Course Type
Course Area
Enrollment Code
Phelps 3526
Day and Time
M/W 5-6:50pm
Course Description

Are blockchains real? There’s a lot of excitement about blockchains and cryptocurrencies mixed with a lot of skepticism and pessimism. One thing is clear, the field instigated tremendous advances to the foundations of distributed systems and applied cryptography. This course will overview key advances in blockchains with a focus on the scientific foundations underpinning them.

The course will touch on the following topics: an introduction to public blockchain platforms, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, and their core mechanisms. Commonly observed use-cases on Bitcoin and Ethereum like Altcoins, Stablecoins, and DeFi. Concurrency and privacy aspects underlying blockchain technology, including foundations of distributed systems, applied methods in cryptography and privacy. Incentive mechanisms, like gas, mining, and staking. Emerging challenges and solutions in scaling blockchains such as layer-2 solutions and proposer-builder separation.