Digital Assets, Blockchain Technology and the Future of Finance
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.
Upon completion of the course, you will understand:
- 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
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.
Prof. Dr. Axel Wieandt Faculty
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.