In 2008, the pseudonymous computer scientist Satoshi Nakamoto introduced a cryptographic currency called the Bitcoin based on a novel decentralized ledger called the blockchain. While Bitcoin as a currency has had its ups and downs, there is growing interest in the decentralized ledger (the blockchain). The blockchain has potential applications in many different areas of finance which have traditionally used a centralized ledger maintained by a trusted party.
Banks, exchanges, depositories, central banks and regulators are all exploring potential applications of the blockchain to reduce costs, increase robustness and shorten settlement delays. A number of startups have received funding to build some of these applications.
The programme is oriented towards finance professionals and business managers who need to understand the strategic implications of the blockchain in their respective fields. While a high level understanding the cryptographic foundations is essential for this purpose, the programme is not focused on the mathematical and technical aspects of the cryptography.
Though the programme is not about Bitcoin, it takes the view that cryptocurrencies are not only the first application of the blockchain, but also its best known and most important exemplar. It will thus discuss the design of cryptocurrencies as a blockchain application.
Centralized and decentralized trust models
The cryptographic foundations of the blockchain and related technologies
Public, Private and Permissioned blockchains
Design features of important cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Ethereum
Applications of blockchain in areas like
Trade finance and the supply chain
Securities trading and setttlement
Senior and Middle level Managers of Banks, financial institutions, financial regulators, fintech entrepreneurs
Mainly lectures with a few videos, case studies and lab exercises.