Scarcity in the Digital Realm

The Digital Gold Institute is an R&D excellence center for teaching, training, consulting, and advising about scarcity in digital domain (bitcoin and crypto-assets) and the underlying blockchain technology.
Focused on our partnership and fellowship program, we are engaged in the scientific and academic debate, where the cypherpunk movement meets the Austrian school of economics. Cryptography, monetary theory, computer networking, and game theory: we explore the cornerstones and can assist in understanding them.
Of course, we write code and love to get our hands dirty in programming and technology.


Bitcoin: Digital Gold

The most successful attempt at creating scarcity in the digital realm without a trusted third party, Bitcoin is a bearer asset that can be transferred over computer networks but not duplicated. Accessible to anyone, it is intrinsic to a peculiar uncensorable distributed settlement ledger, updated with cryptographic techniques and secured by large amounts of energy in the form of computational work. Bitcoin is the digital equivalent of gold, disruptive for our current digital civilization and the future of money and finance. More a crypto-commodity then a crypto-currency, Bitcoin aims to be world reserve asset.

Blockchain: Hype or Reality?

Blockchain is an append-only sequential data structure: to change a block in the middle of the chain all subsequent blocks need to be changed. Very inefficient if compared to a relational database, it is mostly an idiosyncratic technology for digital scarcity. Indeed, blockchain requires an intrinsic native digital asset to provide the economic incentives for the blockchain maintainers to be honest. Without the seigniorage revenues associated to its native asset, a blockchain system would need to select and appoint its maintainers, ultimately resorting to central governance.

Beyond Bitcoin: Timestamping

A timestamp demonstrates that a document existed in a specific status prior to a given point in time. Digital data can be securely timestamped though the attestation of its hash value in a blockchain transaction. OpenTimestamps is a vendor-independent open protocol that defines a set of operations for creating provable blockchain timestamps and later independently verifying them; as such, it allows for third party auditability and is suitable for regulatory prescriptions.

Financial Services for Crypto

Even if one is only interested in genuine technological applications of blockchain, the most promising field is the development of financial services for crypto assets: those tools, practices, and facilities (primarily custody) needed by institutional investors and high net worth individuals. Finance might not need blockchain, but the blockchain economy does need a new finance.

Digital Gold Is What Matters



Ferdinando M. Ametrano

Executive Director

Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology at Milano-Bicocca and Politecnico di Milano.
Crypto Asset Lab scientific director, Hayek Money promoter, QuantLib founder, Interest Rate Derivatives Adjunct Professor at Milano-Bicocca.
Ex-physicist, Springsteen fan, husband, father of three.


Eric Ehlers

Technical Officer

Cofounder and director of Reposit Limited, providing consulting services in the domain of quantitative finance. QuanLibXL project founder. Formerly: 12 years at J.P. Morgan Chase, first in IT management and later as technical lead for front-office pricing spreadsheets.


Paolo Mazzocchi

Operating Officer

Crypto Asset Lab faculty member,
Interest Rate Derivatives Assistant Lecturer at Milano-Bicocca.
Master's degree in Mathematical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano.
Ultra Trail Runner.


Lucia Mandelli

Business Developer

Bitcoin and blockchain passionate.
Eight years of hands-on entrepreneurial experience and formerly Vice President of “Giovani Imprenditori di Confindustria Parma”

News Feed

Training and Education

DGI offers training and education on bitcoin, blockchain, distributed ledger, smart contracts, and cryptography; these topics are framed as fintech innovation in the payment/value-transmission systems and as cultural meeting between the cypherpunk movement and the Austrian school of economics. This content can be offered in corporate or academic settings, public or private events, as short talk, single day workshop, or structured training program over few days.

Training and Education Program

Crypto Asset Lab: Joint Initiative with Milano-Bicocca

The Crypto Asset Lab is a joint research initiative with the University of Milano-Bicocca on crypto assets as investment opportunity, fintech innovation, and regulatory challenge, with special regard for their disruptive role in the future of money and finance.
The lab also pays attention to the innovations in cryptography and blockchain technology, given their relevance for privacy, security, and other applications (e.g. timestamping).
Crypto Asset Lab is a meeting point between academia, industry, institutions, and regulators.

Discover the Lab

Education Program Partners



Digital Gold Institute
Via Filippo Sassetti 32, 20124 Milano (MI) - ITALY