• Course Introduction

        • Time: 12 hours
        • Free Certificate
        Bitcoin represents a new, open internet standard for hard money. Bitcoin is increasingly being adopted as pristine collateral, a longer-term store of value, and unstoppable money. This course will take you through the basics of Bitcoin for beginners: Bitcoin economics, investment, philosophy, and history, as well as its technical and practical components. Once you have completed this course, you will have a basic level of Bitcoin knowledge and be able to start interacting with Bitcoin by buying, receiving, storing, and spending it.

        First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me in this course". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

      • Unit 1: Bitcoin Economics

        What went wrong with money in the past? Why were some goods chosen to become money over others? In this unit, we explore how money serves as a coordination tool for society and how it arises in a bottom-up, spontaneous order. We also explore government intervention in the market for money. We will also discuss monetary history, what makes a good money, and why Bitcoin is well-placed to supersede prior forms of money. We will also talk about deflation and "hoarding", and Bitcoin's environmental impact.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

      • Unit 2: Bitcoin Investment

        Why buy and hold Bitcoin? If you simply save in your local fiat currency (USD, GBP, EUR, and so on), you will be losing value over time. In this unit, we will explore this concept and why many people are now turning to Bitcoin as a way to protect themselves from the "melting ice cube" of fiat money. We will also explore Bitcoin's volatility, and whether it must be used as a medium of exchange in the short term to be viable. Bitcoin is moving through phases of evolution, and broadly remains uncorrelated with other assets. Bitcoin detractors also call it a Ponzi scheme or a bubble, or assert that the government will ban it. We will also address these topics.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

      • Unit 3: Bitcoin History and Philosophy

        Bitcoin wasn't formed in a vacuum. There's a rich history of cypherpunks, privacy activists, and free-market libertarians who contributed to the preceding culture and technologies. In this unit, we will contrast Bitcoin with predecessor technologies and businesses, such as BitGold, b-money, HashCash, and e-gold. Bitcoin has also faced various tests in terms of social attacks that have forced a response from the Bitcoin community to defend or strengthen Bitcoin. One interesting case is SegWit2X, where large Bitcoin businesses and miners attempted a hostile takeover of Bitcoin that was repelled by Bitcoin users.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

      • Unit 4: Bitcoin Technology

        Bitcoin has various technical ingredients that combine to provide extraordinary properties not seen in any other form of money available today. First, Bitcoin's immutable ledger enables transactions that are extremely hard to reverse or tamper with. Bitcoin mining also provides a link between real-world energy expenditure and the security of Bitcoin's ledger. Holding your own Bitcoin private keys enables the user to have custody of their own Bitcoins and control them exclusively. Finally, running a Bitcoin node allows users to fully self-validate their Bitcoins and ensure that the rules of Bitcoin are upheld. In this unit, we will also explore some of the trade-offs of Bitcoin against altcoins, and explore how Bitcoin has no leaders but still continues to advance and develop.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

      • Unit 5: Bitcoin in Practice

        Now that you have some base awareness of Bitcoin, we will cover basic instruction on putting Bitcoin into practice in this unit. This includes acquiring Bitcoin, using a Bitcoin wallet and the Lightning Network, privacy and security practices, and avoiding common pitfalls, scams, and mistakes.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

      • Recap: What Did We Learn?

      • Course Feedback Survey

        Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

        If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org or post in our discussion forum.

      • Certificate Final Exam

        Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

        To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt.

        Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.