In conversation with George Giaglis, University of Nicosia

We connected with  Mr Giaglis, Director of Institute for the future, at University of Nicosia, on the Blockchain Live exhibition in London. 

University of Nicosia is the largest University in Cyprus

1st : University to Offer a Cryptocurrency Course
1st: University to Accept Bitcoin for Tuition Payments
1st : University to Offer a MSc in Digital Currency

More on the Free Introductory Course –


DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies is the first free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Digital Currencies globally, and the first course of the MSc in Digital Currency degree programme.

It is available to anyone around the world interested in learning the basics of Digital Currencies, in a paced and resource rich environment, under the guidance of field experts.
The course is taught by Bitcoin experts Andreas Antonopoulos and Antonis Polemitis and covers both a technical overview of decentralized digital currencies like Bitcoin, as well as their broader economic, legal and financial context. Through the course, we’ll get first hand knowledge of what they are, why they exist, why they are so important for improving financial services and more:

How they can be used as a tool to increase the speed, security, efficiency and transparency in a plethora of financial and non-financial settings.
No previous knowledge of Digital Currencies is demanded, and no specialized knowledge in either computing, economics or finance is required (even though it can be helpful). The courses are self-contained, with plenty of resources for you to go further in the topics, and you don’t need buy any books.

Roughly each of the 12 MOOC sessions, represent individual courses in the MSc that dive far deeper into the specific elements that are discussed in the MOOC.
Students who successfully complete the course and are interested in pursuing the full MSc degree will be able to receive credit if they successfully pass their assessment.

 Course Objectives:

The course is designed to provide an introductory understanding of decentralized digital currencies (cryptocurrencies) such as Bitcoin. In particular, the course will survey the theory and principles by which cryptocurrencies operate, practical examples of basic cryptocurrency use, including clients, wallets, transactions. We’ll look at the cryptocurrency ecosystem financial services and discuss the existing and potential interaction of cryptocurrencies with the banking, financial, legal and regulatory environment. Lastly we’ll examine in detail how cryptocurrencies can be viewed from an innovation perspective and what opportunities they present for the developing world.

The course will consist of four general topics:

1. Theoretical introduction to digital currencies: This will include the history of digital currencies, the invention of decentralized consensus through proof-of-work, and a technical overview of cryptographic currencies such as Bitcoin, as well as alternative/advanced uses of the blockchain.

2. Practical introduction to digital currencies: In depth view of how the system works, how it stays secure and what incentives are in play to maintain it functional and growing. How transactions take place, and how Bitcoins are acquired, stored and secured.

3. Banking, financial and regulatory implications of digital currencies: Overview of how cryptocurrencies map to the existing monetary and banking system, existing and possible approaches to regulation and their further development.

4. Innovation & development: How cryptocurrencies can be viewed through conventional innovation frameworks, what this unique positioning tells us about their future as a technology, and what possibilities exist for cryptocurrencies in developing countries as crucibles of transparency, positive change and financial inclusion.

Learning Outcomes:

After completion of the course students are expected to be able to:

• Understand the fundamental technology components of blockchain-based digital currencies, the process of currency issuance, proof-of-work and alternative consensus mechanisms, how they are applied and and how the distributed ledger is structured in it’s core.

• Understanding digital currency transactions, create their wallets, be able to acquire bitcoins, conduct transactions from a wallet, and understand the risks and options in keeping their coins reasonably safe.

• Understand more advanced uses of the blockchain such as escrow services, multisignature transactions, asset registration, attestation and smart contracts applications.

• Understand alternative blockchains to Bitcoin, such as alt-coins and Ethereum and IOU-based systems like Ripple.

• Understand what parallels and differences cryptocurrencies have with the existing monetary and banking systems, what approaches are the same and what are fundamentally different.

• Understand existing approaches by regulators globally, and the likely frameworks for regulating cryptocurrencies, and their interface with conventional finance, in the future.

• Be able to critically judge on their own, whether cryptocurrencies are disruptive innovations, and what hurdles, bottlenecks or avenues exist towards wider adoption, as well as the potential they present for leapfrogging infrastructure in developing nations and the potential they present for improving financial inclusion and economic development.