Courses of Study 2023-2024 
    Jul 21, 2024  
Courses of Study 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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CS 5433 - Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies, and Smart Contracts

Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only (no audit).

Prerequisite: a good level of programming experience—specifically, the ability to deal with challenging programming tasks—familiarity with common algorithms and data structures, and an understanding of basic concepts in discrete mathematics. Offered in New York City at Cornell Tech.

A. Juels.

Viewed variously as a niche currency for online criminals and a technological threat to the financial industry, Bitcoin has fueled myth-making and financial speculation, as well as real innovation. In this course, we will study not just Bitcoin, but the rich technological landscape it has inspired and catalyzed, especially smart contracts and “Web3.” Topics will include: the mechanics of consensus algorithms and their role in blockchains and cryptocurrencies; cryptographic tools employed in cryptocurrencies, including hash functions, digital signatures, 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, crime, and NFTs. Grading will be based on homework assignments and a final exam.

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