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On Becoming a Certified Bitcoin Professional – Is It Worth It?

The Certified Bitcoin Professional exam is a test established by the Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium (C4 for short) to test basic working knowledge of bitcoin. What is this certification all about? Is it worth attaining? As a freshly Certified Bitcoin Professional myself, I thought I’d share my experiences with you!

C4 is a Canadian company with some heavy hitters on their Board of Directors, including famed cryptocurrency speaker Andreas Antonopoulos and Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin. Currently, the CBP is the only certification offered by C4, but they hope to launch two more in the near future: The Certified Bitcoin Expert exam, designed to test software engineering knowledge of bitcoin, and the Certified Ethereum Developer exam, testing the mettle of would-be Solidity programmers.

C4 is clearly aiming to become the CompTIA of the cryptocurrency space, offering entry-level and intermediate professional certifications for would-be crypto employees, and their first certification is a fantastic effort towards this goal. I’d liken the CBP exam to CompTIA’s A+ exam – it lacks the depth and technical knowledge of higher level certifications, but does a wonderful job at testing the bare minimum for being a cryptocurrency professional, consultant, or customer support representative.

The CBP exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions and must be completed in a 20 minute timeframe. I finished my exam with 10 minutes to spare, so the time constraints are more than reasonable. When you become certified, you get a proprietary certification code to share with potential employers or clients to ensure you’re actually certified. My code is c8e5dc and can be verified here.

They even send you a fancy paper certificate to pin up on your wall!

When I set out to attain my CBP certification, I did so having been a Bitcoin hobbyist since 2012 – I had immersed myself in Bitcoin forums and message boards, built my own altcoin mining rigs, and dabbled in exchanges; I was fairly confident I’d pass the exam, but I wanted to ensure my success. To this end, I enrolled in a Udemy course on the CBP exam. The course consists of a series of video lectures and a practice exam before and after the material to gauge your progress. On the “pre-course” practice exam, I attained a 79% – a passing grade, but I knew I could do better.

My final score on the CBP exam? A 73/75, or just over 97%! The Udemy course did a fantastic job filling the gaps in my bitcoin knowledge and boosting my confidence going into the real thing.

The Certified Bitcoin Professional test consists of six components:

  • The History of Money and Ledger-Based Economics
  • Basic Cryptography
  • Basics of Bitcoin
  • Cryptocurrency Mining
  • Wallets, Clients, and Key Management
  • Bitcoin Commerce

It’s a healthy blend of Austrian economics,  Bitcoin’s inner workings, and the ecosystem that surrounds it. The “Basic Cryptography” section was by far the one I needed the most brushing up on, particularly the difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Most other knowledge on the exam can be learned through osmosis as well as diligent self-study.

The thing I appreciate most about C4’s approach is their commitment to the technology as well as a decentralized vision. The exam fee can only be paid for in bitcoin (small b – there is a difference between “bitcoin” and “Bitcoin” and it will be on the exam) and furthermore, the C4 Code of Ethics makes new applicants pledge to implement decentralized solutions wherever possible. The founders of C4 are clearly “True Believers” in the cause of decentralized, censorship-resistant currency and it definitely shows.

Save $5 on TREZOR, Ledger, and KeepKey

So, is becoming a Certified Bitcoin Professional worth it? When I took the exam just over a month ago, the total cost was $95 CAD (~$77 USD). However, since that time, the price has been raised to $135 CAD (~$110 USD), seemingly due to the increased popularity of cryptocurrencies in general. Even with the cost increase, anywhere around $100 is still a fair price for this certification, especially when comparing it to other technical certifications that can cost upwards of $400.

Monetary cost aside, it’s still difficult to gauge the value of becoming a Certified Bitcoin Professional. When C4 launched the CBP program a few years ago, it was hard to imagine there being enough jobs in the cryptocurrency space to justify a professional certification. In 2017, though, there is a case to be made for Bitcoin certification, as every cryptocurrency start-up under the sun seems to be hiring. Even for writers and podcasters such as myself, becoming a Certified Bitcoin Professional is a good way to test your knowledge and ensure your followers you know what you’re talking about.

I haven’t yet attained one of these coveted “crypto jobs,” but I will be sending out my resume proudly emblazoned with my Certified Bitcoin Professional code in tow! As always, stay tuned to to see how the job hunt goes and keep up with cutting-edge crypto commentary. Until next time!

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