Between the 11th and the 14th century three legal innovations changed the economic and financial history of the world: fiat money (11th century in China), double entry accounting (14th century in Italy), and limited liability corporations (11th century Italy). Accounting, banking, financing, and monetary policy as we know them today were all the result of these innovations. Blockchain, virtual currencies, and smart contracts promise to trigger an-equally important revolution in the 21st century. This course will walk the students through the challenges and the opportunities this technology offers, as well as the regulatory problem it raises. After a brief introduction on the technology itself, the course will focus on
1) the changes digital currencies will bring to monetary policy and financing;
2) the changes the blockchain technology will bring to accounting, trading, and investment banking;
3) the opportunities provided by peer-to-peer lending.