Introduction to Blockchain and Ethereum

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In this Introduction to Blockchain and Ethereum training course, we introduce the fundamentals of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. We will discuss when to apply these approaches to existing or greenfield architectures.
Attendees will be able to see the power of the approach by building and working with a simple blockchain from scratch. With this context, we will move on to discuss the Bitcoin network and currency in detail and the design choices that it makes.

The second half of the course introduces the Ethereum network and its notions of smart contracts, gas and related tech, including the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). We discuss distributed apps and look at some recent high-profile case studies.
The Solidity programming language is introduced from scratch as well as a typical development environment for new smart contracts. Finally, we show to integrate Ethereum smart contracts with existing applications by using the Web3j library to bridge Java applications with the Ethereum network and blockchain.

Software Spec

You will be required to bring a laptop to attend this course. Your laptop will need to be preloaded with an IDE (ideally Java 8) and require the ability to install new software.


1 Day

Target Audience

Experienced programmers in a OO language (ideally Java or Javascript). Also suitable for architects or lead developers who are investigating suitability of blockchains.

Attendee Requirements

Attendees must already be experienced programmers. Any knowledge of blockchains, cryptography or cryptocurrencies is a notable advantage.

Course Outline

A: Blockchain Bootcamp

1. Fundamental Concepts

Public Key cryptography
Hash chaining (e.g. Git)
Cryptographic glossary

2. An introductory blockchain

Append-only ledgers
Proof of work and difficulty
Specification for a simple example – FirstBlockchain

Lab: Build & implement FirstBlockchain

Lab: Try to forge entries in someone else’s implementation of FirstBlockchain

B. Bitcoin

1. Bitcoin concepts

Full nodes, mining and PoW
Addresses, wallets & client tools

Lab: Setting up Bitcoin Wallets

Economics of Bitcoin
Future Directions

C. Ethereum

1. Ethereum concepts

Fundamentals: Ethereum, EVM, Smart Contracts & Gas
Client tools & wallets

Lab: Setting up Ether wallets

How Ethereum differs from Bitcoin
The “Why” of Ethereum
Distributed apps and ICOs
Case Studies

2. Solidity & Web3j

Solidity programming

Lab: A first Ethereum smart contract

Zeppelin contracts and ERC20
Case studies: Pitfalls of Solidity contracts
Introducing web3j
Interacting with the Ethereum blockchain with Web3j

Lab: Working with contracts on the Ethereum blockchain


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