Course Syllabus

The course provides a crash course in modern cryptography, and next applies tools from cryptography to introduce students to the main ideas underlying cryptocurrencies and blockchains.

The class meets online on Tuesdays and Thursday from 10.25-11.40. Attendance is mandatory.
The zoom link to the class is here.

The grade is based on your final deliverable as well as course participation.


  • Introduction to Cryptocurrencies
  • A crash course in Cryptography:
    • secret-key encryption;
    • public-key encryption;
    • digital signatures;
    • applications to digital banking.
  • The Bitcoin cryptocurrency
  • What is a Blockchains?
  • Bitcoin’s blockchain and Proof of Work
  • Economics of blockchains: selfish mining, incentives 
  • Alternative blockchains:
    • Permissioned blockchains;
    • Proof of Stake.
  • Smart contracts,
  • More advanced cryptographic tools: Privacy, Zero-knowledge Proofs, Fair randomness generation.

Student Outcomes:

  • Acquire a basic understanding of fundamental concepts from modern cryptography;
  • Acquire a basic understanding of the mechanics underlying blockchains and cryptocurrencies;
  • Understanding what problems a blockchain solves.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due