Though blockchain gained prominence through the growth in awareness of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which was first launched in January 2009. Bitcoin itself built on decades of advances in cryptography and distributed systems. The last decade has seen advances in public and private blockchains and new methods of finding consensus aside from Bitcoin’s original miner-based Proof of Work mechanism, as well as a lot of hype and volatile cryptocurrency markets. These courses are meant to provide participants with the relevant knowledge of cryptography and blockchain to better understand the realities of when it makes sense consider using blockchain.

Sample Instructor(s)

Nicolas Christin


3, 6 or 12 hours.


Yes, this course can be tailored towards professionals with more of a technology background, or more of a policy background. The 3-hour version of the course will provide a high-level overview and focus on a subset of course topics, while the 6- or 12-hour version will cover all listed topics and include interactive activities for hands-on learning.

In-Person or Remote

Remote, in-person, and pre-recorded sections, hybrid, etc.

Intended Audience

This course is appropriate for professionals working in either technology or policy.


To acquire a basic understanding of the cryptographic and technological primitives used by blockchain technology, to acquire the ability to determine when blockchain technology might make sense and when it does not.

Course topics

  • The basics of cryptography and distributed systems for blockchain
  • Bitcoin - mining, spending, trading
  • Scripting and Ethereum contracts
  • Blockchain governance and regulation, includes a discussion of ICOs, IEOs and other funding mechanisms.


A basic understanding of IT or CS is preferred, but not required. 


Copies of presentations and relevant papers will be provided to participants.

Contact us

To learn about our custom programs and any upcoming open enrollments, reach out to Michael Lisanti.