Explain to me how Bitcoin works.@JackGavigan

What is bitcoin and the blockchain?

A list of articles, blog posts, videos, books and courses to help get you started.

Brian Forde
3 min readJun 30, 2016


As bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have become more popular, we’ve gotten more and more requests from people seeking suggestions for how to learn about the technology.

In pulling together this list of starter articles, blog posts, books and courses, we’ve found that most people are initially willing to invest about 30–45 minutes to learn about cryptocurrencies. That can then ignite enough curiosity to invest another 2–3 hours — and then they’re off to the races.

Feel free to share this list with others. Over the last year, members of the Digital Currency Initiative have sent it to several hundred people — from finance ministers to longtime developers interested in the cryptocurrency space and, as a result, have seen them change their policy position or even change jobs.

This list of articles is by no means exhaustive; it’s a living document. Feel free to suggest your favorite ethereum, smart contracts, regulatory and DAO explainer articles (bforde@mit.edu) or create your own list and share it with the community!

Overviews (30–45 mins)

Applications (60–90 mins)

Technical Overviews (2–4 hours)

Books (1–2 days each)

Bitcoin Course & Textbook (4–5 weeks)

Special thanks to Michael Casey, Chelsea Barabas and Neha Narula for suggesting articles for this list!

Brian Forde is Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at MIT Media Lab



Brian Forde
MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative

Running to represent CA’s 45th District to take on the 45th President and up the TQ (technical quotient) of Congress! 🔥 up and ready to go!