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Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers

  • Enseignant(s):   T.Schmelzer  
  • Titre en français: Blockchain et registres distribués
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS: 3 crédits
  • Horaire: Semestre d'automne 2020-2021, 2.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours site web du cours
  • Formations concernées:
    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en sciences actuarielles

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en finance, Orientation finance d'entreprise

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en finance, Orientation gestion des actifs et des risques

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en finance : Entrepreneuriat financier et science des données



This course provides an introduction to distributed ledger technology, blockchains and cryptocurrencies. It focuses on the applications of these technologies in finance and banking.


The course covers the basics of cryptography and its applications to cryptocurrencies; historical examples to centralized cryptocurrencies; foundations of modern decentralized cryptocurrencies; mechanics of Bitcoin platform including storage, mining, wallets, etc.; alternative platforms, including Ethereum; smart contracts; potential applications of decentralized ledgers in finance and their pros and cons. If time permits we discuss Hashgraphs and Libra.

This will be an interactive course. All students will be encouraged to formulate opinions and discuss the implications of aforementioned technology in real-world contexts. The lecture will be supported by a Jupyter server relying on Binder.

We touch subjects as diverse as economics, philosphy, crythography, computer science, the history of the 20th century and above all mathematics.


Narayanan, A., Bonneau, J., Felten, E., Miller, A. and Goldfeder, S., 2016, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, Princeton University Press.

Gauss, C.F., Disquisitiones Arithmeticae, 1801

Berentsen, A., Schär, F., 2017, Bitcoin, Blockchain und Kryptoassets, Universität Basel (text in German)

Antonopoulos, A., 2017, Mastering Bitcoin (2nd Edition) , O'Reilly

Lewis, A., 2018, The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains, Mango


Basic programming (ideally, Python)


1ère tentative

Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

Students will be given the opportunity to shine in a group project. Group projects culminate in a presentation in front of the class. Students can suggest topics or choose from a growing list provided by the lecturer.


Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

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