Digital Currency and Society

Digital currencies and the blockchain have swept the nation in the past 24 months. 2015 saw most financial institutions jump into the fray, conducting research and making investments in companies founded on distributed ledgers.

There may come a time when decentralized digital currencies and distributed ledgers will become the norm, yet the large majority still lack a general understanding of their usefulness and only a handful of people are capable of building on top of them. Stanford University, known for being ahead of the curve, has recognized this and has begun introducing a new lab course on Bitcoin Engineering. The course is meant to teach students more about Bitcoin and how to build Bitcoin-enabled applications.


Stanford’s Bitcoin Course

Students taking the course will start with a two-week introduction to Bitcoin, and Bitcoin computing. They will then be taught how to build Bitcoin-enabled versions of various popular Internet services. In the succeeding weeks students will be provided with the code needed to illustrate the basic mechanics of an Internet service that is powered by Bitcoi .

According to the syllabus, these internet services include a Bitcoin-based Instagram where prices can be set on Instagram photos, a Bitcoin-based Twitter where micropayments are given for retweets, and a Bitcoin-based WordPress where you can monetize your blog by charging bitcoin for each page view.

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