Bitcoin display over computer setup

Which Bitcoin theory course is best suited to me?

Our 10-minute guide to kicking off your Bitcoin training’ blog guided you to ask yourself about your motives, goals and expectations for learning more about Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

We also told you about the different streams of courses we offer around the Bitcoin blockchain, many of which are available for free: Bitcoin Theory, Bitcoin Development and Bitcoin Infrastructure. Bitcoin SV Academy offers courses in each of these three streams at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels.

Today, we focus on the courses in the Bitcoin Theory stream to help you to establish which level of Bitcoin education is most suited to your needs.

Choosing the best Bitcoin Theory course for you

Bitcoin Theory

Bitcoin Theory covers the design of Bitcoin as a system from the basis of the original white paper. The course covers how economic incentives drive the development of the network and build the hyper-dense connectivity at its centre. The introductory course is a detailed overview of the Bitcoin white paper, with second-level courses diving deeper into the theory and layers of its design.





Most suited for

Bitcoin aficionados, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, cryptocurrency traders, blockchain developers, newcomers to blockchain, enterprise leaders, CTOs.

Crypto enthusiasts, crypto traders, blockchain developers, newcomers to blockchain development, enterprise leaders, CTOs

Crypto enthusiasts, crypto traders, blockchain developers, newcomers to blockchain development, enterprise leaders, CTOs

Suggested entrance criteria

Having an interest in Bitcoin SV, the theory of Bitcoin, plus an interest in learning about the Bitcoin white paper

Having a basic understanding of Bitcoin SV and the theory of Bitcoin.

Having a comprehensive understanding of Bitcoin SV, the theory of Bitcoin and the layers of its design.


Develop a broad understanding of Bitcoin

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the theory of Bitcoin and the layers of the design.

Develop a nuanced understanding of the Bitcoin network’s layers.


Free of charge, forever



Class hours

9-hour modules



Class attendance

Online course, available on-demand from December 2020

Online course, available on-demand from Q2 2021

Online course, available on-demand from Q2 2021


5 - 10 end-of-chapter questions. 80 question final exam. Unlimited attempts to pass.



Bitcoin Certification

Upon completion, you are awarded Bitcoin SV Academy’s Certificate 1 - Bronze.

Upon completion, you are awarded Bitcoin SV Academy’s Certificate 2 - Silver.

Upon completion, you are awarded Bitcoin SV Academy’s Certificate 3 - Gold.


Bitcoin Theory course: making sense of the Bitcoin white paper

The introductory module of the Bitcoin Theory stream follows the outline of the Bitcoin white paper, ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’. This comprehensive Bitcoin and blockchain course covers each of the following topics:

Bitcoin white paper Abstract (45 minutes)

  • Peer-to-peer cash
  • Digital signatures and trusted third parties
  • Peer-to-peer network
  • Time Chain and Proof of Work
  • CPU power
  • Cooperation in the network
  • Network structure
  • Messaging between nodes

Chapter 1: bitcoin white paper section 1, ‘Introduction’ (45 minutes)

  • Commerce on the Internet
  • Non-reversible transactions
  • Privacy in commerce
  • The paradigm of fraud acceptance
  • What is needed
  • Protecting sellers from fraud
  • Proposed solution
  • Security and honesty
  • Introduction video

Chapter 2: Bitcoin white paper section 2, ‘Transactions’ (45 minutes)

  • Electronic coins
  • Spending a coin
  • Payee verification
  • Existing solutions
  • First Seen rule
  • Broadcasting transactions
  • Achieving consensus
  • Proof of acceptance
  • Transactions (video)

Chapter 3: Bitcoin white paper section 3, ‘Timestamp server’ (15 minutes)

  • Timestamped hashes
  • A chain of timestamped hashes
  • Timestamp server (video)

Chapter 4: Bitcoin white paper section 4, ‘Proof-of-work’ (60 minutes)

  • Hashcash
  • Scanning random space
  • Nonce
  • Immutable work
  • Chained effort
  • One CPU, one vote
  • The majority decision
  • The honest chain
  • Attacking the longest chain
  • Controlling the block discovery rate
  • Proof-of-work (video)

Chapter 5: Bitcoin white paper section 5, ‘Network’ (45 minutes)

  • Running the network
  • The longest chain
  • Simultaneous blocks
  • Breaking the tie
  • Missed messages
  • Network (video)

Chapter 6: Bitcoin white paper section 6, ‘Incentive’ (45 minutes)

  • The coinbase transaction
  • Coin distribution
  • Mining analogy
  • Transaction fees
  • The end of inflation
  • Encouraging honesty
  • The attacker’s dilemma
  • Incentive (video)

Chapter 7: Bitcoin white paper section 7, ‘Reclaiming disk space’ (30 minutes)

  • Spent transactions
  • The Merkle tree
  • Compacting blocks
  • Block headers
  • Reclaiming disk space (video)

Chapter 8: Bitcoin white paper section 8, ‘Simplified payment verification (SPV)’ (45 minutes)

  • Full network nodes
  • Merkle branches
  • Transaction acceptance
  • Verification during attack situations
  • Maintaining an attack
  • Invalid Block Relay system
  • Business running nodes
  • Simple payment verification (video)

Chapter 9: Bitcoin white paper section 9, ‘Combining and splitting value’ (30 minutes)

  • Dynamically sized coins
  • Inputs and outputs
  • A typical example
  • Fan-out
  • Combining and splitting value (video)

Chapter 10: Bitcoin white paper section 10, ‘Privacy’ (45 minutes)

  • Traditional models
  • Privacy in Bitcoin
  • Public records
  • Stock Exchange comparison
  • Key re-use
  • Linking inputs
  • Linking the owner
  • Privacy (video) 

Chapter 11: Bitcoin white paper section 11, ‘Calculations’ (60 minutes)

  • Attacking the chain
  • Things the attacker cannot achieve
  • The only thing the attacker can achieve
  • The Binomial Random Walk
  • The Gambler’s Ruin
  • Exponential odds
  • Waiting for confirmation
  • Attack via proof of work
  • Vanishing probabilities
  • Calculations (video) 

Chapter 12: Bitcoin white paper section 12, ‘Conclusion’ (15 minutes)

  • Conclusion
  • Conclusion (video)

Ready to get Bitcoin-certified?

Our Bitcoin programmes allow you to adapt the curriculum to your schedule. You can learn at any time convenient for you. Courses are self-paced, so you can go as fast as you want or as slow as you need. Our engaging platform creates an insightful and connected experience wherever you are in the world. 
If you are ready to learn the design of Bitcoin and how economic incentives drive the development of the network, register for a free account now.

Lizette Louw
Lizette Louw

Technology Writer