details of this discipline


Feb 4, 2022

Really learned a lot about the fundamentals of blockchain, being a software engineer looking into blockchain. It just got me up to speed with the underlying workflow of blockchain and more. loved it.

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By Patrick C K

Feb 19, 2021

I used this course as a refresher, so it was not hard to follow. However, I think a beginner could have trouble imagining some of the presented concepts. I would have hoped for more mnemonic aids (like "can you make potatoes out of mashed potatoes") and practical examples (like message transfer between Buffalo and Kathmandu). This would really help memorizing these concepts.

Also, the final project is super easy, but can really cause headaches because of software problems. The troubleshooting provided by the instructors only covers an infinitesimal portion of the issues that users run into. This can also be seen in the course's forum. Hopefully, the instructors will make a more extensive guide or provide an alternative to the virtual disk image (e.g. a Docker image).

Last but not least, I would wish for updates on the course material, since the crypto world is changing very fast. I don't mean recording the videos all over again, but e.g. adding a list of notes after each week like "Ethereum moved from ProofOfWork to ProofOfStake". This prevents the course from becoming too outdated.

Despite all this criticism, I can recommend the course in general. It gives a good overview over Decentralization, Bitcoin and Ethereum.


Jan 14, 2023

For a fifty-something, it was a matter of etching in a new corner in the mind to even begin to understand what it's all about. I probably spent 10 times the time a more competent person would spend trying to understand the concepts and the mechanism. I even think I learned a new language, since techno-speak is quite another matter in any language. The short videos covered the most important key points, the quizzes matched the teaching with clarity, and all the additional reading and video links were well selected, well placed and extremely helpful. Thank you; you've given me faith that I can function within the 21st century. 

Good course that provides a good introduction to the student. In some cases poor articulation and pronunciation of the lecturer that even the automatic English subtitles are wrong. In some cases poor presentations with very few illustrations and a confusing background. Sporadically outdated material. Some links of the material for further reading are a dead link. Even in a quiz that one needs to pass for getting a grade, there are dead links. Please update urgently and respect Your customers.