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Course Calendar Course Calendar

Blockchain for Financial Markets: Technology and Business Applications

Day One

Current Monetary and Payment Systems

  • Commercial bank money and deposits. Money creation
  • Correspondent banking, international payments and SWIFT
  • Settlement finality, RTGS, Netting, Reconciliation
  • Central bank money and the TARGET2 example
  • The issues in the current system. From fiat to digital money

Foundations of Blockchain Technology

  • Basics of Internet technology
  • Foundations of cryptography: hashing and asymmetric cryptography
  • Digital signatures with examples
  • State Machine Replication: fault-tolerance, single points of failure, determinism, transition function
  • Distributed Databases: replication vs. duplication, homogeneity vs. heterogeneity
  • Game theory, Consensus Protocols, and Byzantine failures

Understanding Bitcoin

  • The three pillars of a digital monetary system: how Bitcoin gets them
  • Digital transactions: Pseudonymity, Fees, and UTXO architecture
  • Wallets and Scripts. Multisig and n-lock time
  • Double-spending risk and proof-of-work. The business of Mining
  • From game theory to the reality of mining

Smart Contracts and Ethereum

  • Understanding smart contracts: from paper to self-executing contracts
  • Ethereum Account Architecture, Virtual Machine, Gas
  • Smart Contracts in Ethereum and DAPPs (Decentralized Applications)
  • Example Smart Contracts in Solidity: Notarization, Escrow, Tokens
  • Analysis of Smart Contract risks: The Dao, Parity etc.

Advancing Blockchains: Privacy & Scalability

  • Giving parties Legal Identity with Confidentiality (ring signatures, stealth addresses)
  • Shielding transaction amount (homomorphic encryption, zk-snarks)
  • Payment & State Channels (Layer 2), Sharding to increase throughput and reduce latency
  • Sidechains and the Lightning Network

Blockchain Governance: Consensus Algorithms

  • The limits of proof or work. Energy Consumption and Settlement Finality
  • Proof of stake and delegated proof of stake
  • Proof of authority
  • Voting (Practically Byzantine Fault Tolerant Algos)

Private Permissioned Blockchains

  • R3, IBM, DAH, Constellation design: point-to-point networks with bilateral ledgers
  • CORDA controllable Smart Contracts in financial practice
  • Ricardian contract to link smart contracts to legal documents
  • The ecosystem of services for private blockchains
  • The Ethereum private blockchains. A bridge between Private and Public
  • How to match Identity, Privacy and Governance with decentralization
  • Ethereum Enterprise Alliance and JP Morgan Quorum

Day Two

Workshop: Digital Signatures, Transactions and Smart Contracts on a Test Blockchain


From Cryptocurrencies to Central Bank Digital Currencies

  • The cryptocurrency market and the ecosystem of wallets, exchanges etc.
  • The most relevant cryptocurrencies and their technological advances
  • What technical advances can be exported
  • Ripple and The Utility Settlement Coin
  • Currency collateralized by Reserves or by Commodities
  • The US, UK, Euro digitalization perspectives and Projects Jasper, Ubin, and Khoka
  • Monetary policy for Price Stability and Credit in a digital currency

Financial Intermediaries on a Blockchain

  • Order-books, exchanges and decentralized exchanges
  • Delivery vs. payment and Cross-chain Interoperability. Token standards
  • A UK FCA Sandbox bond issuance
  • New Roles for Intermediaries. Key Management, Identity Management, Monitoring etc.
  • Central Counterparties path to transformation - Streamlining, Tokenizing, Smart Contracts to become counterparties of last resort

Derivatives and Collateral on Blockchain

  • Weaknesses: reconciliation costs, settlement delay, herstatt risk, collateral inefficiency etc.
  • The consequences of inefficiency and opacity: CVA/DVA, FVA and capital costs
  • A practical example: Smart CSA Contract to manage collateral
  • Netting automated algorithms to reduce costs and risk
  • Oracles and Trusted computing
  • Data providers for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The future of data with DLT

Business examples with Blockchain/Smart Contracts

  • Trade Finance beyond Letters of Credit
  • Digital bills of lading and proofs. The tri-party smart contracts for buyers, suppliers and carriers
  • Supply Chain. Traceability, Transparency & Quality assurance
  • Tokenization
  • Private Company Money/Specialized Money
  • Notarization and Unicity proof
  • IOT & AI application opportunities and limits
  • Social & Mutual Networks

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

  • A natural next step after permissionless money: permissionless property/funding
  • How tokens are issued. The types of tokens, the legal aspects, the distribution schemes. Different ICO strategies
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Analyzing famous ICOs: Tezos, EOS etc.
  • Trading ICOs and Cryptos. Crypto Funds and diversification strategies

Regulating Blockchains, ICOs and Cryptocurrencies

  • Digital currencies: Commodities? Currency? Securities?
  • Fiscal and legal treatment
  • Compliance on a Blockchain. Different regulatory approaches in different jurisdictions
  • A legal framework for Smart Contracts and the ISDA CDM standardization
  • ICO: utility token, charity tokens, security tokens. Examples and regulations
  • Cybersecurity: the risks and the solutions
  • Issues: integrating with legacy systems

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