The first deployment of a blockchain was in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. While enterprises have embraced the blockchain, Bitcoin is primarily thought of as a speculative investment. As most blockchain systems have copied one or more aspects of Bitcoin, there is merit in understanding how it works. This one day course will introduce Bitcoin and describe its blockchain implementation. The role of Bitcoin mining in controlling coin creation and achieving consensus regarding blockchain state will be discussed. The Bitcoin transaction format, scripting language, and smart contracts will also be described.
Software engineers interested in pursuing a career in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Academics looking to conduct research on Bitcoin, altcoins, and blockchain. Students interested in pursuing an academic or industry career in the field of cryptocurrencies.
This course will not offer any investment advice with regard to Bitcoin and is not suitable for someone without an engineering background. However, the risks involved in purchasing and storing bitcoins will be described. The cryptographic assumptions which underlie the security model of Bitcoin will be covered.
Saravanan Vijayakumaran is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Bombay. His research interests are in error correcting codes and signal processing for communications. He became interested in cryptocurrency technologies after attending the Scaling Bitcoin Workshop in 2016. He is writing a book on Bitcoin, a first draft of which can be found at https://www.ee.iitb.ac.in/~sarva/bitcoin.html. He received the Departmental Award for Excellence in Teaching in the year 2017.