Understand Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Cryptocurrency

In this course participants learn to understand blockchain intuitively, allowing them to distinguish real use cases from hype.

Blockchain is one of the most disruptive yet least understood technologies to emerge over the previous decade. Interest from both technologists and non-technologists alike has driven huge investment by businesses ranging from startups to corporate giants such as IBM and Amazon.

Amid this excitement, remarkably few people are able to clearly explain what blockchain actually is and what applications it is suitable for. You will be able to explain developments within the cryptocurrency ecosystem and assess whether the technology is suitable for a particular use case.

The course begins with Bitcoin, the first blockchain and cryptocurrency. Necessary technical concepts including hashing and public-key cryptography are introduced in a manner fully accessible to those without a technical background. Participants are introduced to the economics and incentives of blockchain networks and the surrounding ecosystem, including cryptocurrency mining and network governance.

We conclude our coverage of public blockchains by exploring the public cryptocurrency ecosystem more broadly, covering topics such as exchanges, ICOs, STOs, stablecoins, regulatory issues, proof-of-stake, and privacy considerations.

Smart Contracts

The course then introduces smart contracts—knowledge of which is now sought by many management and legal experts whose work is being transformed and disrupted by this technology. Smart contracts are computer code that self-enforces agreements between participants who do not need to trust, or even know each other. We explore several motivating examples using the Ethereum blockchain, and introduce the key challenges: verifiable contract code, security, and operating costs.

Use Cases

The largest current use-case for blockchain is asset “tokenisation”. Hundreds of startups, corporates and governments are running projects to replace the asset registries of everything from real estate and online commodities such as gold to virtual “crypto kitties”. The current status of these projects is reviewed, along with key challenges including custodianship and legal recognition of ownership.

The final part of the course introduces permissioned blockchains: networks operated by a consortium that restricts access to its chain to members or specifically authorised participants.

We review case studies in industries including financial markets, trade finance, health, and supply chain. We discuss the trade-offs inherent in the various governance structures and permission models, along with the associated security, performance, privacy, legal, and regulatory challenges.

The course concludes with a brief survey of major permissioned blockchain platforms, including Hyperledger, Ethereum, and R3 Corda.

Additional topics to help understand blockchain

Depending on the pace and interest of the class, we may additionally cover topics including:

  • smart contract programming languages
  • advanced privacy technology
  • analysis of specific blockchains or coins through the conceptual frameworks of the course

See what former trainees are saying about AlphaZetta courses.


Face to face public courses: early bird pricing is available until 2 weeks prior. Group discounts: 5% for 2–4 people, 10% for 5–6 people, 15% for 7–8 people, and 20% for 9 or more people. Discounts are calculated during checkout.

Online public courses: available at a 25% off the face-to-face courses as a special introductory price. to groups or to individuals who want to follow a curriculum program and attend multiple courses:

  • 2-4 courses/attendees 10% off
  • 5+ courses/attendees 20% off

Hurry as bookings will close 1 week before each course. Group discounts are calculated during checkout on individual courses. Individuals can book multiple courses at a discount – please enquire.

Course Booking Terms and Conditions

Additional Information – Understand Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Cryptocurrency

AudienceThis course is suitable for anyone in leadership, strategy, entrepreneurial, technology, finance, consulting, operations or legal roles who need to understand blockchain, and recognise its use cases and value in a range of business or industry applications.
Pre-requisitesNo prior knowledge of blockchain, cryptography, programming or mathematics is required to take this course.
Objective/ OutcomesBy the end of the course, attendees should understand blockchain so that they:

  • can identify the role of blockchain for specific use-cases
  • are familiar with public cryptocurrencies, including an intuition for the underlying network economics
  • can identify the value, role and key applications of smart contracts, in both a public and permissioned context
  • are able to distinguish between public and permissioned blockchains, their individual strengths and weaknesses and the tradeoffs associated with each approach.
Duration2 days
Course Author & TrainerTristan Blakers
Delivery MethodIn-person at AlphaZetta Academy locations or on-premise for corporate groups

Our online courses run as live online meetings using Zoom for the video meeting part and Microsoft virtual computers for the practical components. The benefit of having a live trainer for online training is you can ask questions, obtain mentoring from the trainer and interact with classmates.

Course participants will require the following technologies and online accounts. Please check that your setup satisfies these requirements:

  • Course participants will require the following technologies and online accounts:
  • Reliable computer (Windows, Mac or Linux)
  • Webcam (to help facilitate the mentoring aspect of our training)
  • Reliable internet access
  • A quiet space
  • Zoom video conferencing software and Zoom account (register and pre-install the software at zoom.us)
  • Microsoft account in order to access the virtual lab PCs (Existing or new account. There’s nothing to be installed, you just need an account to sign-in with.)

Meals and refreshments

Face-to-face courses: Catered morning tea and lunch are provided on both days of the course. Please notify us at least a week ahead if you have any special dietary requirements.


Use academy@alphazetta.ai to email us any questions about the course, including requests for more detail, or for specific content you would like to see covered, or queries regarding prerequisites and suitability.
If you would like to attend but for any reason cannot, please also let us know.


Course material may vary from advertised due to demands and learning pace of attendees. Additional material may be presented, along with or in place of advertised.

Cancellations and refunds

You can get a full refund if you cancel 14 days or more before the course starts. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made less than 14 days before the course starts.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do I need to bring my own computer?
This is dependent on the venue. Please check the course event page.

Why do I need to provide a shipping address?
For online courses, we need an address to send you the course notes that you need for the course.

Private and Corporate Training

In addition to our public seminars, workshops and courses, AlphaZetta Academy can provide this training for your organisation in a private setting at your location or ours, or online. Please enquire to discuss your needs.


Eugene’s courses are not your standard technical courses where you learn how to put data into a model and get a result. The real life experiences – warts and all – he brings to the instruction mean that attendees walk away with a better understanding of the real life challenges of analytics as well as the technical know-how. We routinely send our team members on these courses to help them get the capabilities that really help our clients get better insights from their data.

James Beresford, Director, Agile BI

Eugene’s introductory course to data science was outstanding. I found the subject matter and delivery fascinating, accessible and informative. Eugene is approachable, interesting to listen to and excellent at simplifying complex concepts. I highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to know what data science—and all the buzz surrounding it!—are all about.

C.T. Johnson, Director, Statecraft
2024-03-14T07:12:30+00:00February 21st, 2019|Tags: , , , |

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