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CIS8702 Crypto-currencies

Semester 1, 2019 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Crypto-currencies
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Management and Enterprise
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 020300 - Information Systems
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Mustafa Ally

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


The development of digital currencies, using the fundamentals of cryptography, is predicted to impact significantly on financial institutions, banks, governments, economies and cultures. The decentralization of payment networks and the establishment of an ecosystem of various stakeholders raises with it benefits and challenges that will influence their adoption and diffusion in the marketplace. A deep understanding and critical analysis of the virtual currencies currently emerging and taking a foothold in the economy is necessary for consumers, merchants, entrepreneurs, developers, regulators and others to better position themselves for the future potential development of this emerging phenomenon.


This course examines crypto-currencies and their emergence and role in society, the economy and business. The course covers the common principles underlying the science and technology on which the currencies are based. It also addresses the many socio-economic issues that arise including those related to consumer behaviour; technology innovation, adoption, diffusion and disruption; and regulatory frameworks.

A number of application areas are critically examined, such as alternate virtual currencies, e-commerce and new business models, and payment mechanisms and instruments.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of theoretical crypto-currency concepts and their application
  2. critically evaluate the use of crypto-currencies from a social and economic perspective with regard to regulatory frameworks that govern adoption and use
  3. explore the potential scope for crypto-currencies in new markets such as developing countries and those currently not served by existing financial institutions (for example, the unbanked and the under 18s)
  4. analyse relevant technologies and infrastructure that support the adoption and use of crypto-currencies with respect to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Crypto-currencies fundamentals 25.00
2. Crypto-currency infrastructure 25.00
3. Crypto-currency applications 25.00
4. Crypto-currency socio-economic challenges. 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Franco, P 2014, Understanding Bitcoin: cryptography, engineering and economics, 1st edn, Wiley, West Sussex, UK.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Antonopoulos, AM 2014, Mastering Bitcoin: unlocking digital cryptocurrencies, O’Reilly Media, Sebastopol, California.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 60.00
Lectures 20.00
Private Study 60.00
Tutorials 30.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE TEST 20 20 15 Mar 2019
ASSIGNMENT 1 30 30 28 Mar 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 31 May 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Online: If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes at your campus. For all other students, there are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Not applicable.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must submit a completed project which demonstrates a satisfactory level of achievement in all essential objectives.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at