851-0600-00L  Sustainable DAOs: Blockchains, Smart Contracts and Value-Sensitive Token Design

SemesterAutumn Semester 2020
LecturersM. M. Dapp
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentBasic programming skills are required.


851-0600-00 GSustainable DAOs: Blockchains, Smart Contracts and Value-Sensitive Token Design
In addition to the lecture there will be a block course on Thursday: 17.09., 24.09., 01.10.2020 from 09 am to12 pm
51s hrs
Tue16:00-19:00ON LI NE »
17.09.08:15-12:00HG G 3 »
24.09.08:15-12:00HG E 3 »
01.10.08:15-12:00HG E 3 »
M. M. Dapp

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course critically reflects the emerging engineering challenge of creating sustainable and ethical permissionless decentralized applications. Students apply value-sensitive design and systems thinking to create novel socio-ecological incentive systems using distributed ledger systems. The course is interdisciplinary and covers aspects of sustainable development, economics, and technology.
Objective- Understand key mechanisms in DLT systems & smart contract engines
- Compare and evaluate different DLT systems
- Understand key economic issues in context of Sustainable Development Goals and how alternative incentive systems can address them
- Understand role of modeling/simulation for cryptoeconomic systems in context of ethical and governance challenges
- Apply value-sensitive design to cryptoeconomics/token engineering
- Understand Ethereum’s web3 stack and tool chain
- Write, deploy, and run your own dApp
- Understand connectivity to IoT
ContentHow can we completely redesign our society towards more sustainable action, more democratic governance, and more equitable finance?

Ten years after Bitcoin, the crypto space has developed a lot many innovative and highly experimental projects around this fundamental question. Why? What potential do they see in distributed ledger technology with regard to these formidable societal challenges? People are exploring this technology space to envision new ways of organizing, coordinating, and

This course is offering an introduction to this still hard-to-navigate emerging landscape. We will provide you with an essential understanding of the socio-ecological and economic issues at hand. We will look more in depth into questions of collective action, incentives to understand how DLT could be applied in an ethical way. Last but not least, you will learn the programming skills to understand and build better decentralized systems. These questions will be critically reflected in all parts of the course using small interactive interventions in class.

The course will be structured in four parts. The first part will provide an introduction into Distributed Ledger Technology and blockchain systems in particular. You will learn the terminology and a systematic method to understand new systems based on a taxonomy we developed. The second part will highlight the paradigm shift from web2 to web3 applications and what implications it has when developing decentralized applications. The important role of the new emerging field of token engineering/cryptoeconomics will be discussed alongside with economic, ethical, and legal considerations for governing immutable decentralized “autonomous” systems. Part three will be a developer’s introduction to the largest permissionless smart contract system to date: Ethereum. You will learn what it takes to create your own decentralized application (dApp). Based on all this knowledge, in part four, teams of three will build their own projects, for which we will bring a series of challenges in the context of new incentive systems in the context of the "Sustainable Development Goals"

We are looking for students who have prior programming experience and who are keen on entering this new space. As the team behind BETH: Blockchain School for Sustainability (formerly known as BIOTS), we hope to attract students who are motivated by tackling large sustainability challenges with new approaches to human coordination enabled by this systems innovation called blockchain.

To receive credits, you attend the lectures, and produce – in a team of three – a decentralized application plus a report describing the process you went through creating it.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersM. M. Dapp
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Doctoral Department of Humanities, Social and Political SciencesDoctoral and Post-Doctoral CoursesWInformation
GESS Science in PerspectiveD-ITETWInformation