Introduction to Bitcoin
Buying, Selling, Mining, and Using Bitcoins

The purpose of this course is to enable the students to perform the most essential digital currency functions quickly and easily, to ensure immediate productivity, and to set up a Bitcoin account to buy and sell most effectively.

Participants do enjoyable and educational hands-on exercises to practice the functions to ensure immediate productivity. Other functions can be demonstrated depending on the students' particular needs and skills, such as Bitcoin mining.

Length: 3 - 7 hours, depending on requirements

Learning/Performance Objectives:

More than 70% of this course is hands-on. After completing this course, a participant will be able to:

Bitcoin is a new virtual currency that many people think will be as big a phenomenon as email via the web. It costs little or nothing to transfer Bitcoins to anyone in the world, almost instantly. It's a counterfeit-proof, inflation-proof and has a high degree of anonymity.  In this workshop we cover how to use the Bitcoin software for buying and selling Bitcoins. At the end of the class students can buy small amounts of Bitcoin, exchange it with each other and sign up for, and fund, accounts with Bitcoin banks and currency exchanges. By the end of the class the student will be able to transact using Bitcoins.

For practice the class can use real Bitcoins (which cost about $600 each at the time of this writing) or the BitRaam, a very similar digital currency.

Details:
To start with, we will go over the history of Bitcoins and how digitial currency is different from money that you use now. You will hear about the origin, places where they are used now, and a vision of possibilities for their use in the future.

Bitcoin Software
In this part of the workshop we will show you the three main "client" software applications for Bitcoin: Bitcoin-qt, electrum, and multibit. Students will download and install each. We will use it during the workshop to buy, sell, and exchange digital coins with your fellow students. 

Buying Bitcoins
Bitcoins are becoming easier to obtain.  Services such as CoinBase.com allow you to transfer funds to and from your standard bank account.  There are Bitcoin ATM machines, even on Capitol Hill, to transfer dollar bills to BTC, and vice versa.

Buy Bitcoins on eBay
Set up, fund an account on the most popular Bitcoin exchanges and buy and sell on the exchange
Find local sellers of Bitcoin and buy from them, using cash, check, or credit card.

Bitcoins on Exchanges
Bitcoins can be bought and sold through online exchanges.  It is important to choose an established and certified exchange because some of them have gone out of business, such as Mt. Gox. 

Selling Bitcoins
on eBay
on exchanges
local exchange groups

Backing Up Your Wallet
It is sad to hear of people who have lost a lot of money by not backing up their wallet.  Students will practice procedures, including "cold storage" of their coins.

Mining Digital Currency  (optional topic)
Demonstration of various equipment for mining Bitcoins
CPU, Graphics cards, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC)
Mining pools, such as GHash.Io - group dynamics

Programming Digital Currency  (optional - for programmers)
The C++/QT programming code that makes Bitcoin wallets work
Windows, MacOS, and Linux wallet compiling
Bitcoin-js-remote - JavaScript RPC client
GitHub repository, open source transparency
Scrypt, SHA256D, Kimoto Gravity Well, and other concepts

Target Audience:
This course is useful for professional, managerial and administrative personnel of all levels

Prerequisite:
Introduction to Personal Computers and the Internet, or prior experience


Digital Currency and SCI
Computer Instructors Corporation