Great course, a very broad and in-depth overview of concepts surrounding cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular. Would be great to have an update of course; perhaps once the ICO craze is over? (-:
I've gained a strong knowledge of Bitcoin's architecture but wish this course was updated to include the developments of the last two years. A few lectures on alt-coins would have been useful as well.
By Arafat G•
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By Antranik Z•
The theoretical content of the course is interesting and it gives an excellent overview of the cryptocurrency technologies through the example of bitcoin. The course also extend to alt coins and the discuss the possible challenge blockchains can help addressing beyond the purely cryptocurrency field which is interesting.
The programming assignment could however be improved. First they required a strong knowledge of java which can exclude some students. But the real issue is the lack of satisfactory explanations and guidance that sometimes make it impossible to fully resolve the practical, or even what is expected from the student.
Sometimes you can get the best mark while your code is either incorrect or not adressing the logic fully. Sometimes you run into technical limitations on the platform (memory limitation) which despite a good algorithm doesn't allow you to submit your answer. It then forces you to spend time on improving the quality of your code to save the memory used by your program (thus requiring strong java knowledge) which is time consuming and not the purpose of this course.
Overall I would advise to do the course. I would however strongly encourage Coursera/Princeton to review the assignments so that they can best help students in the understanding of the complex notions discussed in this course.
By Eduard H v K•
The contents of this course are above reproach. A thorough introduction to the BlockChain and BitCoin are given with a large number of associated topics discussed in some depth. I personally would have prefered a bit more depth on cryptography, but I suppose that the teachings cannot cater to all tastes.
The reason why I dropped two stars is the organisational framework around the course, i.e:
1) From the presentation of the course on the Coursera platform it was to me not clear that assignments are programming assignments in Java. Completing this course requires you to have advanced knowledge and programming experience in this language. That should be made clear much more explicitly in the catalog
2) The exercise framework doesn't work very well. Partially quizzes appeared randomly during the videos. The automatic grader can be a real pain. Way below similar graders as used by e.g. Udacity and really beyond the pole. It left me with the impression that this had not been put together very carefully.
3) AFTER I finished the course, I was made aware of the fact that there is no certificate of completion for this course. It was suggested that I take a snapshot of the course home. Well, that's going to leave a really professional impression with my clients (sarcasm intended).
By Jonathan C•
It is difficult to complain too much about a free course, but I expected more from a course carrying the name Princeton. The videos were generally well done and interesting, but did contain factual errors almost every week.
Unfortunately the instructors were absent from the forums after a couple replies the first week. The homework assignments were disorganized, provided components contained errors, the grading system had problems and the requirements were often unclear. The assignments require Java programming experience (not mentioned in course description). Most importantly, the assignments in no way reflected what was taught in the course videos. They were of course related, but were implementing parts of a bitcoin node, but in a simplified manner. The textbook PDF is good.
It would have been nice to have assignments working with real bitcoin (or testnet) transactions, sigs, verification, hashing, etc.
Anyhow, I'm enthusiastic about this subject matter, so I'm just happy the course exists, but don't expect a glossy polished course... it's a rough ride.
Here is another Bitcoin course that looks good: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/bitcoin-decentralized-technology
Some of the lectures provided interesting and useful content. Others seemed to just be filling time. I was hoping for more of a technical exploration of Bitcoin and other significant cryptocurrencies. This course focuses almost completely on Bitcoin. It also speaks to cryptocurrencies in general, but give no in-depth treatment to any other cryptocurrency. Although it was not what I had hoped for, I did appreciate the wide breadth of Bitcoin related topics. This course provides a significant amount of material to digest for anybody who wants to contemplate how cryptocurrencies and other uses of block-chain technologies might continue to impact our society.
The lab assignments were extremely disappointing. The first lab has enormous potential, but the instructions are awful. The second lab is an interesting idea, but the instructions are even worse than the first lab. I'm guessing that somebody's grad students were tasked with developing the lab assignments, and the second lab was left unfinished when a student decided to leave academia to take a job with Uber. The third lab did not add much to the course.
By Vivek S•
The course is comprehensive and covers technical, social, economic. legal aspects of Bitcoin. The technical treatment is hands on and gives a really good fell for how bitcoin and blockchain works compared to several other sources where treatment is superficial.
