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The business and law of blockchain

The business and law of blockchain

Blockchain is one of the most disruptive technologies to impact business in recent years. Its significance is such that understanding its ramifications is an interdisciplinary subject spanning technology, business, law and education. Its applications extend far beyond the cryptocurrency applications – Bitcoin, Ethereum and others – for which it is best known. Blockchain’s ability to generate a distributed ledger of events and transactions that cannot be retrospectively altered makes it ideal for academic records, for example. Here’s our article on that application of blockchain.

There are plenty of courses out there aiming to fill the skills gap in blockchain technology. Here are some we wrote about a few months back. It is a red-hot area for I.T. jobs right now. But that is just the nuts and bolts of the technology. What about laws surrounding blockchain? And how to productize the technology into successful new business models?

A pioneering new course at Berkeley Haas School of Business aims to provide answers to these questions and foster a generation of cryptopreneurs, to (Bit-) coin a phrase. Taking for granted the current excitement and buzz surrounding blockchain, the course delves into the long-term implications of the technology for those wishing to enter the market with products based on it. One topic of particularly intense interest will be how to pitch a blockchain-based venture to VCs.

Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics, and the Future of Technology, Business and Law is a 15-week course of lectures, discussions and projects, with students working in project teams of 6. Its final deliverable is a presentation on a new application of blockchain , with a legal and business analysis. The course’s convenors are Gregory LaBlanc, a lecturer at Haas Business School, Raymond Cheng, a postdoc researcher at Berkeley EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences), Dawn Song, a professor at EECS, and Adam Sterling, Executive Director of Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy.

La Blanc said the 15-week course will include lectures on topics such as the history of money and currency, the founding of Bitcoin, and the stories behind the industry experts who are building cryptocurrency products. The course will include a variety of guest speakers.

‘Blockchain does have the potential to be a really disruptive technology for many industries,” Sterling said. “There’s a lot of excitement around the early applications, but we’re especially excited for the long-term implications and that’s what we want to equip our students to understand.’