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 course starts 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 analyses the 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 other cryptocurrencies (“Altcoin”) like Ethereum, smart contracts, Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (“DAOs”), sidechains, and blockchain interoperability are examined. The latter part of the course focuses on 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 the challenges 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.
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July