[Learning] MIT Open Course: Blockchain and Money

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[Learning] MIT Open Course: Blockchain and Money

Since there are a lot of new users in this sub, and many people seem to be enjoying using weekends to learn about crypto, I figured to share one of my favorite learning resources:

Blockchain and Money is a free MIT course that offers an excellent introduction to crypto technology and crypto currency. It covers everything from the basics of how blockchain technology works, all the way to how larger financial systems interpret and work with these innovative systems.

The course is taught by Professor Gary Gensler, who has worked under the Obama Administration as the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and is currently appointed as the head of the Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Regulators agency review team under the Biden Administration.

(There are people who believe his appointment will challenge the development of blockchain from the federal government, while others are glad to see him in this position because of his extensive knowledge on the topic.)

Politics aside, the lectures are an enjoyable listen whether you are just getting started in crypto or are more advanced in your understanding.

Here are some links for the course website, and below I made a chart for each session with a video link and description. Hope this will be a useful resource for anyone new and everyone else interested to learn more.

Full Course Website: https://ocw.mit.edu/15-S12F18

Readings for the Course

Lecture Slides


Session (with video link) Description
Session 1: Introduction https://youtu.be/EH6vE97qIP4 In this video, Prof. Gary Gensler provides an introduction to the course and to blockchain technology.
Session 2: Money, Ledgers, and Bitcoin https://youtu.be/5auv_xrvoJk In this lecture, Prof. Gensler discusses the history of money, ledgers, fiat currency, central banking, early digital money, and mobile payments.
Session 3: Blockchain Basics & Cryptography https://youtu.be/0UvVOMZqpEA In this lecture, Prof. Gensler, explains the basics of blockchain and covers Bitcoin design features, hash functions, blocker headers, Merkle trees, among other related topics.
Session 4: Blockchain Basics & Consensus https://youtu.be/w7HDA8gUbpQ This lecture covers blockchain consensus protocols. Because of the decentralized nature of blockchain technology, it is crucial that consensus protocols are used to require that the nodes on the network agree on the same state of a blockchain.
Session 5: Blockchain Basics and Transactions, UTXO, and Script Code https://youtu.be/zGDTt9Q3vyM This session covers design features of blockchain, like hash functions, append-only timestamped logs, and proof-of-work. The professor also covers unspent transaction output (UTXO).
Session 6: Smart Contracts and DApps https://youtu.be/JPkgJwJHYSc This session covers smart contracts, blockchain design, Dapps, and tokens. Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig explains the legal issues of smart contracts. Instructors: Prof. Gary Gensler and Prof. Lawrence Lessig
Session 7: Technical Challenges https://youtu.be/GLVrOlHLJ1U This lecture covers technical challenges to blockchain technology, such as scalability, privacy, security, and interoperability.
Session 8: Public Policy https://youtu.be/sMnBl0g3Ev4 In this session, Prof. Gensler discusses how public policy relates to blockchain technology and crypto finance. The public policy framework guards against illicit activity, provides financial stability, and protects the investing public.
Session 9: Permissioned Systems https://youtu.be/vPJ8oQ99r9c In this lecture, Prof. Gensler discusses permissioned or private distributed ledger technology
Session 10: Financial System Challenges and Opportunities https://youtu.be/l0vD_FBWk0g This lecture describes three aspects of finance: financial institutions, regulation, and technology. Also covered is risk management and opportunities in the blockchain field.
Session 11: Blockchain Economics https://youtu.be/_eGNSuTBc60 In this video, Prof. Gary Gensler discusses the economics of blockchain, blockchain vs. the Internet, blockchain minimalists, and costs and trade-offs. Instructors: Prof. Gary Gensler & Rob Gensler
Session 12: Assessing Use Cases https://youtu.be/ObGYNQLG3us In this lecture, Prof. Gensler talks about how to assess the costs and benefits of any potential use cases.
Session 13: Payments, Part 1 https://youtu.be/ojcOUtUwIe4 Prof. Gensler discusses major trends in payment systems, lessons that can be learned from non-blockchain payment innovations, and the challenges and opportunities in current payment system architecture. Instructors: Prof. Gary Gensler & Alin Dragos
Session 14: Payments, Part 2 https://youtu.be/_Ycy0Dy-B1c In this video, Prof. Gensler discusses the lessons that can be drawn from the challenges of blockchain-related payment applications. Other topics include cross-border payments, and permissioned vs. permissionless applications.
Session 15: Central Banks & Commercial Banking, Part 1 https://youtu.be/lPD9fx8fK1k In this lecture, the class discusses a number of topics related to central banking, including fiat currencies, how central banks approach blockchain technology, and payment systems and different blockchain initiatives. Instructors: Prof. Gary Gensler & Robleh Ali
Session 16: Central Banks & Commercial Banking, Part 2 https://youtu.be/uNqMBBbb6UI Prof. Gary Gensler continues the discussion about central banks and commercial banking by talking about private banknotes and stable value tokens, and central bank digital currency.
Session 17: Secondary Markets and Crypto-Exchanges https://youtu.be/KHBi3n0hUSU Prof. Gensler talks about crypto-exchange, a major part of the crypto-finance ecosystem.
Session 19: Primary Markets, ICOs, & Venture Capital, Part 1 https://youtu.be/iWpQpPbo7rM Prof. Gensler talks about crowdfunding with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as well as the characterstics and evaluation of ICOs.
Session 20: Primary Markets, ICOs, & Venture Capital, Part 2 https://youtu.be/7EXcHqLg7BI Prof. Gensler continues the discussion about Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), focusing on the markets and regulations for ICOs.
Session 21: Post Trade Clearing, Settlement, & Processing https://youtu.be/-cZPoqnRZq4 Prof. Gensler leads a discussion on clearing and settlement systems, blockchain technology applicability, and blockchain technology projects.
Session 22: Trade Finance & Supply Chain https://youtu.be/DsSzQfejwMk Prof. Gensler explores trade finance, its attributes, and the significant activity of blockchain technology behind it.
Session 23: Digital ID https://youtu.be/W06Le8fw0vU Prof. Gensler speaks about identity and access management, how identity management works in a digital age, state projects in India and Estonia, and some blockchain projects in the private sector.
Session 24: Conclusion https://youtu.be/CJCKTixMb70 Prof. Gensler gives a summary of the class, touching on money and ledgers, the economics of blockchain technology, financial sector opportunities, crypto finance, and public policy.

Full Course Videos Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUl4u3cNGP63UUkfL0onkxF6MYgVa04Fn

(Note: There is no Session 18.)

Hope you enjoy!

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