Today, large intermediaries establish trust in our economy and control the movement, storage, and allocation of money and assets. The status quo, however, is rife with inefficiencies. In this course, we’ll address the many challenges of the status quo and discuss how cryptoassets, smart contracts, new identity systems, and new financial business models can help overcome them. You’ll learn how blockchain technology empowers individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses with the tools they need to help level the playing field and to participate in the value they create. By the end of this course, you’ll learn how and why transacting on the blockchain can help us bring about a future that is faster, fairer, and more distributed than the world we inhabit today.
Blockchain is the first native digital medium for value. Consequently, we are witnessing one of the largest transformations of wealth in human history—from paper-based analog assets to digital ones. In this module, students will learn about seven different kinds of cryptoassets, including cryptocurrencies, protocol tokens, utility tokens, securities tokens, natural asset tokens, crypto collectibles, crypto-fiat currencies, and stablecoins.
In this module, you will learn what smart contracts are and how they work. We will discuss how blockchain-based smart contracts can enable individuals and organizations to reduce transaction costs, minimize the need for third-party intermediaries, and improve productivity, security, and privacy.
Accessing large, centralized systems such as email, health insurance, or a bank account requires the provision of various identifiers—for example, government-issued ID cards, self-selected passwords, or biometric data. However, identifier-based systems are problematic—both administratively and philosophically. In this module you will learn about five problems with identifier-based systems and explain how a distributed self-sovereign identity system, deployed on the blockchain, can resolve many of these issues.
DApps and Distributed Business Models
There are countless opportunities for blockchain to disrupt or displace traditional centralized business models. In this module, we explore how blockchain technology can support “open networked enterprise” business models through the inclusion of native payment systems, reputation systems, uncensorable content, trustless transactions, smart contracts, and autonomous agents.