University-grade course on cryptocurrencies for CS students (Syllabus + slides)

Complex full-fledged University-grade course for Computer Science classes focused on in-depth understanding of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology lectured at Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies at Slovak University of Technology by David Stancel of CoinStory and Kristian Kostal.

Feel free to use anything for whatever purpose as long as you attribute credits appopriately. Everyone is also welcomed to send comments, inquires and proposals of topics, and resources to include into the course at

Slides with presentation will be linked here later in 2020.

Inspired by Courses:

1.Introduction to Digital Currencies at University of Nicosia as well as the whole MSc. program

2.Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies at Princeton University

Based on Books:

  1. A. Narayanan, J. Bonneau, E. Felten, A. Miller, S. Goldfeder - Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies (available for free) or at Amazon

  2. SerHack & Monero Community - Mastering Monero (available for free) or at Amazon

  3. Darren Lau, Daryl Lau, T. Sze Jin, K. Kho, E. Azmi, TM Lee, B. Ong -- How to DeFi (available for free)

  4. Kurt M. Alonso, Sarang Noether, Koe - Zero to Monero (available for free)

Further Recommedned Reading:

  1. A. Antonopoulos, O. Osuntokun, R- Pickhardt - Mastering Lightning Network (available for free on Github)

1. Introduction to Digital Currencies and Blockchain

  • History and emergence of digital currencies - Digicash, Bitgold, B-money,Hashcash, RPOW, E-gold ..

  • Fundamental technology stack

  • Emergence of Bitcoin

  • Main principles and definitions

Reading & Resources:

A. Back - Hashcash

N. Szabo - Bitgold

W. Dai - B-money

S. Nakamoto - Bitcoin Whitepaper

H. Finney - RPOW

Lamport, Shostak, Peace - The Byzantine General Problem


Diffie, Hellman - New Directions in Cryptogprahy

D. Chaum - Blind Signatures for Untraceable Payment

S. Haber, S. Stornetta - How to Timestamp a Digital Document

D. Chaum - Dinning Cryptographers Problem

Slides: TBD

2. Bitcoin Protocol

  • Bitcoin protocol specifications

  • Transactions - UTXO model, data structures

  • Proof-of-Work Consensus Mechanism

  • Bitcoin Script

Reading & Resources:

Mastering Bitcoin - Chapters 2,3,6 & 10

Script on Bitcoin Wiki

Learning Bitcoin tools

Script Playground

Bitcoin Script Guide by Blockgeeks

Bitcoin Script for Dummies

Installing Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin Developer Guide

Miniscript Playground

Blockchain Demo

Bitcoin Resources by Jameson Lopp

3D Blockchain Explorer Symphony by IOHK

Slides: TBD

3. Ethereum Protocol and Smart Contracts

  • Ethereum protocol specifications

  • Smart contracts

  • Decentralised Applications

  • Alternative smart contract platforms - RSK, Dfinity, Polkadot, Cosmos, AVA,

Reading & Resources:

Mastering Ethereum - Chapter 5,6,7 and 12

Resources on

Ethereum 2.0. Overview by ChainSafe

Polkadot WP

Learning ETH resources

All writings of Vitalik Buterin at one place

Slides: TBD

4. Coding Solidity

  • TBD

  • TBD

Reading & Resources:

Solidity Documentation

Comparison ERC20 vs ERC223 vs ERC777

Solidity and Vyper Cheatsheet

CryptoZombies - learning Solidity

Slides: TBD

5. Alternative Cryptocurrencies

  • Introduction to Altcoins

  • Basic Differences

  • Comparison of selected altcoins in terms of technology - Monero, Zcash, Decred, Pivx ...

  • Tokenisation as a phenomenom

  • ICOs and classification of tokens

Reading & Resources:

Mastering Monero - Chapter 3

Zero to Monero -

Decred Documentation

Zcash WP


Slides: TBD

6. Blockchain Scaling and 2nd layer technologies

  • Bitcoin and Ethereum scaling techniques

  • Lightning Network - main principles, and overview of implementations

  • Plasma, State Channels - main principles, and overview of implementations

Reading & Resources:

Mastering Lightning Network

History of Lightning Network by Bitcoin Magazine

Lightning Network Web

Making Sense of Ethereum Layer 2 (Medium)

The State of Optimistic Rollups (Medium)

Learning Plasma Web


Running LN on Raspberry Pi - Guide

Slides: TBD

7. Security & Privacy Considerations of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains from the Network Perspective

  • Attack vectors - 51% attack, Selfish Mining, Time Jacking, Eclipse attack, Flood attack, Sybil attacks ...

  • Anonymity and privacy techniques

Reading & Resources:

Hypotehtical Cryptocurrency Attacks

Application of Zeroknowledge proofs in Blockchain (Medium)

Staying Anonymous on Ethereum - Tornado Cash)

Breaking MimbleWimble Privacy Model

Zeroknowledge-proofs - Intro, comparisons

Zeroknowledge Starter Pack by Eth Research

How to Run BTC node over TOR - Guide

Slides: TBD

8. Security & Privacy Considerations of Cryptocurrencies from the User Perspective

  • Types of Wallets

  • Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Tools

  • Seeds

Reading & Resources:

How to Create BTC adress

Base58 encoding


Deterministic Wallet

BIP 0032

Bitcoin Trezor Wiki

Slides: TBD

9. Blockchain in Enterprise

  • Blockchain Consortia - overview nad technologies

  • Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, Hyperledger, Nightfall protocol, Qorum ...

Reading & Resources:

Enterprise Blockchain Protocols Overview

Enterprise Blockchain Resources by ConsenSys

EY's Nightfall Protocol

Baseline Protocol by EY, Microsoft & ConsenSys

IBM Blockchain Platform

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Hyperledger General Resources

Hyperledger Presentations

Slides: TBD

10. Alternative usecases for Blockchain

  • Overview of different blockchain usecases and applications

  • Timestamping, Non-fungible tokens, Supply Chain, Academic Certificates, Public Records,

  • European Blockchain Service Infrastructure (EBSI) usecases

Reading & Resources:

Open Timestamps

Ujo Music

Slides: TBD

11. Economic and Legal Considerations of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

  • Legal Challenges of Smart Contracts & Dapps & DAOs

  • Legal and Economic Aspects of Cryptocurrencies

  • ICOs, STOs, IEOs, Airdrops, CBDCs

Reading & Resources:

University of Cambridge - 2nd Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study

The NFT Bible

NFTs from Legal Perspective

Slides: TBD

12. Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

  • Introduciton to DeFi

  • MakerDAO & DAI

  • Decentralized Exchanges, Lending, Derivatives, Insurance, Fund Management, Lottery

  • Uniswap, Compound, Synthetix, Opyn, TokenSets, PoolTogether

Reading & Resources:

How to DeFi Book

Flash Loan Attacks on bZx Explained

DAI Derivatives - github Amazing Primer on Virtual Economy

Slides: TBD