Digital Currencies and Smart Contracts
This Lecture provides an overview of digital currencies and smart contracts. The main focus of the lecture will be on the security, privacy, scalability, and limitations of blockchain systems, but it will also cover centralized systems such as traditional e-cash schemes. The lecture will first introduce the basics of blockchain technology based on the example of Bitcoin before covering more advanced topics such as anonymity, smart contracts, and off-chain protocols.
At the end of this lecture, students will understand how blockchains function and which properties they provide as well as their limitations. Students will also learn how anonymity is achieved in the most prominent privacy-focused cryptocurrencies (e.g. Zcash) as well as the basics of smart contracts and simple off-chain protocols.
Prerequisites: Students taking this course should understand basic cryptographic primitives such as hash functions and digital signatures.
The course will be offered as a two weeks block course at the end of the summer term between the 8th and 19th of August 2022. Lectures take place Monday - Friday from 10:15 to 12:00 (except on the 15th, which is replaced by an additional lecture on the 16th at 14:15) in the lecture room (0.05) of the CISPA building. The exam will take place as a written exam on the 25th of August from 10:00 to 11:30 in the lecture room (0.05) of the CISPA building.