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Day 1: Introduction to Blockchain & Bitcoin

The Blockchain Beginner course is for individuals who are new to digital currencies and the blockchain technology. The course covers the basics of money, bitcoin and the blockchain, bitcoin and wallet security, compliance and regulation and highlights the future of this space as well as the companies and institutions globally and locally that are currently using this technology.

Bitcoin has proved to be a divisive technology with opinions ranging from suspicion and mistrust to “the silver bullet to cure all financial problems”.

While certainly being none of those there is undoubtedly great promise in the technology. And, as it was in the early days of the Internet, it will take some time before the services that are being built on the technology are simple and useful enough for the mainstream to embrace it wholeheartedly.

The outcome of this course is to provide attendees with a general overview of Bitcoin and the blockchain. There are many technical aspects of the protocol which will not be covered therefore course attendees are encouraged to subscribe to blogs and read digital currency and blockchain news sites for further insight and information. Attendees are also encouraged to enrol for the Blockchain Advanced course which delves deeper into many of the concepts and topics covered in this course.

Modules that will be covered are:

Module 1 - Introduction      

  1. Money and currency
  2. Digital currencies explained
  3. History of Bitcoin

Module 2 - The Blockchain                  

  1. 101 of the Blockchain
  2. How transactions are stored on the Blockchain
  3. What Bitcoin mining is
  4. Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains
  5. Sidechains

Module 3 - Using Bitcoin

  1. Where and how to get bitcoins                                                         
  2. How to store bitcoins in a wallet
  3. How to send and receive bitcoins
  4. How to trade bitcoins on on-line exchanges
  5. Bitcoin pricing and volatility

Module 4 - Bitcoin Security

  1. Security issues and the pseudo-anonymity of Bitcoin
  2. Security measures such as multi-signature transactions
  3. Backing up and restoring wallets

Module 5 - Bitcoin Scalability, Risks and Limitations

  1. Transaction volumes and block sizes
  2. Block propagation speed
  3. Proof of Work efficiencies
  4. Mining pools and centralisation
  5. Mining rewards and incentivisation
  6. Wallet theft
  7. Regulatory friction

Module 6 - Use Cases and Opportunities

  1. Payment rails
  2. Immutable ledger
  3. Coloured coins and digital asset ownership
  4. Time-stamped records
  5. Proof of ownership
  6. Micro-transactions

Module 7 - Merchant Acceptance                         

  1. How to integrate Bitcoin as a payment method
  2. Benefits of using Bitcoin as a payment method
  3. Payment processing companies
  4. Verification of transactions on the Blockchain
  5. Successful case studies

Module 8 - Bitcoin Compliance, Regulation and Tax        

  1. Regulation globally and in South Africa
  2. Bitcoin compliance
  3. Money laundering and fraud
  4. Legal firms and Blockchain

Module 9 - The Future of Bitcoin                            

  1. Smart Contracts
  2. Bitcoin for remittances in emerging economies
  3. Innovation for financial institutions
  4. Innovation for non-financial institutions
  5. The value of Bitcoin and the Blockchain as a technology
  6. Alternatives to Bitcoin and the Blockchain

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