Instructors

Gregory La Blanc Dawn Song Adam Sterling
Gregory La Blanc Dawn Song Adam Sterling
Lecturer, Haas Business School Professor, EECS Executive Director, Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy

Project Mentors

Min Du Jian Liu Alexis Persson
Min Du Jian Liu Alexis Persson
Postdoc, EECS Postdoc, EECS J.D. Candidate, Berkeley Law

Lectures

Time: Monday 6:00–8:00 pm

Location: Lectures in Chou N570, Guest Panels in Boalt 110 or Andersen Auditorium (F295)

Office Hours

bCourses

To receive announcements on information about the course, including distinguished guest speakers and blockchain-related talks at Berkeley, please make sure you have access to the bCourses site.

Registration for Special Guest Lectures

On 3/11, 4/1, and 4/29, class will consist of a panel of esteemed guest speakers, chaired by one of our instructors, to speak on a selected special topic. These guest lectures are open to the public, so if you wish to attend but are not enrolled in the class, please register using the following links:

Course Description

Blockchain is one of the most significant technologies to impact law and business in many years. Blockchain is also one of the most interdisciplinary areas, bringing together new questions and opportunities at the intersection of technology, business and law. This course is designed to employ this interdisciplinary nature. We will provide an overview of the technology behind blockchain and explore current and potential real-world applications in technology, business, and law.

Course Materials

The required textbook for the class is The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains by Antony Lewis (find here on Amazon). Links to supplemental readings will be posted accordingly.

Syllabus

Date Location Topic Readings Talk Deadlines
01/28 Chou N570 What is Money – Setting the Stage for Bitcoin and Blockchain (LaBlanc) On the Origin of Money | Is Bitcoin a Real Currency | Some Simple Economics of Blockchain | Digital Currencies, Decentralized Ledgers, and the Future of Central Banking | Island Money | The Ancient History of Bitcoin | History of Money Class 1 Slides
02/04 Chou N570 Technical Primer on Blockchain (Guest Lecture - Max Fang) Princeton Bitcoin Book - Chapters 2 & 3 (not sections 3.2 and 3.3); Chapter 1 for further optional reading
02/11 Chou N570 New Venture Finance, Cryptocurrencies, and Regulation (Sterling) The Laws That Govern the Securities Industry | SEC v. Howey Co., 328 U.S. 293 (1946) | SEC ICO Portal | The SAFT Project: Toward a Compliant Token Sale Framework | Not So Fast - Risks Related to the Use of a "SAFT" for Token Sales Class 3 Slides

Project Template Slides
02/18 No Class – Presidents' Day
02/25 Chou N570 Payment Systems (LaBlanc) How People Pay Around the World Class 4 Slides
03/04 Chou N570 Technical Primer on Blockchain Part Two (Guest Lecture - Max Fang) LND Overview and Developer Guide | Lightning User Experience: A Day in the Life of Carol | Exploring Lightning Network Routing Class 5 Slides
03/11 Andersen Auditorium (F295) Guest Panel on Payments (Chaired by LaBlanc)
03/18 Chou N570 New Venture Finance, Cryptocurrencies, and Regulation Part Two (Sterling)
03/25 No Class – Spring Recess
04/01 Boalt 110 Guest Panel on ICOs and Crytpofinance (Chaired by Sterling)
04/08 Chou N570 Smart Contracts, Security, and Privacy (Song and Cheng)
04/15 Chou N570 Smart Contracts and Supply Chains (LaBlanc) Smart Contracts: 12 Use Cases for Business & Beyond | Contracts Ex Machina | Blockchain-Driven Supply Chain Finance | The Problem with Smart Contracts | These 11 Questions Will Help You Decide if Blockchain is Right for Your Business
04/22 Chou N570 Issues from an Economist and Regulators' Perspective (Zhiguo He)
04/29 Andersen Auditorium (F295) Guest Panel on Enterprise Blockchain (Chaired by LaBlanc)
05/06 Chou N570 Final Presentations
05/13 Chou N570 Final Exams

Class format and project

This is a lecture, discussion, and project oriented class. Each lecture will focus on one of the topics, including a survey of the state-of-the-art in the area and an in-depth discussion of the topic. Each week, students are expected to complete reading assignments before class and participate actively in class discussion.

Students will also form project groups (6 people per group: 2 from EECS, 2 from Haas, 2 from Boalt) and complete a high-impact class project. The final project/deliverable will be small team presentation on a new application of blockchain (with a legal and business analysis). Finally, students will take a final examination that surveys the issues addressed in the course.

Laptop and Electronic Device Policy

A mutually supportive learning environment depends on active attention and engagement. For this reason, the use of laptops, tablets, cell phones, or any other electronic device is discouraged during classroom sessions. If you violate this policy without prior approval for an accommodation, you face, at a minimum, a substantial penalization in the class participation portion of your grade.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies - Free introductory book available on website

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there space in this class? As of now, all seats in the class have been filled.

Can I audit the class? Unfortunately, space constraints keep us from allowing students to audit the class. Some guest panels will be open to the public—to attend, please register following the links above under Registration for Special Guest Lectures.