Executive Education


This course goes beyond the hype, delving into the nuts and bolts of digital assets, and into the business potential of the underlying DLT/blockchain technology. Taking Bitcoin and Ethereum as examples, we explore DLT/blockchain technology as an innovation in information registration and distribution, the potential of digital assets and DLT/blockchain technology to transform our central bank-based monetary system, investment management, venture finance and core banking (e.g., payments, trade finance) and capital markets services (e.g., securitization, clearing and settlement).


Ludmila Ketterer

 +49 69 798 33512



This course is offered in the part-time Master in Finance program and may be attended on a “no credit” basis by individuals not enrolled in the program. Course participants are visitors who are not responsible for assignments and do not take an exam or earn academic credits. As the number of seats in the course is limited, we recommend to register online early.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Articulate the fundamental concepts of DLT/blockchain technology, using Bitcoin as an example, and smart contracts, using Ethereum as an example
Assess the merit of approaches to regulating blockchain technology and digital assets and the arguments for and against central bank digital currencies (CBDC)
Understand the benefits and risks of investing and trading in digital assets and comprehensively evaluate cryptocurrencies and tokens
Compare initial coin offerings (ICOs), security token offerings (STOs), and simple agreements for future tokens (SAFTs) with traditional venture capital financing and follow recent developments in decentralized finance (DeFi)
Understand the disruptive potential of DLT/blockchain technology in banking and discuss the broader impact of digital assets and blockchain technology on the future of finance and beyond.



Distributed ledger and blockchain technology
Smart Contracts
Central Bank Digital Currencies
Digital Assets
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Security Tokens (STOs)



Prof. Dr. Axel Wieandt

Axel Wieandt is a senior financial services executive. Until mid-2015, he was CEO of Valovis Bank AG. Other prior full-time positions he has held include Head of Corporate Development and Corporate Investments of Deutsche Bank AG, CEO and CFO of Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, and CEO and CFO of pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG, as well as Managing Director in Investment Banking with Credit Suisse Securities. His current portfolio of activities includes advisory mandates for VC and PE funds. After graduating as a scholar of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes from WHU Otto-Beisheim School of Management and as a DAAD scholar from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Axel began his career with McKinsey & Company in Düsseldorf and Boston, MA, and subsequently with Morgan Stanley Ltd. in London. Besides teaching in the Master in Finance program at GBS, he is Professor for Financial Intermediation at WHU Otto-Beisheim School of Management. In spring of 2016, Axel served as adjunct professor of finance at the J.L. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University where he taught a thought leadership seminar on "European Banking and the Financial Crisis“. Axel has published extensively in German and international peer-reviewed journals and is the author of “Unfinished Business: Putting European Banking (and Europe) Back on Track”. He is a long-time member of several advisory boards in the financial industry and also serves on the Board of Trustees of the „Europäische Stiftung Kaiserdom zu Speyer“. Axel received the ‘GBS Excellence in Teaching Award’ in the Master in Finance program in 2017.

Key Facts

Course materials

Course materials will be provided in electronic form.




Campus Westend of Goethe University Frankfurt.

Certificate of participation

A GBS certificate of participation is awarded upon completion of the course.

Course Fee*

€ 950 (fee is exempt from VAT). The fee for GBS students or alumni amounts to € 400.

*Withdrawal and fee refund
In case the course withdrawal request is received two weeks prior to the start of classes, GBS will retain a withdrawal fee of €50. In case the course withdrawal request is received less than two weeks prior to the start of classes, GBS will retain 50% of the payment made.

Course Schedule
Date Session
Sat., July 09, 2022 09:00-11:00; 11:30-13:30
Sat., July 16, 2022 11:30-13:30; 14:30-16:30
Fri., July 22, 2022 13:00-15:00; 15:30-17:30

There are two main things which make returning for Open Programs such a valuable and worthwhile experience. The first is being back on campus – meeting the current students, returning to campus again, the whole experience was just so pleasant. The second is the level of quality in the courses – the faculty teaching are absolute experts.

Stephan KieneDuke-Goethe Executive MBA Class of 2009


With payment of the course fee you will be automatically registered for this Open Program.

If you are a GBS Alumni, please log in to our Alumni Portal to register for the discounted price.

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