Bitcoin, Crypto-Assets, and Blockchain Technology, March-May 2023

University of Milano-Bicocca


If you have an e-mail please join the 202303-bicocca channel in the Slack BBT workspace using your first and last name (no nicknames) and a profile picture. Updates and conversations about the course will be posted in the Slack channel.

The course is for the students of University of Milano-Bicocca only; anyone else, please consider

Learning objectives

The course is an introduction to bitcoin crypto- assets, and the associated blockchain technology.

Game theory, computer science (distributed systems, distributed consensus), and monetary theory elements are examined in the attempt to properly convey the interdisciplinarity of the topics and appreciate their relevance.


There are no strict prerequisites, even if a computer science mindset and some familiarity with algebra and finance might help to appreciate the course. While a rigorous formal approach is almost impossible in a course touching on so many and so different knowledge areas, intellectual curiosity is stimulated about the interplay between maths, cryptography, economic incentives, technology, monetary theory, regulatory issues, and politics.

Teaching method

Slide based lessons with associated bibliography.

Teaching language



Multi-choice questions test.


Assistant lecturer: Paolo Mazzocchi.

  1. 2023-03-08 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Bitcoin as Digital Gold
  2. 2023-03-15 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Bitcoin as Digital Gold
  3. 2023-03-15 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Hash Functions
  4. 2023-03-22 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Blockchain, Mining, and Distributed Consensus
  5. 2023-03-29 Wednesday 09:30-11:30
    Blockchain, Mining, and Distributed Consensus (Q&A)
  6. 2023-03-29 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Timestamping and the OpenTimestamps Protocol
  7. 2023-04-05 Wednesday 09:30-11:30
    Beyond Bitcoin: Altcoins, Tokens, Smart Contract, and Blockchain Applications
  8. 2023-05-03 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Wallets and Deterministic Key Chains
  9. 2023-05-10 Wednesday 09:30-11:30
    The Cryptocurrency Frontier in Monetary Engineering
    Bitcoin: oro digitale per nuovi standard monetari
    Hayek Money and Dual Asset Ledger
    slides and video
    Hayek Money: The Cryptocurrency Price Stability Solution

In the last lesson anonymous course evaluation forms will be collected

Introductory reading

Technology references

Monetary theory references