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Blockchain & Alternative Finance: A Practical Guide

Blockchain & Alternative Finance: A Practical Guide

The blockchain is about to radically transform how humans and machines engage in economic activity, forever. While humans have been using formal institutions to reduce uncertainty in trade since the dawn of time, this technology is evolving this age-old model into something far more interesting: the distributed autonomous organization.

Say goodbye to the Information Superhighway and hello to the Decentralized Economy.

Even for the most informed technologists, this technology is complicated and often dense subject matter to internalize and understand fully. This course is here to help students unpack the ideas and better understand what the most important opportunities are in and around this new technology.



This course provides a grounded and organisationally relevant introduction to blockchain and related cryptocurrency technology. Starting from first principles, the course approaches the technology from some different perspectives providing foundational knowledge that will enable delegates to return to their organizations, or community projects, with a clear understanding of how this critical technology impacts the bottom line. The blockchain components are then supplemented with an overview of Alternative Finance. 




Participants who fully attend this course and complete the test on the last day will receive a Strategic Axis Professional Certificate (SAPC). SAPC certificates are regionally recognized and can be quite valuable when applying for more senior roles within the organization or outside.



Module 1: Background and Introductions

Why is blockchain so important? Benefits and pitfalls considered

How is blockchain used? High-level case studies

Alternative Finance – linkage to alternative payment solutions

Module 2: How organizations work and examples

Front to back – business process flows & making money – goods & services

Technology architecture – centralized vs. distributed

Banking and payments infrastructure

Central banking, correspondent banking, commercial banking, investment banking

Alternative finance frameworks

What is the interaction between organizations?

Supply and purchase

Module 3: Money

What is money and how does it acquire value?

The advent of the internet and the case for digital money

How central banks work within the broader economy

Module 4: History of Cryptocurrencies

The world pre-bitcoin

Bitcoin and why study it?

The emergence of blockchain from Bitcoin – the BoE paper

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Today – Intro – Exchanges – CryptoCompare

The concept of a blockchain – multiple blockchains

What other blockchain, cryptocurrency platforms are there and what do they do?

Current examples and their application

Module 5: High Level - How blockchains (and cryptocurrencies) work?

Simple explanation

The challenge of online money – issues related to the sending and receiving of money

The relationship between blockchain and cryptocurrency – separable

Enterprise-Grade – Public and Private Blockchains – High Level Use Cases

Module 6: Key Technical Components

Digital signing and Public key encryption

Hashing (importance of)

The concept of identity

Example basic currencies

PRACTICAL EXERCISES – Understanding Wallets, Sending and Receiving Bitcoin

Module 7: Building the Blockchain

Centralized and decentralized networks

Consensus (and relationship to identity)

Consensus algorithms

Building a blockchain – looking at a blockchain working

Rewarding participation – the need for a currency; private vs. public

Module 8: Using a Blockchain

Creating a currency

The synergy between a blockchain and cryptocurrency (and why is this beneficial)

Smart contracts

A Bitcoin transaction and transaction fees

Module 9: The Community and Governance

The DAO and Ethereum story

Technology governance

Regulatory and central banking perspectives

Government perspectives

Module 10: Regulation and the Law

Legitimacy – what the law says

Tax Treatment

Money Laundering

New York’s BitLicense

Module 11: Application

Disrupting your business model

Commercial perspectives – how do you engage a blockchain company?

What are the economics of issuing a cryptocurrency?

The broader narrative – what’s happening in blockchain?

Module 12: Recap

Core technology components

Trust fabrics – hashing and Anti-Money Laundering solutions


Cryptocurrencies as utility vectors

Smart contracts

Module 13: Alternative Finance - Overview and Definition

Why Alternative Finance?

Metrics – Size, Players, Growth, Trends, Structure, Headlines

The challenge of interoperability



Peer to Peer Business Lending

Business Lending

Equity-Based Crowd Funding

Female Participation

Islamic Finance and Islamic Crowdfunding


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