COSC472-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Special Topic

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


Special Topic

*Blockchain Technologies and Cryptocurrencies*

The course covers the cryptographic theory supporting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as well as the practical aspects of how a cryptocurrency is designed. The advantages and disadvantages of different approaches are explored. More general applications of blockchain technologies are also included.

This course covers the practical exploration of real cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The course mainly combines lectures and tutorials. If possible, invited lectures will be considered. Weekly tutorials and online quizzes will support the theory aspects. Tutorials can include either exercises or sessions for questions related to assignments. Assignments will be written reports and possibly oral presentations, and are developed to assert the students’ understanding. Cryptography-related lectures will cover mathematical concepts (number theory). Exercises during tutorials will be provided to strengthen the assimilation and application of those concepts.

Learning Outcomes

1. Learning and evaluating the underlying principles and techniques associated with blockchain technologies.

2. Becoming familiar with the cryptographic building blocks and analyzing how they are used in a typical cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.

3. Developing a practical understanding of how cryptocurrencies are implemented and a critical evaluation of existing limitations of currently available blockchain and cryptocurrency systems.


Subject to the approval of the Head of Department

Timetable 2021

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 14:00 - 15:00 Jack Erskine 242
22 Feb - 4 Apr
3 May - 6 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 14:00 - 15:00 Meremere 105 Lecture Theatre
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00 Geography 602
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Clementine Gritti

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Narayanan, Arvind; Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies : a comprehensive introduction; Princeton University Press, 2016.

1. Lecture slides and tutorial slides.
2. Online readings will be provided.
4. Additional resources and textbooks may be suggested from the development and application of the course.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,033.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Computer Science and Software Engineering.

All COSC472 Occurrences

  • COSC472-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021