Bitcoin, Crypto-Assets, and Blockchain Technology, March-May 2024

University of Milano-Bicocca

e-learning: https://elearning.unimib.it/course/view.php?id=47971

If you have an e-mail @campus.unimib.it please join the 202403-bicocca channel in the Slack BBT workspace using your first and last name (no nicknames) and a profile picture. Updates and conversations about the course will be posted in the Slack channel.

The course is for the students of University of Milano-Bicocca only; anyone else, please consider https://dgi.io/workshop.

Learning objectives

The course is an introduction to bitcoin crypto- assets, and the associated blockchain technology.

Game theory, computer science (distributed systems, distributed consensus), and monetary theory elements are examined in the attempt to properly convey the interdisciplinarity of the topics and appreciate their relevance.

Prerequisites

There are no strict prerequisites, even if a computer science mindset and some familiarity with algebra and finance might help to appreciate the course. While a rigorous formal approach is almost impossible in a course touching on so many and so different knowledge areas, intellectual curiosity is stimulated about the interplay between maths, cryptography, economic incentives, technology, monetary theory, regulatory issues, and politics.

Teaching method

Slide based lessons with associated bibliography.

Teaching language

English.

Assessment

Multi-choice questions test.

Schedule

  1. 2024-03-06 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Bitcoin as Digital Gold
    slides
  2. 2024-03-13 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Bitcoin as Digital Gold (Part 2)
    slides
  3. 2024-03-20 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Discrete Logarithm Problem on Finite Fields and Elliptic Curves (first chapter only)
    slides
    Hash Functions
    slides
    Blockchain, Mining, and Distributed Consensus (Part 1)
    slides
  4. 2024-03-27 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Blockchain, Mining, and Distributed Consensus (Part 2)
    slides
  5. 2024-04-03 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Blockchain, Mining, and Distributed Consensus (Part 3)
    slides
    Wallets and Custody
    slides
  6. 2024-04-10 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Beyond Bitcoin: Altcoins, Tokens, Smart Contract, and Blockchain Applications
    slides
  7. 2024-05-08 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    Beyond Bitcoin: Altcoins, Tokens, Smart Contract, and Blockchain Applications (Part 2)
    slides
    Timestamping and the OpenTimestamps Protocol
    slides
    Financial Products and Services for the Blockchain Economy slides
  8. 2024-05-15 Wednesday 08:30-10:30, U6-10
    The Cryptocurrency Frontier in Monetary Engineering
    Bitcoin: oro digitale per nuovi standard monetari
    Hayek Money and Dual Asset Ledger
    slides and video
    Hayek Money: The Cryptocurrency Price Stability Solution

Introductory reading

Technology references

Monetary theory references