Courses of Study 2017-2018 
    Mar 22, 2023  
Courses of Study 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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CS 5433 - Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies, and Smart Contracts

Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.

Prerequisite: minimum of two computer science courses or equivalent knowledge. Programming experience, familiarity with common algorithms and data structures, and an understanding of basic concepts in discrete mathematics. Offered at Cornell Tech in New Your City.


Viewed variously as a niche currency for online criminals and a technological threat to the financial industry, Bitcoin has fueled mythmaking, financial speculation, and real technological innovation. We will study both Bitcoin and the technological landscape it has inspired and catalyzed. Topics will include: the mechanics of consensus algorithms, such as Proof of Work and Byzantine Consensus, and their role in blockchains and cryptocurrencies; cryptographic tools employed in cryptocurrencies, including digital signatures algorithm and zero-knowledge proofs; the evolution and mechanics of Bitcoin and its ecosystem; smart contracts; and special topics, such as trusted hardware in blockchain-based systems, smart contracts and real-world contract law, and cryptocurrencies and crime. Grading will be based on homework assignments and a final project.

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