As the Internet was the first digital medium for information, blockchain is the first native digital medium for value. Blockchain is poised to transform the economy and society at large—redefining the ways we transact online, share ideas, and manage workflows. The financial services sector is a key lever in such transformations.
This four-course specialization introduces learners to the world of blockchain technology for financial services—including what blockchain is, how it works, and why it is revolutionary. Students learn about various categories of cryptoassets and the ways they can be transacted on a blockchain. They learn how blockchain is transforming the economy and society at large—redefining workflows, global payments, and prosperity. As an outcome of this specialization, students produce a Strategic Action Plan wherein they identify and evaluate a promising application of blockchain technology within the financial services industry.
The Specialization is taught by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, globally-recognized authorities on innovation and technology and authors of the best-selling book, “Blockchain Revolution.” It also includes various industry experts and practitioners who will share their experiences within the blockchain ecosystem.
Introduction to Blockchain for Financial Services
In this first course of the specialization, we will discuss the limitations of the Internet for business and economic activity, and explain how blockchain technology represents the way forward. After completing this course, you will be able to explain what blockchain is, how it works, and why it is revolutionary. You will learn key concepts such as mining, hashing, proof-of-work, public key cryptography, and the double-spend problem. You’ll be able to describe seven design principles for blockchain technology, and the challenges facing the people developing it. You’ll also meet the players in the blockchain ecosystem, and consider your own role in stewarding the blockchain revolution.
Blockchain, Cryptoassets, and Decentralized Finance
Today, large intermediaries establish trust in our economy and control the movement, storage, and allocation of money and assets. The status quo, however, is rife with inefficiencies. In this course, we’ll address the many challenges of the status quo and discuss how cryptoassets, smart contracts, new identity systems, and new financial business models can help overcome them. You’ll learn how blockchain technology empowers individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses with the tools they need to help level the playing field and to participate in the value they create. By the end of this course, you’ll learn how and why transacting on the blockchain can help us bring about a future that is faster, fairer, and more distributed than the world we inhabit today.
Blockchain Transformations of Financial Services
The current global financial system is riddled with inefficiencies, uneven developments, and bizarre contradictions. Blockchain technology has the potential to bring about profound changes to financial services. In this course, you will learn how blockchain technology will disrupt the core functions of the financial services industry, offering individuals and organizations alike real choices in how they create and manage value.
Blockchain in Financial Services: Strategic Action Plan
In this fourth and final course of the specialization, you will synthesize your learning into a Strategic Action Plan. The goals of this course are twofold: One, it’s for you to identify a specific need or problem within the financial services industry that can potentially be solved using blockchain technology. Two, it’s for you to investigate possible solutions to this problem, and to develop a strategic plan for how these solutions might be executed. You will accomplish different project milestones each week, and will be introduced to several tools to organize your findings. Throughout this process, you will hear from real-world practitioners who have hands-on experience in the blockchain ecosystem. Additionally, by participating in this course you will gain access to our Blockchain Case Commons—a crowdsourced collection of blockchain applications and use-cases spanning multiple industries. As an outcome of this course, you will walk away with a consolidated, peer-reviewed Strategic Action Plan, which you can use to pitch your idea to your organization and/or potential investors.