Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Princeton University

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Princeton University via Coursera


Limited-Time Offer: Up to 75% Off Coursera Plus!
7000+ certificate courses from Google, Microsoft, IBM, and many more.
To really understand what is special about Bitcoin, we need to understand how it works at a technical level. We’ll address the important questions about Bitcoin, such as: How does Bitcoin work? What makes Bitcoin different? How secure are your Bitcoins? How anonymous are Bitcoin users? What determines the price of Bitcoins? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? What might the future hold? After this course, you’ll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You’ll have the conceptual foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network. And you’ll be able to integrate ideas from Bitcoin in your own projects. Course Lecturers: Arvind Narayanan, Princeton University All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion.


  • Introduction to Crypto and Cryptocurrencies
    • Learn about cryptographic building blocks ("primitives") and reason about their security. Work through how these primitives can be used to construct simple cryptocurrencies.
  • How Bitcoin Achieves Decentralization
    • Learn Bitcoin's consensus mechanism and reason about its security. Appreciate how security comes from a combination of technical methods and clever incentive engineering.
  • Mechanics of Bitcoin
    • Learn how the individual components of the Bitcoin protocol make the whole system tick: transactions, script, blocks, and the peer-to-peer network.
  • How to Store and Use Bitcoins
    • This week we'll explore how using Bitcoins works in practice: different ways of storing Bitcoin keys, security measures, and various types of services that allow you to trade and transact with bitcoins.
  • Bitcoin Mining
    • We already know that Bitcoin relies crucially on mining. But who are the miners? How did they get into this? How do they operate? What's the business model like for miners? What impact do they have on the environment?
  • Bitcoin and Anonymity
    • Is Bitcoin anonymous? What does that statement even mean—can we define it rigorously? We'll learn about the various ways to improve Bitcoin's anonymity and privacy and learn about Bitcoin's role in Silk Road and other hidden marketplaces.
  • Community, Politics, and Regulation
    • We'll look at all the ways that the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technology touches the world of people. We'll discuss the community, politics within Bitcoin and the way that Bitcoin interacts with politics, and law enforcement and regulation issues.
  • Alternative Mining Puzzles
    • Not everyone is happy about how Bitcoin mining works: its energy consumption and the fact that it requires specialized hardware are major sticking points. This week we'll look at how mining can be re-designed in alternative cryptocurrencies.
  • Bitcoin as a Platform
    • One of the most exciting things about Bitcoin technology is its potential to support applications other than currency. We'll study several of these and study the properties of Bitcoin that makes this possible.
  • Altcoins and the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
    • Hundreds of altcoins, or alternative cryptocurrencies, have been started, either to fix Bitcoin's perceived flaws or to pursue different goals and properties. We'll look at everything that goes into an altcoin and how they interact with Bitcoin.
  • The Future of Bitcoin?
    • The use of Bitcoin technology for decentralizing property, markets, and so on has been hailed as a recipe for economic and political disruption. We'll look at the technological underpinnings of these proposals and the potential impact on society.

Taught by

Arvind Narayanan


4.7 rating, based on 37 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 2996 ratings

Start your review of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

  • Profile image for Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
    Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
    Thorough in content and very well structured, this course takes you from the basics of cryptography to a sweeping overview of how Bitcoin and cyptocurrencies work, their ecosystems, impact, political effects, ramifications, potential and more. I p…
  • Profile image for Judy Leone
    Judy Leone
    I sent $130,000 to trade crypto assets on the website but when I tried to withdraw funds, I was told my account had been frozen because of “suspicious activity”. I provided proof of identification and proof that my funds had been transferred from their crypto asset account. The site then told me the account was marked with a “danger signal”, and that I needed to pay a “risk deposit” of nearly $40,000. I was not able to withdraw any of the money from their account until I read about Recoverycoingroup At Gmail Dot Com, after I contacted them and did all I was asked to do, in less than 72hours I received my money back into my wallet. I strongly recommend Recovery Coin Group for anyone in similar situations.
  • Anonymous
    When anybody loses their money it can be a very saddening thing to experience, the fact that it is almost impossible to recover a Stolen or lost Crypto coin hurts more than anything. When a person gets ripped off their money while investing in a cry…
  • Anonymous
    IT WAS A LONG YEAR 2023 for us FIGHTING INTERNET FRAUDSTER to get beck your Stolen Fund. It was a big massive success in helping you guys recover and retrieved your lost fund or Cryptocurrency back to you, for some of you that we couldnt help out w…
  • Anonymous
    I began using what I believed was a crypto asset exchange called BEX-EX, utilizing the web domains bex-ex.xx and BEX.ts. I transferred $67,500 in funds to the account on the exchange but was unable to withdraw any funds after making over $208,094 in total. I was frustrated and had to search blogs, I read so much about "hackwest at writeme dot com" and decided to contact them immediately, long story short, my money was recovered and I am excited to let the world know about them.
  • Profile image for Douglas Baggallay
    Douglas Baggallay
    Please everyone should beware of this Crypto Companies as they might have your life ruined, unfortunately i have been scammed by a crypto investment company.. it was an awful moment losing such huge amount to this company that has seized both my inv…
  • Profile image for Sunni Francis
    Sunni Francis
    I met this guy on a dating app, we got talking and shared so many things in common,  eventually discussing future life plans and other intimate topics. At some point, the stranger promised to help me retire early through crypto trading. I was convin…
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course.
    Cleanly separates the different pieces that go into making bitcoin, and explains each of them simply and clearly. Covers not only bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, but also the wider implications and applications of the blockchain to non-currency applications.

