IS 556: Public Blockchains

This course gives an overview of blockchain technology and applications. It covers basic cryptographic principles and socio-economic structures. Decentralized principles and applications are discussed. Emphasis will be put on user interfaces and system architectures. Token standards such as ERC 721 or ERC20 are covered and exemplary applications are presented.
The exercises part of the course covers the Solidity language for programming the Ethereum blockchain. Students need to deploy a number of programming assignments on the course’s blockchain and get tokens for successful submissions. Students who collected enough tokens gain access to the final exam.

Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students:

  • understand the basic functional mechanisms behind public blockchain;
  • can analyze given public blockchains and their structure;
  • have acquired knowledge about standards and decentralized applications on blockchains;
  • can program smart contracts in Solidity and deploy them on Ethereum-compatible blockchains.
  • can query and extract information from Ethereum-compatible blockchains.

Necessary prerequisites

Recommended prerequisites
Knowledge of computer programming (in any language).

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS6 SWS
Exercise class2 SWS6 SWS
ECTS credits6
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (60 min)
Restricted admissionyes
Further information
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Markus Strohmaier
Prof. Dr. Markus Strohmaier, Dr. Stefano Balietti
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationM.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. Bus. Edu., M.Sc. Econ., M.Sc. Bus. Inf., MMDS
Preliminary course workStudents have to submit home assignments and collect at least 50% of the available points to be admitted to the exam.
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1
Course outlineThe course will cover how blockchains work including hashing, proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, smart contracts / dApps, wallets, ERC20/ERC721 tokens, blockchain explorers and interfaces, incentives of blockchains and tokenomics.