Introduction to Blockchain Technology and Applications

By Prof. Sandeep Shukla   |   IIT Kanpur
Learners enrolled: 12345
Blockchain is an emerging technology platform for developing decentralized applications and data storage, over and beyond its role as the technology underlying the cryptocurrencies. The basic tenet of this platform is that it allows one to create a distributed and replicated ledger of events, transactions, and data generated through various IT processes with strong cryptographic guarantees of tamper resistance, immutability, and verifiability. Public blockchain platforms allow us to guarantee these properties with overwhelming probabilities even when untrusted users are participants of distributed applications with ability to transact on the platform. Even though, blockchain technology has become popularly known because of its use in the implementation of Cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin, Ethereum, etc., the technology itself holds much more promise in various areas such as time stamping, logging of critical events in a system, recording of transactions, trustworthy e-governance etc. Many researchers are working on many such use cases such as decentralized public key infrastructure, self-sovereign identity management, registry maintenance, health record management, decentralized authentication, decentralized DNS, etc. Also, corporations such as IBM and Microsoft are developing their own applications in diverse fields such as the Internet of Things (IoT), etc., even enabling blockchain platforms on the cloud. Considering the need to disseminate the emerging concepts for students, we decided to prepare a new course on blockchain technology platforms and applications. 
Computer science, IT
PREREQUISITES : Substantial programming experience, software engineering
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 24 Feb 2020
End Date : 17 Apr 2020
Exam Date : 25 Apr 2020
Enrollment Ends : 24 Feb 2020
Category :
  • Computer Science and Engineering
Level : Postgraduate

Course layout

Week 1 : Introduction – basic ideas behind blockchain, how it is changing the landscape of digitalization, introduction to cryptographic concepts required
Week 2 : Hashing, public key cryptosystems, private vs public blockchain and use cases, Hash Puzzles, Introduction to 
Bitcoin Blockchain 
Week 3 : Bitcoin Blockchain and scripts, Use cases of Bitcoin Blockchain scripting language in micropayment, escrow 
etc Downside of Bitcoin – mining . 
Week 4 : Alternative coins – Ethereum and Smart contracts 
Week 5 : Alternative coins – Ethereum continued, IOTA
Week 6 : The real need for mining – consensus – Byzantine Generals Problem, and Consensus as a distributed coordination 
problem – Coming to private or permissioned blockchains – Introduction to Hyperledger 
Week 7 : Permissioned Blockchain and use cases – Hyperledger, Corda 
Week 8 : Uses of Blockchain in E-Governance, Land Registration, Medical Information Systems, and others 

Books and references

None, material will be provided as class progresses 

Instructor bio

Prof. Sandeep Shukla

IIT Kanpur
Professor Sandeep K. Shukla is an IEEE fellow, an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and served as an IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor during 2008-2012, and as an ACM Distinguished Speaker during 2007- 2014. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Embedded Systems, and associate editor for ACM transactions on Cyber Physical Systems. In the past, he has been associate editors for IEEE Transactions on Computers, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, IEEE Design & Test, IEEE Embedded Systems Letters, and many other journals. He has guest-edited more than 15 special issues for various IEEE and ACM journals. He has written or edited 9 books, published over 200 journal and conference papers. He has been program chairs for 4 IEEE/ACM International conferences, and General Chair for 2 of these conferences. He has served on the program committee of more than 100 international conferences and workshops. He supervised 12 PhDs, and directed five post-doctoral scholars at Virginia Tech. Sandeep's current research focus is on Cyber Security for Critical Infrastructures. He is coordinating a research center on cyber security for critical infrastructures along with his colleagues at IIT Kanpur at the moment. He received his bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering at Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 1991, his Masters and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Albany, NY, USA in 1995 and 1997 respectively. He worked as a scientist at the GTE labs on telecommunications network management, distributed object technology, and event correlation technologies between 1997 and 1999. Between 1999 and 2001, he worked at the Intel Corporation on the formal verification of the ITANIUM processor, and on system level design languages. 2001-2002, he was a research faculty at the University of California at Irvine working on embedded system design. From 2002 till 2015, he has been an assistant, associate, and full professor at Virginia Tech, USA. He co-founded the Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications (CESCA) in 2007, and has been a director of the center between 2010 and 2012. In 2015, he joined the Computer Science and Engineering Department of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India. He is currently the Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair Professor, and Dr.Deep Singh and Daljeet Kaur Faculty Fellow at IIT Kanpur. He received the Ramanujan Fellowship from the Science and Engineering Research Board, Government of India, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the White House in 2004, Frederich Wilhelm Bessel Award in 2008 from the Humboldt Foundation, Germany, Virginia Tech Faculty Fellow Award, A distinguished Alumni Award from the State University of New York at Albany, A best paper award at the Asia-Pacific Design Automation Conference, GTE Laboratories Excellence Award,ASEE/ONR Faculty Fellowship in 2005, ASEE/Air Force Senior Faculty Fellowship in 2007, and an Air Force Labs Faculty Fellowship in 2008. Sandeep also has been a visiting faculty at INRIA, France, University of Kaiserslautern in Germany, MIT, and University of Birmingham UK for various periods of time.

Course certificate

• The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.• The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 25th April 2020, Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
• Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
• The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
• Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.

• Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course. 
• Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100
• Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

• If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.
• Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kanpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.
• Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

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