Coursebooks

Financial applications of blockchains and distributed ledgers

FIN-413

Lecturer(s) :

Xu Jiahua

Language:

English

Withdrawal

It is not allowed to withdraw from this subject after the registration deadline.

Remarque

Special schedule: see the IF website http://sfi.epfl.ch/mfe/study-plan

Summary

This course provides an introduction to distributed ledger technology, blockchains and cryptocurrencies, and their potential applications in finance and banking.

Content

The course covers the basics of cryptography and its applications to cryptocurrencies; historical examples to centralized cryptocurrencies; foundations of modern decentralized cryptocurrencies; Byzantine fault tolerant consensus; mechanics of Bitcoin platform including storage, mining, wallets, etc.; alternative platforms, including Ethereum, Ripple and EOS; smart contracts; potential applications of decentralized ledgers in finance and their pros and cons.

Keywords

Electronic Money, Cryptocurrencies, Distributed Ledger Technology, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Smart Contracts

Learning Prerequisites

Recommended courses

Introduction to Finance

Important concepts to start the course

Cryptography, Databases, Payment Systems

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

Transversal skills

Teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, group project

Assessment methods

20% Homework

40% Group presentation and report

40% Individual essay

Supervision

Office hours Yes
Assistants Yes
Forum Yes

Resources

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)

No

Bibliography

Narayanan, A., J. Bonneau, E. Felten, A. Miller, and S. G. (2016). Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction. Princeton University Press, 2016(8), 304.

Nakamoto, S. (2008). Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Retrieved from www.bitcoin.org

Foley, S., Karlsen, J. R., & Putnins, T. J. (2019). Sex, Drugs, and Bitcoin: How Much Illegal Activity Is Financed through Cryptocurrencies? Review of Financial Studies, 32(5), 1798¿1853. https://doi.org/10.1093/rfs/hhz015

Tucker, C., & Catalini, C. (2018). What Blockchain Can¿t Do. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/06/what-blockchain-cant-do

Catalini, C., & Gans, J. S. (2019). Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2874598

Ressources en bibliothèque

In the programs

  • Financial engineering, 2019-2020, Master semester 1
    • Semester
      Fall
    • Exam form
      During the semester
    • Credits
      2
    • Subject examined
      Financial applications of blockchains and distributed ledgers
    • Lecture
      2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Financial engineering, 2019-2020, Master semester 3
    • Semester
      Fall
    • Exam form
      During the semester
    • Credits
      2
    • Subject examined
      Financial applications of blockchains and distributed ledgers
    • Lecture
      2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Financial engineering minor, 2019-2020, Autumn semester
    • Semester
      Fall
    • Exam form
      During the semester
    • Credits
      2
    • Subject examined
      Financial applications of blockchains and distributed ledgers
    • Lecture
      2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks

Reference week

MoTuWeThFr
8-9
9-10
10-11
11-12
12-13
13-14
14-15
15-16 EXTRANEF126
16-17
17-18
18-19
19-20
20-21
21-22
Lecture
Exercise, TP
Project, other

legend

  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German