About This Course
This course is your starting point into the world of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. We build a foundation that will enable you to understand this technology and see beyond the hype. The course covers elements from business, economics, computer science and cryptography. It consists of practical and theoretical blocks and offers a comprehensive introduction to various aspects of this fascinating topic.
The course makes use of monetary theory, enabling students to understand how cryptocurrencies are novel financial assets. It also covers game theoretical aspects and presents specific issues and applications, like price volatility or central bank cryptocurrencies.
The course features a technical analysis of the Bitcoin network, the communications protocol, the data structure of blocks, transaction types as well as the proof-of-work consensus mechanism. Furthermore, it introduces more advanced topics, like tokens and smart contracts.
The course provides an introduction to cryptography and shows how several methods are used by Bitcoin. In particular, students learn the basics of hash functions, symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, as well as elliptic curve cryptography.
"Bitcoin made a big splash in the financial world. This accessible book is an excellent introduction to both monetary theory and crypto technology."
– Markus K. Brunnermeier, Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Economics, Princeton University
"This terrific book lucidly explains the key components of Bitcoin and blockchain, including hashing, public key cryptography, and smart contracts, embedded in an excellent presentation of key concepts from monetary economics and discussion of recent challenges for cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies. If you are looking for one book on this topic, this is it."
– Harald Uhlig, Bruce Allen and Barbara Ritzenthaler Professor in Economics and the College, University of Chicago
Former Team Members