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Introduction to Bitcoin Infrastructure - Introduction and Conclusion

The BSV Academy’s free Introduction to Bitcoin Infrastructure provides an in-depth look at the role of nodes and node operators in building the Bitcoin network. It covers the incentives that drive enterprise operators to invest in this infrastructure. The course is based on the Bitcoin white paper and students are encouraged to read it for a deeper understanding.

Upon completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion. The course includes a Discord channel for support and a contact form for feedback. The objective of the course is to enhance understanding of the network and its economics, to ensure that new services are built effectively, and to maintain the network's performance through continuous improvement of client software and services.

To make it as effortless as possible for you to have access to this educational material, we are publishing the entire course here on our blog. Stay tuned for a section-by-section release, and remember that you are still welcome to enrol in the BSV Academy to gain a certificate of completion to add to your resume.

Bitcoin Infrastructure course outline

This course is broken down into six chapters with each chapter being approximately 45 minutes long. The first several chapters cover the incentives that are created by the directives put forward to node operators in the Bitcoin white paper in detail; including the reasons for the directives, the incentives they create, and the required functionality of the infrastructure that performs the actions.

Assessments are broken up throughout each section comprising approximately 5-7 minutes of reading/watching/listening followed by around 3-5 minutes of assessment in the form of multi-choice questions.

Chapter 1: The instructions
Chapter 2: Rules and their enforcement
Chapter 3: Transactions, payment channels and mempools
Chapter 4: Block assembly
Chapter 5: The small world network
Chapter 6: Conclusion

Introduction to Bitcoin infrastructure

Introduction to Bitcoin Infrastructure is focused on providing students with a solid understanding of the role that nodes and node operators play in the construction of the network. In particular it will focus on the incentives that drive enterprise operators to spend large sums of money to build and operate their infrastructure.

The coursework builds from the material outlined in the Bitcoin white paper which is widely distributed and is accessible here.

For any students who have not read the white paper, you are encouraged to do so in a reasonable degree of detail before continuing the course. To gain a much more in-depth understanding, also consider taking the course Introduction to Bitcoin Theory, which breaks the white paper down section-by-section to deliver a thorough and succinct overview of its function.

Should you have any questions as you go through the course, please join our Discord channel. You can use our contact form if you want to report any issues or have any comments about the course.

What you will learn from the Bitcoin Infrastructure course

Understanding the function of the network, and the incentive structure that binds it together will ensure that new services are built that best make use of its capabilities.

Understanding that the node’s function is as a validation and timestamping service, that blocks are time stamped records of transactions on the ledger, and that the ledger, particularly the UTXO set, is a tool maintained by node operators.

The Bitcoin network’s delicate economics are not hard to skew and minor changes to software can have vast impacts on network performance. It is paramount that Bitcoin be built and operated as infrastructure, and that it operates using the incentive structure and instructions laid out in the Bitcoin white paper. Continuous work must happen to build future generations of node client software and services in order to give the network the best chance of succeeding.

In completing this course, we hope you have taken a giant leap in your understanding of Bitcoin.

From everyone here at the Bitcoin Academy team, thank you.

Micha Sprick, Editor
Micha Sprick