Executive Education


This course studies digital assets and the underlying blockchain technology and their likely impact on finance. The course is organized in five sessions: (1) introduction to blockchain technology and distributed ledgers, (2) central banking and payments with digital assets, (3) investing in digital assets, (4) Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the future of venture financing, (5) blockchain use cases in banking. The content is delivered through pre-readings, class-room presentations, case studies, and discussions with guest speakers. Grading will be based on an individual paper describing and evaluating a start-up or incumbent internal project/initiative in the field.


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, you will:

Understand the fundamentals of blockchain technology through a deep dive on Bitcoin

Articulate the concept of smart contracts using the example of Ethereum

Discuss regulatory approaches to blockchain technology and digital assets

Understand the challenges of investing and trading in digital assets

Compare an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) with traditional venture capital financing

Understand the potential for blockchain technology in banking

Discuss the broader impact of digital assets and blockchain technology on the future of finance


    Blockchain technology and distributed ledgers
    Valuation and trading of digital assets
    Regulatory approaches to blockchain and digital assets
    Initial coin offerings compared to traditional venture capital finance
    Blockchain applications to banking


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 of Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, and CEO of pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG, as well as Managing Director in Investment Banking with Credit Suisse Securities.
After graduating as a scholar of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes from WHU  Otto-Beisheim School of Management (Diploma and Doctorate, both summa cum laude) and as a DAAD scholar from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University  (Master of Management with honors) Axel Wieandt began his career with McKinsey & Company in Düsseldorf and Boston, MA, and subsequently with Morgan Stanley Ltd. in London. He is currently Professor for Financial Intermediation (Bachelor Program) and Bank Management (Master of Finance) at WHU and lecturer for Bank Management (Part -Time Master in Finance) at Goethe Business School, Frankfurt University. In the spring of 2016 Axel Wieandt served as adjunct professor of finance at the J.L. Kellogg School of Management where he taught a thought leadership seminar on "European Banking and the Financial Crisis“.

He is member of the advisory boards of auxmoney GmbH in Düsseldorf, the leading European consumer lending market place, and of Aquila Capital Group, an independent alternative asset manager based in Hamburg; he is also member of the advisory board of Debitos GmbH, the online market-place for non-performing loans in Frankfurt, and chairman of the advisory board of Mehrwerk GmbH in Bielefeld, a leading provider of value-added services in Germany. Since 2010, Axel Wieandt serves on the Board of Trustees of the „Europäische Stiftung Kaiserdom zu Speyer“. He is married with two children and lives near Frankfurt.

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

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