    Highly recommended for anyone interested in bitcoin or the blockchain.
  • Profile image for Esnaldo Gil
    Esnaldo Gil
    Posted here because people need to know they can recover their lost money invested in Crypto or mistakenly sent to a wrong wallet id. I have fallen victim to fraudulent investment brokers in the past and I totally understand what it means to lose al…
  • Profile image for Mercy Lang
    Mercy Lang
    I was introduced to crypto trading by a friend who has since vanished and left me clueless on how to recover my BTC from a website called I managed to make just by virtue of learning and trying out a whopping $193,051.8591 worth of BTC.…
  • Anonymous
    We have to change the notion of impossibilities, like there is nothing too hard to find, you just have to look in the right place. all you have to do is get the right people And that's the case when it comes to looking for help to recover your bitcoins/wallet to any mischievous act or carelessness..i was once a victim, lost some Cryptocurrency Investment and i shared my story with experienced business associates and also I searched for help online, Met a genius and i got my Bitcoins back with the help i needed. contact their team via mail: HACKING PROFESSIONAL3 AT GMAIL DOT COM. I can vouch for him, he knows what he's doing and he does it effortlessly, secured and anonymous. AND he charges fairly.
  • Anonymous
    I tried everything I could to get my money back after I lost it to an online scammer last month using Bitcoin transactions. Eventually, I came across a crypto recovery expert agency that was assisting many other people in getting their money back. I contacted them and sent them a complaint via their company email, RECOVERYEXPERT AT RESCUETEAM dot COM, and provided them with all the information they required for the recovery.
    I verified the payment in my wallet account in less than 48 hours. To effortlessly retrieve all of your lost money without having to pay anything up front, please get in touch with them right once if you have fallen victim to an online scam.
  • Anonymous
    Hi Guys!
    My name is Cyril, i just want to say a few things about a recovery team that worked so hard to recover my lost savings that i invested into a wrong platform, i thought my life has ended but i did not give up the fight till i read a review about them and i decided to give them a try and it turned out good for me.. This is me giving them the accolade they deserve. and also thanking them for an amazing job they did for me. Here is their email address to contact them if anyone ever finds themselves in such a mess: BACKEND RECOVER AT RESCUE TEAM DOT COM...
    Thank you guys once more, words alone can't quantify how grateful I am .
  • Anonymous
    You can not tell anyone how to spend their earnings or money, but I'll use this opportunity to create a witness on how I was being swindled of my hard earned savings to a so called Profitable Bitcoin Investment, This bogus company took over $80,000 from me, thanks to the review recommending about the BACKEND RECOVER TEAM I was directed to reach out to them. It was within the 73rd hour of interacting with them that I got 90% of my bitcoin and other crypto assets back into my portfolio wallets, I was amazed and had to praise them whenever I can, for the job well done. BACKEND RECOVER AT RESCUE TEAM DOT COM is their mail to reach out to them.
  • Profile image for Leo Antonella
    Leo Antonella
    In recent times, technology has proven to be more sophisticated and just like any other currency that can be stolen or lost, crypto and other digital assets has proven to be more difficult to recover but not impossible, and just like searching for any other monetary currency, you need a trustworthy and honest agency or personnel who can track and recover the value lost or stolen, in my case I hired [email protected] they followed the blockchain and was able to recover over 247k of my stolen funds within a couple of weeks. The fees for the services I received was fair and communication was excellent
  • Very interesting course explaining cryptocurrencies in different aspects. Highly recommended to anyone interested in bitcoins, cryptocurrencies or just normal currencies as well.
    As mentioned in other comments, please, note you will not have any types of homework and will not get any statement of accomplishment.
  • Profile image for Henry Ethan
    Henry Ethan
    Finally, there is a reliable and effective service we all can rely on! I can only imagine how many people are having problems with crypto-related issues and are likely also unsure of their ability to find practical solutions. Easyreclaim is rightfully the best provider of recovery service and their ability to recover funds very fast. They helped me to recover 850,000USD that I lost due to online cryptocurrency theft Get in touch with them on: easyreclaimer@gmailcom They are simply the best recovery company.
  • Anonymous
    For any hack related jobs, crypto recovery or data recovery reach out to HACKING PROFESSIONAL3 AT GMAIL DOT COM they helped me when i lost my savings to some crypto investment i was happy to have met them because i did not know what i would have done not getting my money back. Thank you Mr Fred for a job well done. He got 90% of it. I think they also trace accounts that are hacked, so if you are in any of this mess contact them and be rest assured you will get a result.
  • Omer Mohamed
    This was a very informative course , Will diffidently help as a first solid step into Cryptocurrency world.
    However, they should state that this course required a programming background for submitting the assignments .

  • Anonymous
    great course I have learn some basics about bitcoin, cryptocurrency
    it' an interesting course to be taking by student who are not necesserly Data scientist or computer science. I recommend for everybody to get out of. his/her comfort zone to learn something new.

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.