BSV Academy Conversations: Shadders

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By Alex Speirs Published: January 8, 2021
Bitcoin Associations' BSV Academy

In the second in our series of Bitcoin SV Academy Conversations, we speak with Steve Shadders, Technical Director of the Bitcoin SV Infrastructure Team and CTO of nChain, who gives his perspective on the importance of the Bitcoin SV Academy initiative and details what prospective learners can expect to take away.

Following one of the busiest years in Bitcoin to date, to cap off 2020, Bitcoin Association debuted Bitcoin SV Academy – an online Bitcoin SV education platform offering academia quality, university-style courses and learning materials for those seeking to develop their Bitcoin knowledge.

‘The most important piece of infrastructure that Bitcoin can have is access and availability of education,’ says Shadders.

‘Not only does it broaden the pool of talent available to work and build with Bitcoin, but it also helps to spread awareness of what Bitcoin as an entire technology system can do and is truly capable of.’

Bitcoin SV Academy is broadly separated into three fields of study – Bitcoin Theory, Bitcoin Infrastructure and Bitcoin Development – with the introductory module of the Bitcoin Theory stream the first to be offered. The course comprises 9 hours of content across 13 lectures, beginning with a foundational study of the Bitcoin white paper.

‘If you want to learn about Bitcoin, especially to establish a baseline level of knowledge, an in-depth examination of the white paper is a really good place to start,’ explains Shadders.

‘There’s no better source to get to the truth of how Bitcoin works, what it is and what it’s capable of doing, than going directly to the white paper.’

Shadders, who described his role with the Academy as ‘peripheral’, played a key role in reviewing the curriculum content for clarity, consistency and accuracy, with input from his wider team at nChain.

‘We’ve had our staff go through a focused trial run through the first course, and the feedback that has come back has been really, really positive,’ he says.

‘I intend to have everyone at nChain complete the course. When I went through it myself, I found I learned a couple of things – details in the white paper that I hadn’t paid attention to over the years – so even for people who work with Bitcoin daily, this course will be worthwhile for them.’

Bitcoin SV Academy has been designed to offer something for everyone, from those with Shadders’ level of knowledge and nChain staff members, right through to Bitcoin beginners taking their first steps into digital assets.

‘Bitcoin is fundamentally a system that merges economics with technology along with elements of human behaviour, so people will be able to learn a lot from the course if they have a background or an interest in any of those things. After all, most of us have some understanding of human behaviour, even if we’re not economists or technology-based people,’ explains Shadders.

‘There are some concepts that are probably going to be more familiar to people with some background in programming, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t understand the course without that background.’

With offerings designed for everyone from new entrants to Bitcoin right through to experienced blockchain developers, with Bitcoin SV Academy, Bitcoin Association is bringing Bitcoin to the masses, making blockchain education accessible, accurate and understandable. Learners can take the courses at their own pace, with a progressive structure in place that builds on previous knowledge.

‘The intermediate and advanced courses of each stream will be more targeted towards people that want to do something specific with Bitcoin, though they will not necessarily be more difficult to learn,’ says Shadders.

‘There is something there for everyone, whether it’s being able to explain Bitcoin to their family, their boss or their board, they’ll be in a much better position to do that after completing the first full course on Bitcoin SV Academy.’

To find out more about Bitcoin SV Academy and enroll in the Introduction to Bitcoin Theory course, visit today!