What is Cryptocurrency? Understanding the Basics Lesson

This lesson is designed for students to learn about the essentials of cryptocurrency, from its definition as digital money to the complex workings of blockchain technology and cryptography. It explores the acquisition, value, benefits, and risks of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Students learn about the foundational aspects and complexities of cryptocurrencies in this comprehensive lesson. The lesson explores the vital role of cryptography in securing these digital assets, making them nearly impossible to counterfeit. Viewers will learn about popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin, along with their unique characteristics. The tutorial delves into the concept of blockchain technology, a decentralized digital ledger crucial to cryptocurrency transactions, offering insights into its security and transparency features. It also covers how to acquire cryptocurrencies, including purchasing, receiving as payment, and mining. The session addresses the volatile nature of cryptocurrency value, its potential benefits such as facilitating inexpensive international transfers, and its usefulness in unstable economic regions. However, it also warns of risks like lack of regulation and vulnerability to hacking. Lastly, it advises on the cautious approach needed when considering cryptocurrency investment, emphasizing informed decision-making.


Use this video lesson on the topic of crypto. Learn related concepts of:

  • Cryptocurrency Basics
  • Blockchain Technology
  • Investment Risks
  • Market Volatility
  • Risk Management
  • Investment Principles
  • Financial Decision Making
  • Financial Responsibility


7-12th grades. High School. College. Adult Education.


45-60 minutes. Adjust the lesson plan and allocate time to certain topics based on the needs and interests of the students.


Hand out the worksheet below (see the GET LESSON button near the bottom of the page).

Show students the video and have them complete the worksheet.  Review the questions on the worksheet.  A more comprehensive and detailed lesson plan can be accessed below for further instruction and study.

What is Cryptocurrency? Understanding the Basics

After watching the video, have students tell what the most important things they learned from the video.


Cryptocurrency Lesson Plan: Understanding Cryptocurrencies


Objective: To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of cryptocurrencies, their functioning, and their role in the financial world.

Materials: “What is Cryptocurrency?” video, computers/internet access, quiz materials.

Lesson Duration: 60 minutes

Lesson Outline:

  1. Introduction to Cryptocurrency (10 minutes)
    • Watch the video “What is Cryptocurrency?”
    • Brief discussion on initial thoughts about cryptocurrencies.
  2. Discussion Questions (15 minutes)
    • What are cryptocurrencies and how are they different from traditional currencies?
    • Explain the concept of blockchain and its significance in cryptocurrency.
    • Discuss the role of cryptography in securing digital currencies.
    • What are some common cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin?
  3. Group Activity: Exploring Cryptocurrencies (20 minutes)
    • Divide students into small groups.
    • Each group researches a specific cryptocurrency (e.g., Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin) and presents its unique features and current market status.
  4. Discussing the Risks and Benefits (10 minutes)
    • Facilitate a discussion on the potential benefits and risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
    • Encourage students to consider different perspectives, including ethical and economic viewpoints.
  5. Quiz (5 minutes)
    • Conduct a short quiz based on the video and the discussion to assess understanding.

Homework: Write a short essay on the potential future of cryptocurrencies and how they might impact the global financial system.

Additional Resources:

  • Recommended articles and websites for further reading on cryptocurrency.
  • Access to cryptocurrency market analysis tools and platforms.

Lesson Resources

Get Lesson


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