The University of Basel’s Center for Innovative Finance (CIF) decided to make its introductory “Bitcoin, Blockchain and Cryptoassets” bachelor’s course open access. Some of its courses have been around for years and enjoyed decent popularity among students.

The University of Basel (UniBas) has been offering Blockchain courses since 2017. From courses on Bitcoin and Public Ledgers or Smart Contracts to seminars diving deeper on more advanced topics: Students have many opportunities to learn the foundations of this promising technology.

UniBas also launched the Blockchain Challenge, where real world challenges from industry partners are tackled by groups of students. Attracting students from different faculties, the courses have received nominations for several teaching awards.

Strong demand for blockchain education

Due to the great demand, not just from students, but also from the general public, the University of Basel has decided to make the introductory Bachelor’s level course available in an open access format. In just two weeks it has reached over 1000 registered users from 66 countries.

“The number of course attendees enrolling is a huge motivator for the whole team, that has spent countless hours on getting the course ready for this step. The pace at which it has spread around the globe has surprised us the most. This is the beauty of such a format: Education is open to everyone who is interested.” – Professor Dr. Fabian Schär, UniBas lecturer for blockchain courses

The lecture videos are accessible on their YouTube channel and a new platform called “Cryptolectures“. All lecture slides and additional resources are maintained in an opensource git repository. The goal is to provide anyone who is interested in learning the fundamentals of the topic with quality content, completely free of charge.

Throughout the curriculum students will be introduced to:

  • Relevant general concepts in the fields of money, payments, and cryptography.
  • Key components of the Bitcoin Network.
  • Properties and conditions of Bitcoin transactions.
  • Different open consensus protocols, detailing the incentives and challenges of Bitcoin.
  • Economic properties of Bitcoin and similar cryptoassets.
  • Advanced topics, such as non-monetary applications, economic scripting, and payment channels.

At the intersection of economics, computer science and cryptography, the course gives a comprehensive introduction to various aspects of the upcoming space. As introductory course, it does not require any prior knowledge. The videos are between 15 and 45 minutes in length, each dedicated to a specific topic.

The Center for Innovative Finance (CIF)

The «Center for Innovative Finance» (CIF) of the University of Basel is dedicated to researching practical issues in the fields of Fintech, Digital Banking and Innovative Finance. Their research focuses on the scientific analysis and practical implementation of blockchain projects, venturing and innovative financial solutions. With this research focus, the CIF aims to make a decisive contribution to the research and application of future-oriented technologies – also in the context of societal consequences. In pursuing these objectives, great importance is attached to comprehensive, interdisciplinary analysis.

*Originally posted at CVJ.CH

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