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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Blockchain Basics by University at Buffalo

7,242 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


Jul 27, 2018

I find this course helpful to absolute beginner and for one who wants to grasp the basic concepts of Blockchain . The tutor tried to explain most part with simplicity and good and sufficient details.

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Jan 22, 2021


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Oct 2, 2020


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Jul 25, 2020



Jul 17, 2020


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May 19, 2020


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May 14, 2020


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By Bidyut B D

Dec 30, 2018


By Jean-Alexis A

May 19, 2020

• Videos: not too bad, but clearly too short! The amount of videos could be at least doubled, with additional explanations, visuals, examples, etc. We call here "weeks" something that can easily be achieved in less than 1 hour. One Coursera certificate for a few hours of browsing the Internet? That's not PoW! Also, it feels I spent most of my time reading external resources.

• External content and reading: is always marked "optional", when it shouldn't. This is the only way to learn something and understand this course, and the answers to quizz questions can be in the external content. The links sometimes don't even match the order of the course. In addition to that, the time to read (10 min, 15 min) is often underestimated.

• Quizzes: are trivial. I could have finished the course by simply clicking "Next" all the time. Would it be complicated to add more questions (at least triple the number), and increase the relevance and level of difficulty? The time to complete (30 min) is overestimated (should be 30 seconds in some cases). The final assignment is relatively easy.

In short I would have expected more videos and original content, less readings (or only as further readings), decent quizzes.

I would strongly advice to follow the following course (in complement of the "Blockchain Basics" one):

By Muhammad A S

Aug 26, 2018

I am disappointed with the depth and quality of this course, which is a shame because I think the instructor is quite knowledgeable about the subject and the VM prepared for the lab assignment by the course team is of very good quality. The things which were below my expectations include the following: (1) Very bad subtitles and transcript; sometimes even completely opposite of what the instructor is trying to say, (2) Several times concepts are discussed as if they have been covered in an earlier lecture and then we come to know that they would be in a future course. At least some basics should have been covered. For example, on block hashes, the lecture discusses receipt hash and transaction root hash without telling what they are. (3) The final assignment was just click, click, click and submit. The purpose of an assignment is to get people's mind working so that they develop an appreciation of what they are learning. Instead of just point, click and submit, there should have been some "assignment" in there.

I am keen to take more courses of the specialization, but for everyone else taking this course, I have to say that it's not deep enough. But there are very few in-depth courses available on blockchain and perhaps this is (unfortunately) the best one at the moment.

By Ni H

Apr 4, 2021

I took a lot of courses about Blockchain. This course looked promising to get into some application details but in reality unfortunately it was just painful. The last assignment project was a waste of time and energy trying to solve the problems/errors that have occurred during installation which are not mentioned by the course.

The file that course is providing 'Ethereum Ubuntu. ova' is not working properly on a Windos OS. I think the problem here is the technology develops very quickly and these documentations are already out of circulation.

Well, maybe I did not try hard enough. There was hundreds of similar complaints in the discussion forum. There was only one 'so called' solution post by a voluntary peer which did not work either. So for the first time, I give up this course assignment. IT is sad that I won't be able to take its certificate. I tried to reach someone who can help but it was not possible. Now I don't have time to fix course mistakes here so I continue with other resources and courses without fully completing this one.

The information was expanding my knowledge. 3 stars for that. Thank you!

By Ytsen d B

Aug 22, 2019

It is really a beginners course, maybe that is why some things bothered me more than they should. But I found the lady speaking way too fast and her accent seemed to swallow up the next-to-last syllable, which made her rather hard to understand. It was also disappointing that at least 4 links in the resources were broken. Apart from that, I got the impression that there was very little video material and a lot of "resources"; of course it is easy to string together a bunch of web sites and call it a "course". And then, in the final project, there is this virtual machine that you have to use, which includes a 5 second wait after every action you take. These 5 second become VERY LONG after a while and completely discourage some venturing on your own. They will use that thing again in a later course, I'm not looking forward to that.

