Fall 2022

Fundamentals DeCal

Course number: 32916

Enrollment Information

Please enroll through CalCentral using the course number.

Class enrollment decisions will be made by August 31st

About

The Blockchain Fundamentals DeCal is a comprehensive survey of relevant topics in cryptocurrency and the wider blockchain space. From a technological standpoint, we start with the basics of cryptography and economics, establish a solid fundamental understanding of Bitcoin by building it from the bottom up, then explore the myriad of ideas and technologies relating to blockchain technology. On the non-technical side, we start with the history of digital currency, then look at the laws, organizations, trends, and communities behind it to build a complete picture of the ecosystem surrounding blockchain technology.

Goal

The Blockchain Fundamentals DeCal is a comprehensive survey of relevant topics in cryptocurrency and the wider blockchain space. From a technological standpoint, we start with the basics of cryptography and economics, establish a solid fundamental understanding of Bitcoin by building it from the bottom up, then explore the myriad of ideas and technologies relating to blockchain technology. On the non-technical side, we start with the history of digital currency, then look at the laws, organizations, trends, and communities behind it to build a complete picture of the ecosystem surrounding blockchain technology.

Class enrollment decisions will be made by August 31st

Syllabus

Logistics

Prerequisites

This course have no formal prerequisites. However, blockchain is very technical in nature, so coming into this course with knowledge of computer science or cryptography will be extremely helpful, although not required. If you have any concerns about the nature of this course, do not hesitate to reach out to the facilitators. All are welcome regardless of technical background, and additional resources will be available upon request.

Units

1-2 units

Location

Physics Building 1

Schedule

Wednesdays 4-6 PM PST

Siddhant Satapathy

Grading

We hope you can walk away from this class with a concrete understanding of the technology underlying blockchain and the ability to explain/discuss blockchain in technical and non-technical settings. We have organized our grading system accordingly, allocating a high weight to attending lectures and discussion participation.

Grading for 1 Unit

Discussions: 25%
Lecture Attendance: 25%
Weekly Quizzes: 25%
Final Paper: 25%

Grading for 2 Units

Discussions: 25%
Lecture Attendance: 25%
Weekly Quizzes: 25%
Mid-Semester Paper Checkpoint: 5%
Final Paper: 20%

Resources

edX Lectures

Textbooks

You are free to read from these books, which are both freely distributed and available online. Please do NOT go out and buy them. Some readings may be pulled from these books during the course.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies
by Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller, and Steven Goldfeder
Mastering Bitcoin
by Andreas Antonopoulos