Blockchain minor block C/D: Inidividual assignments (30 ECTS)

On this page you will find the assignments for 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

Ledger-nomics

  • Video: section 1.1, Ledger-nomics
  • Literature: Chapters 1.1.1 - 1.1.11
"Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world." ―

Start here...

If you haven'y already, please join the slack. Make sure you use you first and your last namen when you create an account. Also please add arecognizable profile picture.

Field assignments:
This week the first challenge owner will give a 25 minute pitch about their challenge. Pay attention, you are able to pass along your top 3 preferences. Do note: we can't promise to match every preference. You need to submit your pick in week 2, after the second and final round of pitches.

Field assignments:
Make sure you find the film form in the Slack documents. You'll need it to record your findings while watching the video's.

1.1.1

What is a ledger? *

Which transfers of value do you have in your life that could (or already are) be recorded in a ledger? Post your answer in the Slack channel and find out what other KOIOS members have found. Think beyond the examples mentioned in the video and come up with at least five examples.

1.1.2

Why are ledgers important? *

Take two of the transfers of value you identified in your own life. If you’re unsure whether they are actually good answers to be able to answer this question, contact your KOIOS members in the Slack. For each transfer of value, determine how the four properties that make ledgers important are applicable.

1.1.3

The history of ledgers. **

Before we go to the next lesson, brainstorm with yourself, a friend or a KOIOS member what you think a perfect ledger could look like. How would it function and which unique characteristics does it have? You can also lookup papers online about this topic.  Post your answer in the Slack channel and start the discussion on why you think your perfect ledger is perfect. Remember; opinions can change and it’s not bad if yours does to. We are here to learn with each other.

1.1.4

The perfect ledger. **

Reflect the perfect ledger that you came up with in the previous lesson on what you learned in this lesson. Were you close, did you miss something? Do you agree with the perfect ledger that was described in this lesson?  Share your what you’ve missed or what you think should exist in the perfect ledger, but wasn’t mentioned in this lesson, in the Slack and make your stand for a perfect ledger.

1.1.6

Problems with centralised ledgers. **

Find examples of the three main categories of downsides of ledgers for one existing ledger from your own country. Examples of ledgers you could use include, but are not limited to, the banking system or the registration system of companies in NL (CoC).

1.1.7

Distributed Decentralized Ledgers. ***

We touched upon what distribution and decentralisation means in the context of ledgers. Investigate the level of distribution and decentralisation of Bitcoin as of today (take the day of answering this question) and create a small (maximum 1A4) report.

1.1.8 (optional, not mandatory)

Problems with Distributed Decentralized Ledgers. ***

The three main problems of distributing a ledger are:

- timing
- ordering
- failure

Explain in a maximum of 75 words per main problem how Bitcoin deals with these problems.  1.1.9. The Byzantine General Problem ***

1.1.9

The Byzantine General problem. ***

Explain, in your own words (!), what the Byzantine General Problem is and how this problem relates to a distributed decentralised ledger.

1.1.10 (optional, not mandatory)

Centralized and Decentralized ledgers compared. ***

Research online into models on determining whether a blockchain could be a suitable solution. Beware that there are a lot of different models, most of which are manipulated or incorrect. That’s where the challenge lies. Choose the model you think is best and provide arguments as to why other models wouldn’t be. You can also choose to design your own model or modify an existing one. This question will provide you with a proper understanding of a concept that is widely misunderstood in the blockchain industry.

Post your model in the Slack channel and evaluate the models of other KOIOS members. Don’t be afraid to ask the authors about them as well ;)

Personal Development assignment #1:
Make the personal Hexaco and the DISC tests to find out your strengths:
http://hexaco.org/hexaco-online
https://www.123test.nl/disc-test/
Send the results to efkapteijn@hhs.nl

Personal Development assignment #2:
Make you first appointment with your motivated minds coach to set your goals!

Assignments week 1

/ WEEK 2

1.2 Blockchain
1.3 Satoshi's cheat
1.4 Why care?

  • Video: section 1.2 - 1.4
  • Literature: chapters 1.2 - 1.4
“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.” ―

Start here: field assignments

Submit your top 3 pick of field assignments before the end of week 2, after the second and final round of pitches.

1.2

How do blokchains work?*
Centralized and Decentralized ledgers compared. ***

You just learned how blockchains work. Write down in less than five sentences what a blockchain is – proving to yourself that you understand.
It’s fine to watch the video again or research further online.

1.3

Satoshi's cheat**

We concluded that the 10-minute time frame interval of the creation of blocks is needed to verify if there are other longer chains / other truths existing to bypass the BGP and reach consensus. Explain why a short (e.g. 1 sec) time frame would not work.

1.4.1

Properties of a blockchain***

No blockchain covers it all. Each blockchain has it’s own properties and therefore its own use-cases. Make a comparison between the Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero blockchains. Use the characteristics we used in this video;

1.

Immutable

2.

Decentralized

3.

Open & public

4.

Transparant

5.

Censorship resistant

6.

Secure

7.

Private

8.

Neutral

9.

Smart programmable data

10.

Increases transaction cost efficiency & computational cost efficiency

1.4.2 (1/2)

Data ownership & personal freedom**

What is your opinion on data ownership and the personal freedom that is associated with it? Do you mind sharing your data in return for the ability to e.g. use Facebook? And if you are concerned, what are you prepared to do about it? Can you do something about it? Start the discussion in the Slack channel.

1.4.2 (2/2)

Data ownership & personal freedom*

Sit back and relax while watching The Great Hack. Record your findings in the FilmForm.

