by P. H. Madore
Stanford University has produced some cryptography geniuses in its day, including Martin Hellman, an inventor of public key cryptography. The university remains home to a robust cryptography department. It therefore comes as no surprise that since the publicized advent of Bitcoin, Stanford has taken a keen interest in the digital currency, which is secured by the SHA-256 algorithm.
Professor Dan Boneh has been at the forefront of the intersection of traditional cryptography with Bitcoin at Stanford. A new online course titled “Crypto Currencies: Bitcoin and Friends” begins September 21st and runs until December. The course will introduce Stanford computer science students to Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies which have come about since Satoshi Nakamoto’s original white paper.
The focus of the course will be on how to develop secure applications around the blockchain, noting in the course description that the “potential application for Bitcoin-like technologies is enormous.” Computer science students will likely learn about such initiatives as Factom.
In a press release, Boneh said, “The technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be an indispensable tool for protecting information.” The course will also cover such things as cryptocurrency regulation and how to conduct a proper Bitcoin mining operation.
In addition to the regular program, a non-degree option is available for those who have not completed Stanford’s Computer Science 110. Those who want to take this route will have to fill out an application. The course costs around $4,000 and Stanford is not presently accepting bitcoins as payment for tuition.
For Bitcoin enthusiasts without that kind of cash to spare, Professor Boneh continues to offer a free program in applied cryptography on CourseRA, something he started doing earlier in the year. The most recent session will be over on the 13th of September, and then a new one will presumably be announced. However, one can review the materials for free now.