Course information

Registration Closes:
6 October 2020
Course Starts:
14 October 2020
6 weeks, excluding orientation
7–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online
USD $2,600
Payment Options
The MIT Media Lab


This Cryptocurrency online short course from the MIT Media Lab offers you a rigorous perspective and ground truths about crypto assets, exploring its economics, underlying blockchain technology, functionality, challenges, and future potential.

Guided by MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative – as well as crypto industry experts, economists, financial regulators, and internet entrepreneurs – you’ll gain the skills to critically assess the viability of crypto projects, and understand the opportunities and challenges associated with these new technologies.

Taking a comprehensive approach, you’ll explore cryptocurrencies in comparison with traditional finance, and gain insight into how start-ups, financial institutions, big tech, and central banks are responding to its emergence.

In six weeks, you’ll gain insight into blockchain technology and the broader environment in which cryptocurrencies exist. At the end of the program, you’ll be equipped with the critical reasoning skills to analyze the viability of any crypto project.

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.


Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • Knowledge of cryptocurrency, its limitations, capabilities, and the way it functions within the economic environment

  • The skills to holistically assess a crypto project by understanding cryptocurrency within its broader context

  • The ability to evaluate the economic implications of cryptocurrency

  • An understanding of the evolution of money and how Bitcoin and blockchain technology operate in moving value via the internet

  • A comprehensive overview of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; crypto markets and exchanges; Smart Contracts; decentralized applications (DApps) and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Is this course for you?

This course is designed for anyone seeking a working knowledge of the latest cryptocurrency developments and the skills to assess the viability of crypto projects, and is especially applicable to executives exploring new organizational needs. The program is relevant to both financial services and IT professionals aiming to gain a competitive advantage within their sector, by understanding how crypto is actually being applied.

Professionals and entrepreneurs from wide-ranging industries, who are seeking future growth or new opportunities, will also benefit from a comprehensive understanding of cryptocurrency and the environment in which it operates.

Course curriculum

Analyse cryptocurrency and its functionality as you work through the weekly modules of this online course.

  • Orientation module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 Money, the Payment Riddle, and Cryptocurrency Innovation
  • Module 2 Smart Contracts, DApps, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)
  • Module 3 Cryptocurrency Markets, Exchanges, and Trading
  • Module 4 The Viability of Crypto Projects
  • Module 5 A Catalyst for Change: Responses from Finance, Tech, and Central Banks
  • Module 6 Challenges Facing Cryptocurrency and the Path Forward

Discover the latest cryptocurrency developments

This MIT Media Lab online short course is delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter. Learn from industry thought leaders as you uncover ground truths about cryptocurrency. 

Your Course Conveners

The design of this online course is guided by the MIT Media Lab and a global host of guest speakers who will share their experience and in-depth subject knowledge with you throughout the course.

Gary Gensler

Gary Gensler

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

Gary Gensler is professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, co-director of MIT’s FinTech@CSAIL and senior advisor to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative. He 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, Undersecretary 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

Neha Narula

Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab

Neha Narula is the director of the Digital Currency Initiative, a part of the MIT Media Lab, which focuses on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. While completing her PhD in computer science at MIT, she built fast, scalable, distributed systems and databases. 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.

Guest Speakers

Jeremy Allaire

Jeremy Allaire

Co-Founder and CEO of Circle

Sandeep Arora

Sandeep Arora

Chief Operating Officer at Citi Markets and Securities

Sheila Bair

Sheila Bair

Former Chair of the U.S. FDIC

Tadge Dryja

Tadge Dryja

Co-Founder and Developer of Lightning Network

Rod Garratt

Rod Garratt

Maxwell C. and Mary Pellish Chair in Economics at UC Santa Barbara

Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman

Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn

Tom Jessop

Tom Jessop

Head of Corporate Business Development at Fidelity Investments, President of Fidelity Digital Assets

Mike Novogratz

Mike Novogratz

Founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital

Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini

Professor of Economics at NYU’s Stern School of Business, CEO of Roubini Macro Associates

Hyun Song Shin

Hyun Song Shin

Economic Adviser and Head of Research at Bank for International Settlements

Jimmy Song

Jimmy Song

Crypto Developer, Educator and Entrepreneur

Changpeng Zhao

Changpeng Zhao

Founder and CEO of Binance

Earn a certificate from the MIT Media Lab

Learn about cryptocurrency and earn an official certificate from the MIT Media Lab. 

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the program, as per stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 14 October 2020.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.