MIT Media Lab


Study cryptocurrencies to demystify their functionality, and understand their impact on the economy and society.


6 weeks, excluding


7–10 hours per week,
entirely online

Learning Format

Weekly modules,
flexible learning

You'll walk away with:


A working knowledge of the latest cryptocurrency developments, equipping you to assess the viability of crypto projects.


A comprehensive understanding of industry opportunities in light of increasing institutional interest in crypto, coupled with insight into blockchain technology.


Access to cutting-edge ideas from MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, with strategic takeouts designed to help you remain competitive in your industry.

Course curriculum

Over the duration of this online course, you’ll work your way through the following modules:

Module 1: Money, the Payment Riddle, and Cryptocurrency Innovation
Explore the origins and evolution of money, and how Bitcoin and blockchain technology solve the riddle of moving value on the internet.

Module 2: Smart Contracts, DApps, and Initial Coin Offerings (Icos)
Understand what smart contracts and decentralized applications are, and explore a new form of crowdfunding, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), as well as the regulatory environment it operates within.

Module 3: Cryptocurrency Markets, Exchanges, and Trading
Learn about the volatile cryptocurrency markets, exchanges, types of cryptocurrency trading, custody solutions, and the regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency markets.

Module 4: The Viability of Crypto Projects
Learn how to assess the economics and viability of a crypto project by exploring the payment and platform sector and various use cases for cryptocurrencies.

Module 5: A Catalyst for Change: Responses from Finance, Tech, and Central Banks
Discover how incumbents, particularly financial institutions, big tech, and central banks are responding to the emergence of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Module 6: Challenges Facing Cryptocurrency and the Path Forward
Explore the technical challenges facing cryptocurrencies, the Internet of Value as a new layer built on top of the internet, and what the future might hold for cryptocurrencies.

During this course, you will be provided with the information, knowledge, and frameworks to deepen your understanding of cryptocurrencies from a business perspective. You’ll also explore blockchain technology, how cryptocurrencies operate, and what value they offer in organizational contexts.

You will not be given cryptocurrency investing advice, or investment or financial advice of any nature.

Your Course Conveners

Gary Gensler

Former Professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

As co-director of MIT’s [email protected] and senior advisor to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative, Gary Gensler conducts research and teaches multiple graduate-level courses on blockchain technology, digital currencies, financial technology, and public policy. He was formerly chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the under secretary of the Treasury, Chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission, and a partner at Goldman Sachs. Gensler was the winner of the MIT Sloan Outstanding Teacher Award, based on student nominations, for the 2018–2019 academic year.

Neha Narula

Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab

While completing her PhD in computer science at MIT, Neha Narula built fast, scalable, distributed systems and databases. She currently serves as director of the Digital Currency Initiative, a part of the MIT Media Lab, which focuses on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Narula is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Blockchain. Previously, Narula was a senior software engineer at Google, where she co-designed Blobstore — a system for storing and serving petabytes of immutable data. She has also worked on Native Client, which is a way to run native code securely through a browser.

An online education that sets you apart

This MIT Media Lab online short course is delivered in collaboration with online education provider GetSmarter. Join a growing community of global professionals, and benefit from the opportunity to:


Gain verifiable and relevant competencies and earn invaluable recognition from an international selection of universities and institutions, entirely online and in your own time.


Enjoy a personalized, people-mediated online learning experience created to make you feel supported at every step.


Experience a flexible but structured approach to online education as you plan your learning around your life to meet weekly milestones.


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