📒 Book Overview

This book contains a set of course materials covering both the conceptual underpinnings and hands-on experience in developing blockchain and web3 technologies. Students will be introduced to core concepts in economic, cryptographic, and computer science fields that lay the foundation for approaching web3 development, as well as hands-on experience developing web3 systems in Rust, primarily utilizing the ecosystem of tooling provided by Polkadot and Substrate.

🙋 This book is designed specifically for use in an in-person course. This provides far more value from these materials than an online only, self-guided experience could provide.

✅ The Academy encourages everyone to apply to the program Our program is facilitated a few times a year at prestigious places around the world, with on the order of ~50-100 students per cohort.

👨‍🎓 Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy, students will be able to:

  • Apply economic, cryptographic, and computer science concepts to web3 application design
  • Robustly design and evaluate security of web3, both at the protocol and user application level
  • Write a smart contract using one of a number of languages and deploy it to a blockchain
  • Implement a Substrate based blockchain
  • Deploy a parachain utilizing Substrate, Cumulus, and Polkadot
  • Employ FRAME to accelerate blockchain and parachain development
  • Configure XCM for cross-consensus messaging between parachains

🖋️ Nomenclature

The academy uses explicit terms to describe materials use within as content categories defined here:

  • Lesson: a segment of content (1-2 hours) that is one of:
    • Lecture: An oral presentation that consists primarily of slide based content. Most content in this book is of this type.
      • Exercise: a short (5-10 minutes) exercise for to be completed during a lecture (code snippets, mini-demos, etc.).
    • Workshop: these are step-by-step, longer (0.5-3 hours) guided in-class material (live-coding, competitions, games, etc.). Workshops are instructor lead, and hand-held to get everyone to the same result.
    • Activity: these are self-directed activities for individuals and/or small groups. Activities are not guided or "hand-held" by the instructor like workshops are.
  • Assignment: a graded piece of work, typically one per week is assigned.
    • Assignments are not public - these are only accessible by Academy Faculty, Staff, and (in a derivative form) Students.

🪜 Course Sequence

The course is segmented into modules, with the granular lessons intended to be completed in the sequence provided in the left-side navigation bar.

🔐 CryptographyApplied cryptography concepts and introduction to many common tools of the trade for web3 builders.
🪙 Economics and Game TheoryApplied economics and game theory fundamental to the architecture and operation of web3 applications.
⛓️ Blockchains and Smart ContractsBlockchain and applications built on them covered in depth conceptually and hands-on operation and construction.
🧬 SubstrateThe blockchain framework canonical to Polkadot and Parachains covered in depth, at a lower level.
🧱 FRAMEThe primary Substrate runtime framework used for parachain development.
🟣 PolkadotThe Polkadot blockchain covered in depth, focus on high-level design and practically how to utilize its blockspace.
💱 XCMThe cross consensus messaging format covered from first principals to use in protocols.

The lessons include materials used, with links and instructions to required external materials as needed.1


Notably, the graded assignments for the Academy and some solutions to public activities and exercises remain closed source, and links are intentionally left out of this book. These materials may be shared as needed with students in person during the Academy.