Learn how the blockchain authenticates transactions and distributes data to peers — nodes connected to the network. This course shows you how multiple versions of a blockchain are reconciled into one, discusses blockchain limitations, and delves into organizational applications of blockchain technology.
This course requires the purchase of two books for the completion of assignments:
Drescher, D. (2017). Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps. (ISBN-13: 978-1484226032)
Antonoupoulos, A. M. (2017). The Internet of Money, Volume Two. (ISBN-13: 978-1947910065)
Authenticating Transactions and Distributing Data to Peers
-During this initial week we will start by looking at how the blockchain data are shared among nodes in the peer-to-peer network over the internet and how the interconnectivity of the nodes is managed.
Determining the Canonical Version of a Blockchain
-We will continue to look more closely at how nodes add blocks to the data structure with the goal of maintaining a consistent transaction history. We’ll also see that multiple histories can sometimes arise due to a variety of factors ranging from benign, but unpredictable, node outages to intentional malfeasance. This requires that the system have a means of collectively determining which single history is the correct one. We’ll explore two approaches to achieve this: the longest chain criterion and the heaviest chain criterion and practice applying the principles that we have learned in this week’s assignment.
-The blockchain is not a perfect system and indeed has its limitations. We will explore some of the constraints of the blockchain and address the issues that cause such limitations.
Organizational Applications of Blockchain
-We will finish the course by exploring other opportunities for using a blockchain approach to decentralize what have been heretofore centralized industries in which individual entities have controlled or consolidated information. We will develop ideas for applying a blockchain approach to industries other than cryptofinance.