How I Passed the Certified Bitcoin Professional Exam (CBP)

If you’re looking for your way in to work in blockchain and cryptocurrency, this certification certainly couldn’t hurt.

The CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4) is a nonprofit body to certify basic levels of competency for those working or wishing to work in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. The Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP) certificate is earned after studying the general principles of Bitcoin’s history, mechanics, and theory, and then taking a 75-multiple-choice question 20-minute test; short so as to discourage looking the answers up and making sure one has this knowledge internalized.

I’ve worked full-time in this sector for more than a year now with a number of clients, most recently cofounding Nori. The space changes fast and it is a lot to keep up with. There is also quite a lot of posturing, and you don’t always know who to trust. Certifications like the CBP are of course not a guarantee that a possessor knows what they are on about, but it is one more small layer of trust. I’m intellectually skeptical of credentialing, but drawn to it for the discrete nature of its achievement. Given the timed nature of the test, I think it proves the rudiments exist in the mind of the holder, but doesn’t have the downside of a larger credential that could take a few years and delay work experience.

The Board of Directors and Faculty of Advisors of the organization is also quite an illustrious list, and I’m happy to support what they do. Notice me, senpai.

My studying regimen was two-pronged:

  1. Read Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos

It’s comprehensive and really dives into the mechanics of how the technology actually works. I’m working to improve my coding noob status, but I am not a developer. Understanding this book is a challenge and I keep a hard copy on my shelf as a reference. I will do the same thing when Mastering Ethereum is released later this year. I would strongly recommend going through the exercises in terminal and absorbing as much as you can here.

2. Take the University of Nicosia’s free Introduction to Digital Currencies MOOC

I like to think I have a fairly solid grasp on this sector and I still picked up quite a lot of information here. Every week for about three months you are given very informative slides to read and a quiz to take. You are able to submit questions that are answered live (though viewable later) as a form of recitation. My recitation leader was Andreas Antonopoulos, and you can’t very well beat that. Much of the content I learned or relearned from the MOOC helped me on the CBP exam. And if you are interested in credentialing, after passing the MOOC’s two-hour fifty-question multiple-choice exam a certificate will be issued for your completing the class on the blockchain, essentially getting you two certs for the time value of studying for one. I suspect the principal value here is the focus that a structured goal like studying for a credential may hone your attention and motivate you as opposed to pinning countless resources in your browser to review at some undefined later date (guilty of the sin of overtabbing myself.)

One potential caveat I would give to this study regimen is I am immersed in the industry and read articles, Reddit, chat around the water cooler, etc. I couldn’t say my method is foolproof if you aren’t immersed. If you don’t feel well-prepared after these two prongs, C4 lists their recommended study materials as well as Charles Hoskinson’s Bitcoin or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Crypto course.

The CBP testing and application process costs about $135 Canadian, payable in Bitcoin. $99.99 CAD to take the test, $34.99 CAD to apply with your resume and be processed once you’ve passed, and $34.99 CAD to renew the certificate in two years when it lapses. Once listed, recruiters will be able to view your resume and certificate if you elect to allow them. I don’t know anyone personally getting a job in this manner, but would not surprise me at all if this were to occur.

I will definitely keep my eyes peeled to C4 as they develop more standards and credentials in the industry, and good luck to anyone taking the CBP test!