Blockchains and cryptocurrencies represent a novel application of cryptography and information technology to age-old problems such as financial record-keeping, the medium of exchange and decentralised authorities. Their potential contribution in the areas of banking and corporate governance have the potential to trigger profound changes. Many major players in the financial industry, including regulators and central banks, have started to invest in this new technology. This course aims to provide a synthetic overview of cryptocurrencies and blockchain topics related to banking and finance. On the technical side, this course will enable students to understand the essential technical concepts related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. On the financial side, it aims to equip the student with the capability to identify the underlying business and financial implications of various blockchain projects, and to understand the potential impact on current framework of financial services, corporate governance structure and regulation.
Overall and after the completion of the course, students are expected to be in position to apply the principles of banking and finance to evaluate the business logics of blockchain projects. They shall acquire a grasp and be capable of analyzing the financial and regulatory consequences of crypto-issuers’ strategic behaviour. They shall understand the origin, current status and possible orientations of digital cash and identify potential business opportunities. Finally, they are expected to develop relevant strategies to use blockchain to solve issues in corporate governance.