The blockchain represents a way to transfer value, securely and with no central authority involved. It is arguably the most important technological innovation of the past two decades. Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt the world in a way that we haven’t seen since the introduction of the world wide web.

It’s important to understand this technology because its impact on society is likely to be very significant, across several industries. In this course, we’re going to cover relevant historical events, what a blockchain is, who the players are, and why this is so important.


By the end of the course you will be familiar with the following:

  • Relevant terminology
  • Reasons why the blockchain matters
  • The technology design underpinnings
  • Implementation considerations

Your Instructor

Patrick Baron is the co-founder of HitFin, an Ethereum based platform that is moving traditional financial assets onto the blockchain. He is a Consultancy Advisor to Blockchain at Berkeley, which is UC Berkeley's student-led organization with over 200 members that trains blockchain engineers, blockchain consultants and provides consulting services to Fortune 500 companies.

Class Curriculum


  • Preview Instructor Introduction (1:13)
    • Start What is a Blockchain? (1:51)
    • Start From the Birth of the Internet to Distributed Databases (7:06)
    • Start From the Original Digital Cash to the Genesis Block (8:27)
  • What is Blockchain?
    • Start Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Variations (3:49)
    • Start Open Blockchains (2:49)
    • Start Closed Blockchains (4:40)
    • Start Blockchain Anonymity and Transparency (6:09)
    • Start Network Design (6:41)
    • Start Control of Value (6:20)
    • Start Building the Distributed Ledger (4:52)
    • Start Global Context (3:01)
    • Start Recap: What is the Blockchain? (1:11)
  • How Does It Work?
    • Start How does a Bitcoin Transaction Work? (5:41)
    • Start How Are Transactions Signed? (3:20)
    • Start How Is Ownership Verified? (6:57)
    • Start How are Fraud and Inflation Prevented? (2:44)
    • Start Recap: How does a Bitcoin Transaction Work? (1:34)

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.

What are the prerequisites for the course?

There are no prerequisites to take this course! Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to take this course.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)
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Last updated February 21, 2019
This course is Online
Start Date
Sep 2020
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Blockchain 101