It’s easy enough to find a computer science class that covers the bits and bytes behind blockchain — the global digital ledger that’s linked and secured using cryptography. More difficult is finding a curriculum that tackles the potentially disruptive business, legal and regulatory implications of the complex new technology.
That’s about to change, as UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in spring offers a cross-listed class to business, engineering and law students. Called “Blockchain and the Future of Technology, Business, and Law,” the new course will provide an overview of the technology behind blockchain and explore the huge range of current and potential real-world applications.
“Blockchain is one of the most significant technologies to impact business in many years, but there’s a lack of understanding about what it means to business and law,” said Haas lecturer Greg La Blanc. “Engineering students think that money simply grows on bits, but have no idea what the business model is. Law and business students are confused about the technology.”
The course is limited to 60 students, 20 each from Haas, Berkeley Engineering, and Berkeley Law.
Interest in blockchain across campus is strong. UC Berkeley and Haas students founded Blockchain at Berkeley a year ago, and now have 100 members, and more than 1,600 people participate in the club’s events and activities.