Course Details

Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and Smart Contracts

This seminar investigates the law and economics of blockchain and the associated technologies of cryptocurrency and smart contracts. These technologies may be as disruptive as the internet and will create substantial opportunities for both new legal expertise and policy evaluation. Blockchain creates a distributed ledger to which many have access and which is operated by consensus, rather than through an intermediary. It thus resembles an internet of value or financial action, unlike the internet with which we are familiar, which is focused on information. Some blockchains, like Bitcoin, offer ledgers of new stores of value. These are called cryptocurrencies. Other decentralized ledgers, like Ethereum, permit computer programs to generate smart contracts that can settle matters at least in part outside the legal system. Some companies now raise money through creating tokens-a kind of cryptocurrency light-to raise capital. The course will consider the technological, economic and legal aspects of these new innovations. Given that that these are new technologies, the seminar will be intensively discussion based. Students will be expected to participate. For most classes, students will be assigned to add readings of interest about current events and law related to the topic assigned. The course will be divided into two. In the first part, we will focus on the technology, economics and law of these innovations through reading recent articles and books. In the second part we will focus on specific legal issues raised by these topics through student presentations. The course grade will depend on class participation, a substantial final paper, and its presentation to the class. Objectives-To understand the new technologies of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts. To understand better the law and economics of networks and transaction costs in this new technological world. To be able to describe to layman the basics of the law and regulation relating to these new technologies. Books-PRIMAVERA DE FILIPPI & AARON WRIGHT, RULE OF CODE (Afterward RC) DANIEL DRESCHER, BLOCKCHAIN BASICS (BB)

Catalog Number: BUSCOM 732


Course History

Spring 2019
Title: Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and Smart Contracts
Faculty: McGinnis, John O. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 15