There are several parts of the course I was not able to get a clear understanding - such as implementation of the actual bitcoin core in the stack based script. Also I found the questions for the programming assignments convoluted and not very helpful in describing what is required from the student. Had it not been for discussions on the student forum I would not have been able to complete the final assignment.
Despite the shortcomings I would recommend this for someone who is good in Java and would like to get a technical as well as comprehensive understanding of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
By Cathryn S•
A good general introduction to bitcoin, and blockchain technology. Unfortunately, this is a very fast moving area and so a course which hasn't been updated since 2015 is fairly out of date now. However, the basic ideas haven't changed so that's valuable. The thinking about where bitcoin, and block chain technology in general, are heading, has moved on a lot - we've had hard forks, bitlicenses were introduced, and the value of a bitcoin topped $8000 this week.
I'm not a software engineer, so I didn't do the programming assignments, just watched the videos and read around the topic. That worked well, and to some extent the fact that it is so out of date means that I was forced to go and look stuff up, which meant I learned more.
By Anthony G•
Great course material (although it does need a few updates), good lecturers, and gives a very good overview of how Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general operate. The assignments however are of a difficulty level completely different to the lectures and quizzes! Much of the resources needed to complete assignments is not in the lectures or other source material, or is only hinted at but not explained in the necessary detail. Java programming experience is a must as non-trivial classes and code are provided as the starting point for assignments.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course, but the assignments did not seem to be on par with the rest of the course material.
By Wai L L•
The course is good because it covers all areas about bitcon technology, block chain and decentralisation from the past to the future. The assignments are also very useful for enhance our understanding to the basic concepts and course materials. However, it would be better if slides can be shown for a longer time in the videos while instructors are explaining, since some of the students are not English native who may need more time to read the slides (without pausing the video). Thanks all instructors, mentors, and coursera staff for providing this high quality online course.
By Daniel A V A•
I have been debating if I should be rate this course with 3 or 4 stars. How can you rate something for free as 3 stars?
The course does share some important concepts and insights about what Bitcoin is and how cryptocurrency technology works. Unfortunately it is too advanced for the a person without medium to advanced technology skills. Assignments are near impossible to accomplish. My background in engineering and some coding did not help.
By Erik E•
Most lectures were good, but the assignments are terrible. None of the assignments comes with code comes with tests to run on your own computer, which means that you have to turn the code in to run it. This means that prints and asserts does not work and the only way I could debug was with exceptions. The assignments are poorly described as well.
By hamza r•
I like it but for the tasks are for people with programming language. I personally don't have this but wanted to work out the mechanics of the Bitcoin, and cryptography. Although the learning material is great and not too detailed so someone like myself can learn the basics, I am unable to pass the course due the programming tasks
By Borja B A•
The videos were quite good even if some of them should be updated. But the code assignments were confusing and not focussed on the problem. Errors from the automatic evaluator were not helpful at all. I wasted a lot of time doing the homework that didn't teach me too much. So 4 starts for the videos and 1 star for the womework.
By Anthony F•
Course was globally good and provided an overall knowledge around cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. However, I find the exercises not related to the lessons and not well timed in the global course. Nothing really prepares you correctly for exercise 3 for instance, which took me quite a long time to figure out.
By Stela L•
All the basic cryptocurrency topics are pretty well covered, I just wish some more depth about lightning network and maybe smart contracts, etc would be mentioned and maybe some more interesting assignments would be more helpful. Maybe a sequel of this course would add up more.
By Todd B•
Great overview of Bitcoin, solid foundation in Blockchain. This industry is fast moving so its a bit dated with its content -- for example, this was done before Ethereum so it is not mentioned at all. Needs to be updated. Plus -- no certificate dings it one more for me...
By Shivom S•
A proper forewarning about the heavy programming should be given. This course turned out to be harder than expected. There is no mention of such coding assignments in the instructions.
And there is no certificate provided for the efforts which is kind of disheartening.
By Denise R•
very math based I recommend the Wharton university course if your not very mathy and just want a good amount of information introducing you to crypto so you can decide wether to invest or not. this one guess into way more unnecessary detail in my opinion
By Pietro D•
The course is great!
The teachers very prepared, but there are some things to change like, for example, the assignments (that are difficult and not consistent with the contents of the course) and some contents that, nowadays, are partly obsolete.