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This course will cover the emergence of the peer to peer economy in which buyers and sellers, borrowers and lenders and other partners to transactions deal directly with one another, bypassing intermediaries such as retailers and banks. Students will be introduced to different types of peer to peer markets and will learn the theory and application of different financial instruments and technology infrastructures that facilitate the operation of the peer to peer economy. These include digital currencies, cryptographic tokens, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and blockchains. Students will learn how these new instruments and technologies are disrupting traditional ways of doing business, successful and unsuccessful, applied in the peer to peer economy. Students will learn how different sectors of the economy can function without intermediaries while depending on consensus and distributed ledgers. The course will start by explaining the nature of money and traditional payment and banking systems. It will then study the emergence of stateless, decentralized, cloud-based digital currency systems since 2009, and progress to investment products, derivatives, and innovations such as initial coin offerings within the peer to peer economy. Other related issues to be discussed include marketing, smart contracts, investment risk and return, governance, and regulation.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of the subject, student will be able to:
- Describe the traditional role of money and payment systems and the emergence of stateless, decentralized, cloud-based digital currency systems
- Explain the nature and operation of digital currency in comparison to traditional payment and banking systems.
- Describe blockchain technology, distributed ledgers, mining and consensus models.
- Describe the structure of smart contracts and applications
- Describe the process of token/coin sales, and of capital fund raising using ICOs. Additionally, survey related applications and projects.
- Be able to evaluate the trade-offs between risk and return for investments in cryptocurrency and ICOs.
- Determine the state of current and future blockchain and ICO relevant governance and regulation in Australia
- Design and operationalize a blockchain system for the reconceptualization of a traditional business model into a peer to peer format, without intermediaries.
Last updated: 9 November 2019