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Cryptocurrency

Learn how cryptographic primitives power the blockchain and digital currencies.

Cryptocurrencies represent a fundamentally new way for people to exchange goods and services. They're powered by blockchains — data structures that are enabled by cryptographically secure hash functions. Proponents of cryptocurrencies argue that they'll lower transaction fees and democratize monetary policy, while detractors argue that they're a mathematician's pipe dream repackaged into a scam.

In this course, you'll learn about the math and technology behind cryptocurrencies through hands-on puzzles. You'll also explore the mechanics of maintaining and securing a cryptocurrency, so that you can decide for yourself if cryptocurrencies are a passing fad or the next big thing.

Interactive
quizzes

19

Concepts and
exercises

230+
  1. 1

    Introduction

    Follow the fable of Cryptonia, an enlightening analog to today's cryptocurrencies.

    1. A Brief History of Currency

      Trust is the backbone of all currencies, from commodity monies to crypto.

    2. The Fable of Cryptonia

      Learn about a primitive parallel to cryptocurrencies, developed in the mythical land of Cryptonia.

    3. Cryptographic Signatures

      Want to spend your DragonBucks but can't cast a spell? You need the magic of modular arithmetic.

    4. Decentralizing Cryptonia

      Don't trust a currency with a single point of failure? Time to dive into decentralization.

  2. 2

    Building Blocks

    Hash functions form the data structures that we need to create a cryptocurrency.

    1. Included with
      Brilliant Premium

      Cracking Cryptonia

      The math behind CryponiaCoin isn't secure, but with a modification it could be.

    2. Included with
      Brilliant Premium

      Cryptographic Hash Functions

      Learn about hash functions and the properties they need in order to be cryptographically secure.

    3. Included with
      Brilliant Premium

      Exploring Hash Functions

      The binary registers inside a computer are well suited for constructing hash functions.

    4. Included with
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      Inverting Hash Functions

      If you can run a hash function in reverse, it isn't secure.

  3. 3

    Creating ZooCash

    Learn how real cryptocurrencies are structured by helping Director Hayzos with his latest horse-brained scheme.

    1. Included with
      Brilliant Premium

      Introducing ZooCash

      "HODL" on, the adventure into real cryptocurrencies starts here.

    2. Included with
      Brilliant Premium

      Account Management

      How can we make sure your account is yours alone? We need to solve the birthday problem.

    3. Included with
      Brilliant Premium

      Blockchain Ledger

      Combining a blockchain with Merkle trees leads to a ledger that readily reveals the information you're interested in.

    4. Included with
      Brilliant Premium

      Double Spending

      A ledger that's easy to audit prevents people from spending ZooCash they don't have.