By Cristina M Y

Nov 8, 2018

The lectures are great and the teacher explains all the concepts very clearly but also in a concise way. However, the final assignment is painfully time-taking for the little you learn with it. You will freak out to get your normal use computer to go through ether mining though a Virtual Machine and after hours of invaluably spent time and headaches you'll have learned almost nothing because the only thing you need to do is clicking on the different buttons that come up. I understand what tries to be taught with this assignment and it is nice to have "mined" and "transferred" some bitcoin, but the learning outcome is by no means worth the time it takes. Very frustrating experience, unless you really need the certificate, I would recommend to just listen to the videos in the audit mode of the course

By Richard M

Aug 21, 2018

I thought there was quite a substantial amount of assumed knowledge and jumping to things that hadn't yet been properly explained. The reading was significantly longer than the estimations suggested. The quizzes were fine but the questions were a bit random - they also need formatting so that "all of the above" options, for instance, don't appear in the middle. I'm also not sure what the value was of the Seeker of Awesomeness lectures - seemed a bit pointless to me. Setting up the final project to an age - instructions could have been a lot clearer and shouldn't require searching through forums to resolve. But it's otherwise reasonably good for a basic introduction to blockchain.

By José M Q S

Sep 30, 2020

Muy buena clase introductoria a este tema, no conocía mucho sobre él y aquí pude entender muchos conceptos que abarca el blockchain, y sobretodo su alcance y que está recién comenzando. El proyecto final, sin embargo, fue muy frustrante, porque estaba pensado para computadores de buena calidad, que pudieran ejecutar una máquina virtual y minar dentro de ella en menos de media hora, además que no sirve hacerlo manualmente en tu computador (es más, yo uso Linux). Tuve que subir los archivos de la página web con las instrucciones, descargarlas en mi computador y ahí modificarlos, porque hubo problemas de compatibilidad entre SOs.

By Partho G

Apr 17, 2021

High level overview of the blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. The explanations or demonstrations aren't top notch, you need to watch the videos multiple times with great concentration to understand fully and sometimes the lecture left you bunch of questions for which I do not find any good answers. Anyways it do touch all the basic topics and I learnt many new things here hopefully the next course will be able to remove all my questions. Anyway only take the course if you are super duper interested in the technology otherwise you wouldn't able to finish it without being bored as hell.

By Sunjay P

Oct 4, 2021

Blockchain and its concepts alone are novel and take getting used to. The course videos unnecessarily use complex words and sentences that make it harder to understand the underpinnings. At times, it feels like academics speaking to academics instead of trying to explain the building blocks of a major disruption in society. The course designers would benefit from the Feynman Technique.

By Lorenz T

Jun 15, 2022

The course helped me to get a great overview of the differences between Blockchain and Ethereum and their different authentication and delivery methods. The only thing that provided a pitfall for me is the last test at the end. I have a Macbook with an M1 chip but you can't run the VM environment on it. I had to go through hoops to be able to run it on someone elses labtop. However, I am grateful for the professor and the educational benefit of the class.

By Angel C C

Nov 1, 2018

It is usual from teachers in the university to record the course as a reading of their lessons. When this happens, you feel that it is better to read a book. So like in other courses, sometimes is a little bit bored and difficult to follow. Should be good to add more and better diagrams and media to explain the lesson and less time with the image of Bina talking.

Anyway, is a good introduction.

By Antti K

Dec 30, 2019

The course provides the necessary basics of the technology called blockchain, and it manages to open important related concepts together with the optional reading materials ( some of which were deprecated and removed from the websites). I'd recommend the course Blockchain Basics for anyone interested in blockchain and the ideas behind it.

By Andrew B

Sep 30, 2021

The course is great, but I think it's very low level and very wordy considering the information has to be processed. I think a better solution is to provide the readings and have users answer more complicated questions related to them. I was also disappointed to find the coding assignment was actually just clicking buttons.

By Shashank S

Apr 7, 2021

Course content is good as it convers the basics. The programming assignment (week 4) is simple but really frustrating from user experience point of view. Content creators should work on that. Discussion forum is already full with the challenges and difficulties, learners are facing while submitting this assignment.

By Renal K

Nov 27, 2021

The course is ok, the main value is in providing links to interesting external articles and in giving the overall structure of which topics to study and in what order. In the course videos the concepts are explained in a very academic language. It looks like the professor is just reading the material on camera.

By Ncb

Oct 11, 2021

I took the course already with some basic knowledge, nevertheless i couldn't help to feel a little bit lost with the spoken "jargon" that relates to this technology. I guess for a non tech-savyy, it might be a little hard to grasp anything without the use of more visuals, graphics, visual examples, etc.

By Domenico G

Mar 31, 2020

The Course is well done, all the material (internal and external) al good and very useful.

Just the final exam I think is not calibrated, I think that is better to make a quiz exam rather than a practical exam where the only complexity is to start the VM but after every step is suggest where to click