Blockchain Technology and Applications

BAN435 Blockchain Technology and Applications

Autumn 2022

Spring 2023
  • Topics

    Blockchain technology has been hyped as a disruptive force that could challenge traditional structures and business models. The latest hype are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which offer interesting new opportunities for 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 elements 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 student will have attained the following:


    • Understand blockchain basics
    • Understand "crypto mining" and the relationship between economic key parameters and its negative environmental effects
    • Understand the fundamentals of smart contracts
    • Understand the relationship between blockchains’ unique technical properties and the requirements of specific applications
    • Understand essential context factors for successful adoption
    • Understand the basics of NFTs
    • Understand the basics of decentralized digital identities


    • Identify appropriate use cases
    • Identify the opportunities and challenges associated with blockchain
    • Design a useful blockchain application

    General competence:

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

  • Teaching

    This course combines lectures and a small programming tutorial. 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


  • Assessment

    Term paper (3000-3500 words) written in groups of 3 students within one month after the final lecture.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    • Andersen, J.V., & Bogusz, C.I. (2019). Self-organizing in blockchain infrastructures: Generativity through shifting objectives and forking. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 20(9), 1242-1273. doi: 10.17705/1jais.00566
    • Arun, J., Cuomo, J., & Gaur, N (2019). Blockchain for Business 1st Edition.
    • Beck, R., Müller-Bloch, C., & King, J.L. (2018). Governance in the blockchain economy: A framework and research agenda. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 19(10).
    • Butijn, B.J., Tamburri, D.A. and Heuvel, W.J.V.D., 2020. Blockchains: a systematic multivocal literature review. ACM Computing Surveys, 53(3). doi: 10.1145/3369052
    • Chanson, M., Bogner, A., Bilgeri, D., Fleisch, E., & Wortmann, F. (2019). Blockchain for the IoT: Privacy-preserving protection of sensor data. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 20(9), 1271-1307. doi:10.17705/1jais.00567
    • 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).
    • 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). doi: 10.17705/2msqe.00010
    • Preukschat, A., & Reed, D. (2021). Self-Sovereign Identity: Decentralized digital identity and verifiable credentials. Manning Publications Co.
    • 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. doi: 10.17705/1jais.00571
    • 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.
    • 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. doi: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2022.102476
    • 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., Smethurst, R., Rieger, A., & Fridgen, G. (2021). Digital identities and verifiable credentials. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 63, 603-613.
    • Ziolkowski, R., Miscione, G., & Schwabe, G. (2020). Decision problems in blockchain governance: Old wine in new bottles or walking in someone else’s shoes?, Journal of Management Information Systems, 37(2), 316-348. doi: 10.1080/07421222.2020.1759974


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2022 (last week of the semester).

Course responsible

Dr. Alexander Rieger, University of Luxembourg.

Dr. Johannes Sedlmeir, University of Bayreuth.