Blockchain minor block B/D: Inidividual assignment (part 2)

On this page you will find the assignments for the second part of the The Hague University Blockchain Minor. Your contacts for the assignments are Dennis Ijlst and Jordi Jansen. If you have any questions, please let us know (preferably via Slack).

/ WEEK 1

Money & monetary system

  • Hand in in week 2
  • Deadline Sunday dec. 1st
"Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world." ―


Money and monetary transactions can represent symbolic meaning, the same way that language uses words as symbols to represent things or ideas in society. 

A) Explain how money must be socially recognizable by other people in order for it to function? (approx 150 words, 10% marge)

B) Do different cryptocurrencies carry different symbolic meaning? Explain why or why not using examples of cryptocurrencies? (approx 150 words, 10% marge)

C) Argue that bitcoin is or is not money. Support your argument withexamples or references where appropriate and explain why bitcoin is or isn’t money. (approx 400 words, 10% marge)

D) Explain the unit of account function in money.

Central banks play an important role in managing the money in an economy. Some economists state that central banks are vital to the world’s economy.

E) What are the primary functions of a central bank in modern economies? List and describe four or more functions? (approx 100 words 10% marge)

Bitcoin seemingly wasn’t invented by economists but by cryptographers, developers and mathematicians. Economists tend to look at money in a different way than the early crypto enthusiasts and perhaps bitcoin was not invented as money in the “traditional” sense.

F) What did early figures in Bitcoin’s development suggest that a cryptocurrency would be like? (indicated by Nick Szabo, Hal Finney, Satoshi Nakamoto). Explain how the value of cryptocurrency was thought initially to derive its value. (Approx 250 words, 10% marge)

G) There is a specific theory in economics and money known as Austrian economics. Explain the Austrian theory of money and how it differs from the standard model of money. (Approx 250 words 10% marge)


Explain (in a video) in outline what money is and how the money system has developed over the last 4,000 years. Explain in detail how the current monetary system works. Minimum 5 minutes, maximum 15 minutes.

Make sure you present in your own words


Watch the video's below and fill in the filmform

1. Nick Szabo on Cypherpunks, Money and Bitcoin

2. Yuval Noah Harari in conversation with Christine Lagarde


Optional: more slides + further readings & viewings

On request

Assignments week 1

/ WEEK 2

Innovation & business

  • Deadline Sunday dec. 8th
  • Turn in before 23:59 'o clock
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ―


Search for an innovative idea and transform it into an executive summary of a business plan. Each student should prepare and submit a business plan that does not exceed 15 pages, must not be shorter than 10 pages and may report information on: 

Business opportunity 

Target market

Business model

Marketing and sales strategy


Financial analysis


Explain the following three parts in 1 video. Minimum 5 minutes, maximum 15.


Explain the main dimensions of innovation in terms of management, policy, the economy and government to develop an analytic ability in this area.


Explain the emerging opportunities and threats for existing and new businesses that disruptive technologies, such as digital currencies, have brought and may bring.


Explain how digital currencies and blockchains can be seen as financial and technological innovations and how you as a business manager would cope with these two emerging technologies.

2.3 (optional)

Watch the video below and fill in the filmform

Business Innovation, Improve Your Business with Strategic Innovation | Tony Robbins Podcast


Optional: more slides + further readings & viewings

On request

Assignments week 2

/ WEEK 3

Decentralised exchanges & trading

  • Deadline t.b.a.
"What is really needed to make democracy function is not knowledge of facts, but right education." ―


Write a paper of approx 1500 words (10% marge). The paper at least need to conclude:

Your personal view of this report

Justification of your personal view

a bridge to the information obtained during classes


Go through the whitepapers of three decentralized exchanges, but at least one from the following list.

















Describe in 2000 words (10% margin) which you prefer and why. Pay attention to the subjects and problems that decentralized exchanges have (as discussed in the lesslides) Tip: also include the sources used to substantiate your decision-making.

3.3 (optional)

Watch the video's below and fill in the filmform

#235 Changpeng Zhao: The Meteoric Rise of Crypto Exchange Binance

#195 Loi Luu: KyberNetwork – Towards Truly Decentralized Crypto-Asset Exchanges


Optional: more slides + further readings & viewings

On request

Assignments week 3

/ WEEK 4


  • Deadline t.b.a.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ―


Use one or more blockchain explorers, verify the realization of the hard forks that caused the creation of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin SV.


Collect the appropriate block-related information for a time period (or more) for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV.


Briefly report your methodology


presentation and


discussion (e.g., provide possible explanations for the observed patterns in the data, if any) of your findings. For example, you may consider and report plots that show the differences in block sizes for the time period(s) of your analysis. Note. The block-related information as well as the considered time period(s) are left at your discretion.


Suppose that you are providing consulting services to a firm that designs and develops consensus mechanisms. Specifically, you are assigned to propose a new consensus mechanism based on social criteria. For the development of your proposal, you may use the following structure.


First, briefly discuss the role of consensus algorithms with respect to the “scalability-decentralization-security” trilemma.


Briefly propose a consensus mechanism that takes into account social criteria (e.g., social equity) for enhancing the decentralization property. Note. Recommended length: 500-750 words approximately. (10% marge)


Make a video of at least 5 minutes, at most 15 minutes.


Explain which different types of forks there are (hard forks, etc.) and describe them. Report your methodology.


Choose three different ways to scale up a blockchain and explain how they work. Pay attention in your explanation to the layer that is scaled.


Scalability problem in its own words.


Write in approx 750 words (10% marge) how interledger tries to solve interoperability for payments.

Watch the video below and fill in the filmform.

ILP Summit 2019 | State of the Interledger | Evan Schwartz

PDF: A Protocol for Interledger Payments Stefan Thomas & Evan Schwartz


Optional: more slides + further readings & viewings

On request

Assignments week 4

/ WEEK 5


  • Deadline t.b.a.
"Controversial disputes are a part of democratic culture." ―


During class this week:

Jordi introduces main laspects of different specializations. Student gets 30 minutes to research different specializations. The student will request permission for his or her subject. Students examine their specialty for 180 minutes and prepare a presentation. Students present their specialty for approximately 5 minutes each.


Make a video of your presentation and include the feedback you received during the class:


Write out your research about your specialty, as discussed and presented in class. Add any improvement points and feedback.


Deliver your presentation


Write out three other topics that were discussed during the presentations in class. Minimum of 750 to 1000 words per special.

5.4 (optional)

Watch the video's and/or read the document below and fill in the filmform.

MIT Bitcoin Expo 2019 - Zero Knowledge Proofs and Smart Contracts with Bulletproofs

EB116 – Eli Ben-Sasson: Zero Knowledge Proofs

Vitalik Buterin: DAO Lessons, Casper and Blockchain Interoperability (Episode 171)

Casper & Smart Contract Consensus

Ethereum Smart Contracts in L2: Optimistic Rollup

Assignments week 5