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Cours scientifiques - ECO_3S051_EP : Economics of Block Chains

Domaine > Economie.


The financial industry was until recently a very concentrated sector. This is becoming less and less true as a wave of innovations greatly lowers the barriers to entry and intensifies the degree of competition among providers of financial services. Disruptive technologies are being implemented at an increasing pace, leading to major changes in the realms of payments, lending and borrowing, insurance, wealth management, venture capital.
To understand this revolution, one needs to have a good grasp of technological innovations as well as of the economics of the financial sector. This course will introduce students to both dimensions, allowing them to identify how financial services can be improved with new approaches.
The course will put a strong emphasis on the blockchain protocol because of its disruptive potential, hopefully preparing the audience for the next wave of innovations. We will adopt a hands-on approach with the objective of enabling students to monitor transactions over Bitcoin’s blockchain


Reading list:

  • Acemoglu, Daron and Simon Johnson. (2007). “Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth”, Journal of Political Economy, Vol 115(6), pp. 925-985.
  • Hoyt Bleakley (2010). “Malaria Eradication in the Americas: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 2, pp.1-45.
  • Das Jishnu and Jeffrey Hammer (2014) "Quality of Primary Care in Low-Income Countries: Facts and Economics," Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 6 pp. 525-553.
  • Björkman Martina and Jakob Svensson (2009) “Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 124(2) pp.735–769.

Objectifs pédagogiques

On completion of this course, students should understand:
• The ongoing trends in the Fintech industry and their technological underpinnings;
• How cryptographic functions make it possible to secure transactions over a public network;
• Why the blockchain technology can replace third-party certification;
• What are “smart contracts.”

4 blocs ou créneaux

Diplôme(s) concerné(s)

Parcours de rattachement

domaines Saclay

ODD 1 Pas de pauvreté, ODD 3 Bonne santé et bien-être, ODD 7 Energie propre et d’un coût abordable, ODD 9 Industrie, Innovation et Infrastructure, ODD14 Vie aquatique, ODD 8 Travail décent et croissance économique.

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade américain

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Programmes d'échange internationaux

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Bachelor of Science de l'Ecole polytechnique

Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée écrêtée à une note seuil de 11)
    L'UE est acquise si Note finale >= 9
    • Crédits ECTS acquis : 2 ECTS

    Le coefficient de l'UE est : 2

    La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

    Programme détaillé

    1. Introduction to Banking, Fintech and Payment Systems.
    2. Basics of Cryptography: Public/private keys, Hash functions…
    3. Decentralization under “Nakamoto” consensus: Byzantine general’s problem,
    transactions, mining, Proof-of-work.
    4. Using Bitcoin core: How to become a node in Bitcoin’s network, structure of transactions.
    5. Smart Contracts: Algorithmic Decision making, Programing self-executing contracts in
    Bitcoin script, Ethereum protocol, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO).
    6. Decentralized Finance

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