1.4.3

Censorship resistance**

Give five examples of censorship that is applicable to the country you live in. And yes, even the Netherlands has censorship – example of that is the prohibition of selling certain books (e.g. Mein Kampf). Post your answer in the Slack channel (if you’re allowed to… ;) .

1.4.4

The FIAT experiment 1+2*

Research online how much the currency of the country where you live has devalued over the past 20 years. (Tip: search for purchasing power + your currency) Post your answer in the Slack channel.

1.4.5

Software is eating the world***

Write a short essay of min 500 words and max 1,000 words of what you think the next industry that will be digitalised via software. Other than explaining why you think applications will replace this industry, also describe how the application would look like (what will it do) and how it improves current industry. Also include in your answer: is there a possibility that this application would work better in a decentralised manner?  

1.4.6 (optional, not mandatory)

Interconnectivity***

What did you think off the opinions and visions expressed by Elon Musk and Joe Rogan in the interview (see further readings)?

Personal Development assignment #2:
Make you first appointment with your motivated minds coach to set your goals!

Additional optional assignments for the blockchain junkies :):

- Watch the movie "The four horsemen". Use the FilmForm to record your findings.
- Watch the film Banking on bitcoin (Netflix). Use the FilmForm to record your findings.
- View the first part (60 minutes) of the interview at London Real with Andreas Antonopoulos. Use the FilmForm to record your findings.PS The YouTube channel of Antonopoulos is in any case a very good source of information!!! Questions are not in line with the video / not in order:

* What arguments do you agree on?
* What arguments don’t you agree on?
* What can you tell about inflation?
* What can you tell about money and Greece?
* How many people have very limited banking capabilities?
* Is Antonopoulos telling that bitcoin is going to safe us at this moment?
* Is Antonopoulos against cash? Yes or no? Explain why?

- View the documentary the Third Industrial Revolution. Use the FilmForm to record your findings.

Assignments week 2

/ WEEK 3

1.5 Money
1.6 Ethereum
1.7 Socio-economic impact

  • Video: section 1.5 - 1.7
  • Literature: chapters 1.5 - 1.7
"What is really needed to make democracy function is not knowledge of facts, but right education." ―

1.5.1

First use case: money **

Before we dive in, write down for yourself what you think money should be. So don’t think out of the currency you already have in you wallet, but think out of the perspective where you could create a new currency. How would that currency fulfil its roll as money? Post your answer in the Slack channel.

1.5.2

What is money? *

Money = any asset that's widely accepted as payment for goods and services or any repayment for debt.

Give three examples of assets in your environment that fit with this definition of money.

What is money? **

Money has the following properties;

Durable

Portable

Uniform

Limited in supply

Acceptable

Divisible

Interchangeable

Compare the Euro to Bitcoin in regard with these properties. Explain why you think this is or isn't a fair comparison.

1.5.3

The functions of money **

Money is used for three things;

Medium of exchange

Store of value

Unit of account

How do the Euro and Bitcoin compare in these three functions?

1.5.5 (optional, not mandatory)

FIAT money

What is your opinion on the current monetary system and what the future of monetary systems should look like? Create a plea for your position (no size limits – it is enough when you’ve provided all your arguments and have said what you wanted to say).

1.5.5 (optional, not mandatory)

FIAT money

Watch the series of videos “hidden secrets of money” via Youtube. Record your findings on the FilmForm.

1.5.7

The first use case of Bitcoin?*

Name & explain in 5 sentences what the first use case of Bitcoin was?

1.5.8

The money app: other examples ***

What efforts have already been made to reduce transaction costs in the Bitcoin blockchain the past 5 years? Provide at least two examples. Post your answer in the Slack channel.

1.5.8 (optional, not mandatory)

The money app: other examples ***

Describe three other applications that are have been built on Bitcoin, other than the money application. What other future applications do you see built within the next three years? And within 20 years?  

1.5.9

Is Bitcoin the future of money?***

Experience if Bitcoin is actually the future of money by buying yourself your first satoshis (Bitcoin). Tell us something about your experiences! If you have strugglers or concerns when buying your bitcoin, ask for assistance in our Slack. IMPORTANT: you will need your satoshi's in-class in week 4.  Share your experience in the Slack channel.

1.5.9 (optional, not mandatory)

Is Bitcoin the future of money?***

Listen to this debate: Is Bitcoin the Future of Money? Peter Schiff vs. Erik Voorhees.  Which one of them do you think had better arguments and explain why?

Peter Schiff vs. Erik Voorhees

1.6.2 (optional, not mandatory)

Smart contracts explained

Go to https://etherscan.io/ and look how a smart contract looks like. Don’t worry, it’s normal you don’t understand anything that is in the smart contract. It’s meant to give you an idea of the reality behind it. Write down your first impressions?

1.6.4

Use cases of blockchain & smart contracts

Go to https://coinmarketcap.com/ and research the different tokens and coins. Highlight one token/coin by explaining the smart contract and its use case and why you find it a good use case. Post your answer in the Slack channel.

1.6.5

Do I need a blockchain?

Take a look at your own direct environment, what would be a good use case for blockchain technology? You can use online diagrams on when to use a blockchain, but as you well know they can be wrong. The best option is most likely to use the diagram you already defended being a correct thought process.  Post your answer in the Slack channel.

1.7

Socio-economic consequences

What do you think that the socio-economic consequences will be? Do you agree with our host Jordi’s opinions?  Share your opinion in the Slack channel and take it up with the other KOIOS members!

Assignments week 3