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Hint: It’s not Bitcoin. Blockchain is the most consequential technology since the internet. A blockchain is a distributed, cryptographically-secure database structure that allows network participants to establish a trusted and immutable record of transactional data without the need for intermediaries. A blockchain can execute a variety of functions beyond transaction settlement, such as smart contracts. Anyone in the network can add the data and cannot be deleted or altered further. Usually, the blockchain stores the data in terms of blocks, and those blocks are linked together like a chain and will be encrypted for security. To validate the transaction here Blockchain uses Proof of Work Mechanism.

Blockchain has been listed by jobs site LinkedIn as the #1, most in-demand Job Skill for the year 2020. Beyond the financial sector, which has been hiring blockchain, cryptocurrency and/or FinTech personnel for several years, many other industries are increasingly seeking talent with blockchain skills. Insurance, Healthcare, Accounting, Supply chain, retail, food traceability, pharmaceuticals, legal, education and upwards of 55 unique incumbent and emerging industries- all looking to hire technical and non-technical blockchain talent. The importance of blockchain has also risen to the forefront during the Coronavirus lockdown as the US. Department of Homeland Security has named “Blockchain Managers” among “essential critical infrastructure workers.”

A Dapp (decentralized application) is a computer application that runs on a distributed computing system. DApps have been popularized by distributed ledger technologies such as the Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, EOS, Corda, etc., where DApps are often referred to as smart contracts. Dapp is just like any other software application you use. It could be a website or an app on your phone. What makes a Dapp different than a traditional app is that it’s built on a decentralized network. Dapp = frontend + smart contract backend

Web 3.0 is the next generation of Internet technology that heavily relies on the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). It aims to create more open, connected, and intelligent websites and web applications, which focus on using a machine-based understanding of data. Through the use of AI and advanced machine learning techniques, Web 3.0 aims to provide more personalized and relevant information at a faster rate. This can be achieved through the use of smarter search algorithms and development in Big Data analytics. Current websites typically have static information or user-driven content, such as forums and social media. While this allows information to be published to a broad group of people, it may not cater to a specific user’s need. A website should be able to tailor the information it provides to each individual user, similar to the dynamism of real-world human communication. Computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, explained this idea of a Semantic Web in 1999: I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A “Semantic Web,” which makes this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy, and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. In Web 3.0, an ocean of information will be available to websites and applications, and they will be able to understand and use that data in a way that is meaningful to the individual user.

Blockchain mining, a peer-to-peer computer process, is used to secure and verify cryptographic secured transactions. Mining involves crypto miners who add cryptocurrency transaction data to global public ledger of past transactions. In the ledgers, blocks are secured by miners and are connected to each other forming a chain. Cryptocurrencies or tokens, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, have no central clearing house. Transactions are generally verified in decentralized clearing systems wherein people contribute computing resources to verify the same. This process of verifying transactions in called mining. Crypto mining is analogous to mining of commodities like gold, which require a lot of effort and resources to unearth commodities of a limited supply. In the same manner, a lot of computing power is consumed in the process of mining cryptocurrencies like bitcoins. The number of bitcoins that are generated from mining dwindles over time, just like gold. At its core, the term ‘blockchain mining’ is used to describe the process of adding transaction records to the bitcoin blockchain. This process of adding blocks to the blockchain is how transactions are processed and how money moves around securely on Bitcoins. This process of Blockchain mining is performed by a community of people around the world called ‘Blockchain miners.’ Anyone can apply to become a Blockchain miner. These Blockchain miners install and run a special Blockchain mining software that enables their computers to communicate securely with one another. Once a computer installs the software, joins the network and begins mining bitcoins, it becomes what is called a ‘node.’ Together, all these nodes communicate with one another and process transactions to add new blocks to the blockchain which is commonly known as the bitcoin network. This bitcoin network runs throughout the day. It processes equivalent to millions of dollars in bitcoin transactions and has never been hacked or experienced a downtime since its launch in 2009.

Cryptocurrency, altcoins, and crypto tokens are often incorrectly used interchangeably in the digital currency world. However, cryptocurrency is the superset, and altcoins and crypto tokens are its two subset categories. A cryptocurrency is a standard currency used for making or receiving payments on the blockchain, with the most popular cryptocurrency being Bitcoin. Altcoins are the various alternative cryptocurrencies that were launched after the massive success achieved by Bitcoin. The term means alternative coins—that is—other than bitcoins. They were launched as enhanced substitutes of bitcoin with the claims to overcome some of the pain points of bitcoin. Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Namecoin, and Dogecoin are common examples of altcoins. Though each has tasted varying levels of success, none have managed to gain popularity akin to bitcoin. Crypto tokens represent a particular fungible and tradable asset or a utility created over an initial coin offering (ICO) that is often found on a blockchain. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies used to facilitate transactions (making and receiving payments) along the blockchain. Altcoins and crypto tokens are types of cryptocurrencies with different functions. Crypto tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that represent an asset or specific use and reside on their blockchain. Crypto tokens, often referred to as crypto assets, are special kinds of virtual currency tokens that reside on their own blockchains and represent an asset or utility.

Blockchain has been considered a disruptive technology compared to the Internet, promising innovation in the financial and commercial area comparable to the impact that the Web had on communication. It stands to revolutionise the way we interact with each other based on three main concepts: Track and data store – the decentralised and distributed system across an extensive network of computers becomes a safe way to track data changes over time. Trust – it is the key concept. The system allows us to interact directly with our data in real-time and the network, all the computers verifies the changes in the transactions which creates trust in the data. Peer-to-peer transactions – in this system there is no more intermediaries. Instead of sharing our data with an intermediary such as a bank or a lawyer, we will share it directly with peers. It is a new way to access, verify and transact with each other.

Smart contracts are lines of code that are stored on a blockchain and automatically execute when predetermined terms and conditions are met. At the most basic level, they are programs that run as they’ve been set up to run by the people who developed them. The benefits of smart contracts are most apparent in business collaborations, in which they are typically used to enforce some type of agreement so that all participants can be certain of the outcome without an intermediary’s involvement. Smart contracts allow the performance of credible transactions without third parties, because the contract is written on a decentralized system that exists between all permitted parties. There is no need to pay middlemen, saving time and conflict, and eliminating human error or tampering. Every new technology has drawbacks, however smart contracts written on the blockchain are without a doubt faster, cheaper, and more secure than legacy systems, which is why banks, businesses, and governments are turning to them.

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