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Thursday, April 7, 2022

A Few Good Resources for Learning How Blockchain Works

For the last year or so whenever I watch a sporting event on television there are advertisements for cryptocurrency exchanges. It has even pervaded niche sports like professional cycling (here's one story about a particularly dodgy instance in cycling). Last year one of my students even set out to try to mine Bitcoin. Another of my students dabbled in creating NFTs. The point is, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are now mainstream. And both of those are based on the concept of blockchain. 

Blockchain is what makes cryptocurrencies and NFTs possible. If that seems clear as mud, you should watch Common Craft's video titled Blockchain Explained by Common Craft. The video does a great job of using a concept that we're all familiar with, ownership of physical property, to explain the Blockchain concept.


After watching Common Craft's video about blockchain, watch this video from Financial Post to learn how the blockchain concept is applied to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.



Interactive Blockchain Demo
Blockchaindemo.io and Coindemo.io are interactive websites on which you can see how cryptocurrency transactions take place. 

An Open Course About Blockchain and Money
Once you understand the basics of blockchain you might want to learn more about cryptocurrencies. Blockchain and Money is an open course from MIT. The course was originally taught in the fall of 2018, but all of the materials and lectures are still available for free. All twenty-three lectures in the course can be viewed in this YouTube playlist. It is a graduate course so I don't expect that high school students would be able to understand all of it, but an interested high school student could still glean some good lessons from it.