In this course we want to explore the origins, goals, development path and fakes of Blockchain technology that have emerged along the way. More specifically, we will take a look at the initial idea of Blockchain and how it works. Then, we will examine which evolution it has run through from a decentralized registry to a world computer. Participants will get to know the challenges of Blockchain and Blockchain alternatives. Last but not least, we will explain how you can successfully use blockchain.

Self-paced
Language: English
Beginner, Internet

Course information

Between 15M to 39M search results offering an explanation of the blockchain on various search engines, up to 5M views on youtube have been reached by some videos on this subject, 1.8M members counts reddit Bitcoin community, some youtube blockchain channels have up to 277K subscribers. Information overload. Subconsciously, our attention is drawn to the reports that polarise: from “Blockchain - a Game Changer” and “Blockchain Revolution”, to “Has Blockchain Hit The Wall?” and “What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much.” The scary stories about Blockchain being used by criminals are common.

Like a snowball where new reports refer to earlier ones and everyone, consciously or unconsciously, adds their two cents, a new myth “blockchain” is born.

In the past, legends and myths were mainly passed on orally. Thereby they have changed from speaker to speaker. A “true core” surrounded by fantastical embellishment is still a popular and everyday form of storytelling today and leaves its traces right up to our digital age of social networks and “fake news.” Only difference, the number of storytellers and the time it takes to spread the story increases dramatically. The narrative structures are transparent, anyone can intervene in it, however, a challenge is to evaluate the truthfulness of these information.

We have faced the challenge and revealed the myth surrounding blockchain technology for you. The origins, goals, development path and fakes of blockchain technology that have emerged along the way will be explored for you in this course. More specifically, the course deals with the following topics:

  1. Behind the term Blockchain (initial idea and the way how it works - by means of an example),
  2. Evolution of the Blockchain (from the decentralized registry to a world computer),
  3. Expecting a miracle: face the challenges or "elegantly" avoid them (challenges of Blockchain and Blockchain alternatives),
  4. How you can use Blockchain successfully.

Target Group

The online course is aimed at those who are interested in the topic of blockchain, have already heard the term blockchain or bitcoin and have perhaps already made the first steps towards dealing with the topic.

Required Skills

None. However, you will profit from prior experience with basics of cryptography and decentralised networks and the first basic experience with the topic of blochain or bitcoin as this online course is targeted on reflection of common experience.

You can easily obtain this knowledge through self-study on our platform. Find a way that fits your time resources.

References to Further Courses

Here you can find more on topic of cryptography

Additional resources

Our book "Blockchain. Hype or Innovation" goes beyond the information given in the course and provides a comprehensive overview of blockchain technology. It focuses on the innovation of blockchain technology and the advantages it offers. In addition to detailed explanations of the origins, technology and implementation of blockchain technology, the book deals with the analysis of blockchain characteristics, such as decentralisation, security and scalability. We also look at numerous projects and best-practice examples. Available in English and German.

If you have no previous experience with the basics of cryptography or decentralised networks, you can easily obtain this knowledge through self-study. Find a path that fits your time resources.

Course contents

  • Week 1:

    In the first week of the course, we will take a look at the initial idea of the Blockchain technology and how it works. Then, we will examine the evolution from a decentralized ledger (Bitcoin-based projects) to a world computer (Ethereum-based projects).
  • Week 2:

    In week two, we will look at the debate about blockchain alternatives and the accompanying challenges (the so-called scalability trilemma). After that, we look at the possibilities of implementation and some best practice examples.
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The course is free. Just register for an account on openHPI and take the course!
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Learners

Current
Today
5,888
Course End
Mar 31, 2021
4,592
Course Start
Mar 17, 2021
3,697

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 50% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 50% of the course material.

Find out more in the certificate guidelines.

This course is offered by

Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel

Professor Dr. Christoph Meinel (Univ. Prof., Dr. sc. nat., Dr. rer. nat., 1954) is Scientific Director and CEO of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering gGmbH (HPI) . He is a full professor (C4) for computer science and holds a chair at HPI on Internet Technologies and Systems . His areas of research focus on future Internet technologies, in particular Information Security, Web 3.0: Semantic Web, Social and Service Web, as well as on innovative Internet applications, especially in the domains of e-learning, tele-teaching and tele-medicine. Besides, he is scientifically active in the field of innovation research Design Thinking. His earlier research work concentrated on the theoretical foundation of computer science in the areas of computational complexity and the design of efficient (OBDD-based) algorithms and data structures.

Christoph Meinel teaches in the Bachelor and Master courses in IT-Systems Engineering and at the HPI School of Design Thinking. He is honorary professor at the Computer Sciences School at Beijing University of Technology, visiting professor at Shanghai University in China, and a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg. Since 2008, together with Larry Leifer from Stanford University, he is program director of the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program. Since 2010, he chairs the Steering Committee of the HPI Future SOC lab.

Christoph Meinel is author/co-author of 10 books and 4 anthologies, as well as editor of various conference proceedings. More than 400 of his papers have been published in high-profile scientific journals and at international conferences. His high-security solution Lock-Keeper is internationally patented and licensed by Siemens AG. His tele-TASK system provides an innovative mobile system for recording and Internet broadcasting lectures and presentations used in many universities all-over the world. The virtual tele-lab for Internet Security provides the possibility to get hands-on experiences in practical issues of Internet and information security. The recently developed tele-Board supports remote work of creative teams.

Christoph Meinel is a member of acatech, the German academy of sciences and engineering. He is chairman of the German IPv6 council and of the advisory board of UTD Meraka in South Africa, and a member of the SAP Security Advisory Board. In 2006, he hosted together with Hasso Plattner the first German "National IT-Summit" of the German Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. From 1998 to 2002 he was the founder and CEO of the Research Lab "Institute for Telematics" in Trier. Christoph Meinel is chief editor of the scientific electronic journals ECCC - Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity and ECDTR - Electronic Colloquium on Design Thinking Research , the IT-Gipfelblog , and the tele-TASK archive.

Tatiana Gayvoronskaya

Tatiana Gayvoronskaya (Master of Science in Business Computing, 2013) has been worked in research on blockchain technology, identity management and IT security at the HPI since 2016. Her professional and research experience includes technical aspects of the blockchain technology with its possibilities and challenges as well as its public awareness. She has investigated how companies and the public are familiar with the technology, where they get their insights and how they use them. Together with Prof Dr. Christoph Meinel, she has already developed and implemented a MOOC on the OpenHPI platform on the topic of blockchain, which was heled in July 2018. The survey previously issued by Tatiana Gayvoronskaya and Prof Dr. Christoph Meinel was the basis for the MOOC. With this experience, she supported and accompanied another course on the topic in 2019.