Singapore University of Social Sciences

Blockchain Technologies: Applications and Challenges (FIN547)

Applications Open: 01 April 2020

Applications Close: 31 May 2020

Next Available Intake: July 2020

Course Types: Certificate Course, Modular Graduate Course, SkillsFuture Series

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Finance

Schemes: Lifelong Learning Credit (L2C)

Funding: SkillsFuture


Synopsis

FIN547 Blockchain Technologies: Applications and Challenges helps students to acquire a technical understanding of how blockchain works and how it can be used to address real-world problems. The coursestarts with an overview of the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, followed with technical protocols, tools, and processes that enable decentralization and the adoption of bitcoin. The course analysesthe bitcoin mechanism (blocks, mining, distributed consensus, and P2P network) and ecosystem (hard/soft forks, wallets, and exchanges). It then looks at other distributed consensus mechanisms, where othercryptocurrencies (“Altcoin”) like Ethereum, smart contracts, Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (“DAOs”), sidechains, and blockchain interoperability are examined. The latter part of the course focuseson case studies, hands-on experience and projects, in order to help students form a critical understanding of how blockchain technologies can be applied to both financial and nonfinancial areas, as well as thechallenges and questions that still need to be addressed.Overall, the course is aimed at providing technical foundation underlying blockchain and digital currencies, and equipping students with tools and mindsets to design and develop on the blockchain and provide innovative solutions to real-world issues.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July

Topics

  • Introduction to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies: history and the present
  • Technical protocols, tools, and processes: cryptographic hashes, encryption, digital signatures, hash chains and Merkle trees
  • Bitcoin mechanism: blocks, mining, distributed consensus, proof-of-work, P2P network, SPV nodes, and bitcoin scripting
  • Bitcoin ecosystem: fungibility, hard/soft forks, wallets, exchanges, mining pools and centralization, regulation, and security
  • Interacting with bitcoin ecosystem: pegged sidechains, private blockchains, data layers, etc.
  • Other cryptocurrencies and alternative distributed consensus mechanisms
  • Ethereum, Smart contract, and DAOs
  • Case studies: blockchain start-ups, applications, and alternative platforms
  • Coding and developing applications on blockchain platforms
  • Blockchain technology’s challenges: scalability and usability
  • Blockchain technology’s challenges: privacy, identity, and ethical issues
  • Possible solutions to the challenges and the future of blockchain technology

Learning Outcome

  • Appraise the development of blockchain technology, its challenges and possible solutions
  • Examine technical protocols, tools, and processes underlying bitcoin mechanism and ecosystem
  • Assess altcoins especially Ethereum, Smart Contracts, and DAOs
  • Evaluate existing major blockchain applications
  • Develop and code applications on blockchain platforms
  • Design solutions based on blockchain technologies to address real-world issues
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