Blockchain Technology and Applications

BAN435 Blockchain Technology and Applications

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024
  • Topics

    Blockchain technology has been hyped as a disruptive force that could challenge traditional structures and business models. The latest hype is Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which offer interesting new opportunities for companies, artists and individuals with a large fan base. Yet, blockchain technology can support much more than NFTs or cryptocurrencies. For instance, blockchain applications can improve the sustainability of supply chains, increase the efficiency of public administration, and back decentralized digital identities.

    The purpose of this course is to look beyond the hype and provide a balanced picture of what blockchain can do and what it cannot. Students will learn about its technical building blocks and about areas of application in which blockchain has been successful and in which blockchain has not been able to meet expectations. By extracting reasons for success or failure of blockchain, students will investigate where and how the technology can create value. The course will answer questions such as:

    • What are the core technical building blocks of blockchains and the characteristics of smart contracts?
    • What are the unique technical and organizational benefits and challenges of using blockchain?
    • What areas of applications have been explored so far and where and why have blockchains proven useful?
    • What are NFTs and in which marketplaces can they be used?
    • How can blockchains support privacy-oriented digital identities?

  • Learning outcome

    Upon successful completion of the course, the students will have attained the following:


    • Understand blockchain’s technical foundations.
    • Understand key opportunities and challenges of blockchain.
    • Understand how blockchain can be used in specific applications.


    • Recognize misconceptions about blockchain.
    • Identify promising and less promising use cases.

    General competence:

    • Adapt the concepts behind blockchain to the specific requirements of different applications.

  • Teaching

    This course combines lectures and two small programming tutorials to become familiar with implementing smart contracts (Solidity) and zero-knowledge proofs (Circom). A laptop or desktop is required for students.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    A basic programming experience in one of the popular higher-level programming languages, such as Python, C/C++, Java, Kotlin, JavaScript, Go, and others.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity

    Mandatory participation in more than 60% of the lectures.

  • Assessment

    Term paper (3500 - 4000 words) written in groups of 2-3 students within one month after the final lecture.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    • Arun, J., Cuomo, J., & Gaur, N (2019). Blockchain for Business 1st Edition.
    • Butijn, B.J., Tamburri, D.A. and Heuvel, W.J.V.D., 2020. Blockchains: a systematic multivocal literature review. ACM Computing Surveys,  53(3).
    • Drescher, D. (2017). Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps.
    • Jensen, T., Hedman, & Henningsson, S. (2019). How TradeLens delivers business value with blockchain technology. MIS Quarterly Executive, 18(4).
    • Lacity, M. (2018). Addressing key challenges to making enterprise blockchain applications a reality. MIS Quarterly Executive, 17(3).
    • Lumineau, F., Wang, W., & Schilke, O. (2021). Blockchain governance—A new way of organizing collaborations?. Organization Science, 32(2), 500-521.
    • Pedersen, A.B., Risius, M., & Beck, R. (2019). A ten-step decision path to determine when to use blockchain technologies. MIS Quarterly Executive, 18(2).
    • Preukschat, A., & Reed, D. (2021). Self-Sovereign Identity: Decentralized digital identity and verifiable credentials. Manning Publications Co.
    • Rieger, A., Guggenmos, F., Lockl, J., Fridgen, G., & Urbach, N. (2019). Building a blockchain application that complies with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. MIS Quarterly Executive, 18(4), 263-279.
    • Rossi, M., Müller-Bloch, C., Thatcher, J.B., & Beck, R. (2019). Blockchain research in Information Systems: Current trends and an inclusive future research agenda. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 20(9), 1388-1403.
    • Roth, T., Utz, M., Baumgarte, F., Rieger, A., Sedlmeir, J., & Strüker, J. (2022). Electricity powered by blockchain: A review with a European perspective. Applied Energy, 325, 119799.
    • Roth, T., Stohr, A., Amend, J., Fridgen, G., & Rieger, A. (2022). Blockchain as a driving force of federalism: Insights from the German asylum procedure. International Journal of Information Management.
    • Sedlmeir, J., Buhl, H. U., Fridgen, G., & Keller, R. (2020). The energy consumption of blockchain technology: Beyond myth. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 62(6), 599-608.
    • Sedlmeir, J., Lautenschlager, J., Fridgen, G., & Urbach, N. (2022). The transparency challenge of blockchain in organizations. Electronic Markets.
    • Sedlmeir, J., Smethurst, R., Rieger, A., & Fridgen, G. (2021). Digital identities and verifiable credentials. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 63, 603-613.
    • Sunyaev, A., Kannengießer, N., Beck, R., Treiblmaier, H., Lacity, M., Kranz, J., ... & Luckow, A. (2021). Token economy. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 63(4), 457-478.
    • Zavolokina, L., Miscione, G. & Schwabe, G. Buyers of ‘lemons’: How can a blockchain platform address buyers’ needs in the market for ‘lemons’?. Electron Markets 30, 227-239 (2020).


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Will be offered Spring 2024 (first week of the semester).

Course responsible

Dr. Alexander Rieger, FINATRAX Research Group, Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability, and Trust, University of Luxembourg.

Dr. Johannes Sedlmeir, FINATRAX Research Group, Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability, and Trust, University of Luxembourg.