Skip to main content

Blockchain Programming

Module information>

Academic Direction
Goldsmiths, University of London
Also part of
MSc Data Science
Modes of Study

Blockchain is the technology that underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This module will give you a practical and theoretical knowledge of how blockchains work.

Blockchain promises to become a dominant technology in financial and other transactions, whether cryptocurrencies thrive or die.

This module will also give you a practical and theoretical knowledge of security issues with blockchains, where blockchains come from, how to analyse competing notions for blockchains (i.e. proof of stake vs proof of work and Bitcoin vs Ethereum), and what applications there are in the future.

Topics covered

  • Historical intro 
  • Cryptographic preliminaries
  • Merkel trees and blockchains
  • Blockchains and verification
  • Proof of stake and proof of work
  • Block propagation and difficulty adjustment
  • Transactions in Bitcoins and Ethereum
  • Lightning and off-chain transactions
  • Types of attack
  • Forks, and sizes and frequencies of blockchains 


15 (150 hours)


  • Coursework item 1 (30%)
  • Coursework item 2 (50%)
  • Written examination (20%)