Course Description

Students complete distributed ledger labs before developing, implementing, and ‘demo or die’ sharktanking their own new blockchain project. Blockchain concepts such as decentralization, smart contracts, trust, and consensus governance are discussed.



Professor of Record

Lee McKnight


Undergraduate (IST 400) and graduate (IST 608) students.

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the structure of a blockchain and how and why it can create trust (with cryptography for information security and immutability) across decentralized, Zero Trust networks, and be able to evaluate when/if it may be better than a simple distributed database for an application;
  • Gain awareness of the challenges that exist in monetizing and regulating new businesses, and new products and services from established enterprises, with blockchain solutions and smart contracts, with or without cryptocurrencies and tokens.
  • Describe and understand the differences between the most prominent blockchain ecosystems, consensus governance mechanisms such as Proof of Work and Proof of Stake, as well as rising alliances, networks, and markets.
  • Understand how to create, analyze, use, manage, and govern blockchain distributed ledger applications.

Course Syllabus

IST 400/608 Spring 2021 Syllabus - Lee McKnight

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