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Students will learn about the emergence of cryptocurrency and explore the consequences that its development has already had and may continue to have in future.

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Course Summary

Trading in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has made some people wealthy, while causing others to lose staggering sums from unwise trades. It’s been criticised for its huge energy costs, but also praised as the future of money supply in a world where fiat currency can be an unreliable store of wealth and other forms of electronic transaction can have privacy and security risks. Its true impact on the economy remains to be seen.

It’s all of these factors in combination that make cryptocurrency a fruitful and interesting area for academic study. This course, at the very cutting-edge of modern technology, will introduce students to the world of cryptocurrency and equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to understand how it works and analyse its impacts.

Course Outcomes

What will you get out of the Cryptocurrencies Summer Course?

Students studying this course will learn how the field of economics has changed in the 21st century, setting the context for the emergence of cryptocurrency and using this understanding to explore the consequences that the development of cryptocurrencies has already had and may continue to have in future. Using cryptocurrency as an example, students will also explore the phenomenon of economic bubbles: how they develop, how to spot them, how to avoid them and how they can be mitigated or leveraged. They will learn about different types of cryptocurrency and explore how they differ.

At the micro level, students will consider how cryptocurrency, as a private and secure means of payment, can be used either for good or to enable organised crime and evade government detection. At a societal level, they will consider how such dual-use technologies can be appropriately regulated by government without losing their economic and social benefits, and debate how much regulation is appropriate. This course gives students the economic, social and technological context for a holistic understanding of cryptocurrency.


No prior knowledge is expected for this course, but students are expected to have an interest in cryptocurrency.


Oxford College Accommodation

  • Location Oxford
  • Ages Ages: 12+, 13-15, 16-18, 19+
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & Shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1096 (University of Oxford)

Cambridge University Accommodation

  • Location Cambridge
  • Ages Ages: 13-15, 16-18
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1209 (University of Cambridge)

Imperial College London

  • Location London
  • Ages Ages: 16-18
  • Bedroom Type Single
  • Bathroom Type En-suite
  • Year Built Founded in 1907

Further Information

How to Enrol

Cryptocurrencies is part of the Broadening Horizons programme.

To visit Broadening Horizons and take Cryptocurrencies as a course option, just click the button below and follow the instructions.

Broadening Horizons

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