Reese Moore

Nov 9, 2020

4 min read

C4’s Certified Bitcoin Professional Exam: What to Expect and How to Prepare

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This is the fourth post in a 5-part series geared toward business professionals exploring a career in bitcoin. I tell my own story, from knowing nothing about bitcoin to becoming a Certified Bitcoin Professional, as an anecdote from which others in similar situations can draw lessons and insight to make their own decisions about getting involved in this exciting space.

In part 1, I describe the circumstances that led me to explore a career in bitcoin. In part 2, I discuss various ways to make money in the bitcoin ecosystem and why I decided to pursue a professional certification. In part 3, I compare some top bitcoin certifications. Here, we take a deep dive into C4’s CBP certification.

This series is powered by Urkel Labs.

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This post’s purpose is two-fold. First, give basic information about the exam, its content, and what to expect. Second, provide a quality list of resources from which you can begin studying for the exam. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it will serve as a helpful starting point for you.

What to expect

Exam Basics

  • Format: online, multiple-choice and true/false
  • Length: 20 minutes to answer 75 questions
  • Timing: anytime
  • Passing mark: 70%
  • Cost: ~$105 USD ($75 exam fee + $30 application fee)
  • Denoted in CAD on C4 website
  • Must be paid for in Bitcoin

Exam Material

The exam consists of 75 questions related to 33 topics that fall into 6 key buckets:

  1. History of Money and Ledger-­based Economics
  2. Basic Cryptography
  3. Bitcoin Basics
  4. Mining
  5. Wallets, Clients and Key Management
  6. Bitcoin Commerce

C4 provides a study guide that lists the 33 topics covered, as well as some specifics on what to expect within each of the respective topics.

Process to Certification

  • Create C4 account
  • Enroll in Certified Bitcoin Professional Exam
  • Pay exam fee
  • Once payment is processed, you will receive automated email indicating exam is ready to take
  • Pass exam
  • Complete certification application
  • Submit resume
  • Pay application fee
  • Receive certification in the mail

What to prepare

Everyone has a unique learning style so when it comes to learning the material you have to choose an approach that’s best for you. Nevertheless, there are core aspects of bitcoin that you’ll need to understand in order to pass the CBP exam, regardless of your learning style.

The resources listed below should serve as a basis from which you can build your own resource base that best suits how you learn.

First, let’s look at materials C4 provides, In addition to their study guide, C4 provides a list of recommended resources. It’s filled with hyperlinks (many of which are essentially search engine terms to plug in) that are organized by the 33 topics the exam covers. Start here and let this be your skeleton from which to build your own resource list.

Second, is a singular, core resource: Andreas M. Antonopoulos’ Mastering Bitcoin book. On C4’s recommended resource list, they often cite “Bitcoin Book” — Mastering Bitcoin is what they’re referring to. Antonopoulos is one of the most prominent thought leaders and educators in the space and his seminal book is chock full of fundamental bitcoin information. In fact, this was the primary resource I used to prepare for the exam. I’d highly recommend either buying a hard copy or reading through the free digital version found on Github.

Personally, C4’s recommended resources and Mastering Bitcoin comprised 90% of my study materials. The recommended resources helped to contextualize the material in terms of CBP exam and Mastering Bitcoin provided necessary detail.

Third, are additional resources that I found myself referencing often throughout studying:

  • bitcoin.org — bitcoin.org’s resources page provides a list of quality resources from websites to documentaries to podcasts to videos.
  • aantonop — Andreas M. Antonopoulos’ YouTube channel. Hundreds of educational videos on an array of topics related to bitcoin as well as cryptocurrency and blockchain more generally.
  • 99Bitcoins — another great YouTube channel that breaks down complex topics into small, digestible bites
  • bitcoin glossary — As a simple “bitcoin glossary” search will show you, there are tons to choose from. I found this one listed on Oleg Andreev’s Github to strike the best balance between comprehensibility, sufficient detail, and understandability (i.e. layman’s terms).
  • Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System — Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper that started it all.

The material in the resources listed above is sufficiently comprehensive. That is, everything you need to know to pass the exam is covered. But this is just one list of resources. There are TONS of great resources out there that I didn’t cover.

Ready to start preparing for the CBP exam?

Check out the fifth and final part of this series for a step-by-step guide.