Fabian Schär

Fabian Schär is Professor of Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology, and Fintech at the University of Basel and Director of the Center for Innovative Finance.

  • Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptoassets

    Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptoassets

    A Comprehensive Introduction

    Fabian Schär and Aleksander Berentsen

    An introduction to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology; a guide for practitioners and students.

    Bitcoin and blockchain enable the ownership of virtual property without the need for a central authority. Additionally, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make up an entirely new class of assets that have the potential for fundamental change in the current financial system. This book offers an introduction to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology that begins from the perspective of monetary economics.

    The book first presents a nontechnical discussion of monetary theory, enabling readers to understand how cryptocurrencies are a radical departure from existing monetary instruments, and provides an overview of blockchain technology and the Bitcoin system. It then takes up technical aspects of Bitcoin in more detail, covering such topics as the Bitcoin network, its communications protocol, the mathematics underpinning decentralized validation, transaction types, the data structure of blocks, the proof-of-work consensus mechanism, and game theory. Finally, the book discusses specific issues and applications, including price volatility, regulatory uncertainty, and central bank cryptocurrencies, as well as such alternative applications as decentralized verification and attestation, tokens, and smart contracts. The concluding chapter offers practical advice on getting started with Bitcoin. End-of-chapter exercises allow readers to test their knowledge. Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptoassets is suitable for classroom use and as a reference for practitioners.

    • Paperback $50.00

Contributor

  • Building the New Economy

    Building the New Economy

    Data as Capital

    Alex Pentland, Alexander Lipton, and Thomas Hardjono

    How to empower people and communities with user-centric data ownership, transparent and accountable algorithms, and secure digital transaction systems.

    Data is now central to the economy, government, and health systems—so why are data and the AI systems that interpret the data in the hands of so few people? Building the New Economy calls for us to reinvent the ways that data and artificial intelligence are used in civic and government systems. Arguing that we need to think about data as a new type of capital, the authors show that the use of data trusts and distributed ledgers can empower people and communities with user-centric data ownership, transparent and accountable algorithms, machine learning fairness principles and methodologies, and secure digital transaction systems.

    It's well known that social media generate disinformation and that mobile phone tracking apps threaten privacy. But these same technologies may also enable the creation of more agile systems in which power and decision-making are distributed among stakeholders rather than concentrated in a few hands. Offering both big ideas and detailed blueprints, the authors describe such key building blocks as data cooperatives, tokenized funding mechanisms, and tradecoin architecture. They also discuss technical issues, including how to build an ecosystem of trusted data, the implementation of digital currencies, and interoperability, and consider the evolution of computational law systems.

    • Paperback $35.00