In this course we want to explore the origins, goals, development path and fakes of Blockchain technology that have emerged along the way. More specifically, we will take a look at the initial idea of Blockchain and how it works. Then, we will examine which evolution it has run through from a decentralized registry to a world computer. Participants will get to know the challenges of Blockchain and Blockchain alternatives. Last but not least, we will explain how you can successfully use blockchain.

Kurssprache: English
Beginner, Internet


Between 15M to 39M search results offering an explanation of the blockchain on various search engines, up to 5M views on youtube have been reached by some videos on this subject, 1.8M members counts reddit Bitcoin community, some youtube blockchain channels have up to 277K subscribers. Information overload. Subconsciously, our attention is drawn to the reports that polarise: from “Blockchain - a Game Changer” and “Blockchain Revolution”, to “Has Blockchain Hit The Wall?” and “What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much.” The scary stories about Blockchain being used by criminals are common.

Like a snowball where new reports refer to earlier ones and everyone, consciously or unconsciously, adds their two cents, a new myth “blockchain” is born.

In the past, legends and myths were mainly passed on orally. Thereby they have changed from speaker to speaker. A “true core” surrounded by fantastical embellishment is still a popular and everyday form of storytelling today and leaves its traces right up to our digital age of social networks and “fake news.” Only difference, the number of storytellers and the time it takes to spread the story increases dramatically. The narrative structures are transparent, anyone can intervene in it, however, a challenge is to evaluate the truthfulness of these information.

We have faced the challenge and revealed the myth surrounding blockchain technology for you. The origins, goals, development path and fakes of blockchain technology that have emerged along the way will be explored for you in this course. More specifically, the course deals with the following topics:

  1. Behind the term Blockchain (initial idea and the way how it works - by means of an example),
  2. Evolution of the Blockchain (from the decentralized registry to a world computer),
  3. Expecting a miracle: face the challenges or "elegantly" avoid them (challenges of Blockchain and Blockchain alternatives),
  4. How you can use Blockchain successfully.

Target Group

The online course is aimed at those who are interested in the topic of blockchain, have already heard the term blockchain or bitcoin and have perhaps already made the first steps towards dealing with the topic.

Required Skills

None. However, you will profit from prior experience with basics of cryptography and decentralised networks and the first basic experience with the topic of blochain or bitcoin as this online course is targeted on reflection of common experience.

You can easily obtain this knowledge through self-study on our platform. Find a way that fits your time resources.

References to Further Courses

Here you can find more on topic of cryptography

Additional resources

Our book "Blockchain. Hype or Innovation" goes beyond the information given in the course and provides a comprehensive overview of blockchain technology. It focuses on the innovation of blockchain technology and the advantages it offers. In addition to detailed explanations of the origins, technology and implementation of blockchain technology, the book deals with the analysis of blockchain characteristics, such as decentralisation, security and scalability. We also look at numerous projects and best-practice examples. Available in English and German.

If you have no previous experience with the basics of cryptography or decentralised networks, you can easily obtain this knowledge through self-study. Find a path that fits your time resources.


  • Week 1:

    In the first week of the course, we will take a look at the initial idea of the Blockchain technology and how it works. Then, we will examine the evolution from a decentralized ledger (Bitcoin-based projects) to a world computer (Ethereum-based projects).
  • Week 2:

    In week two, we will look at the debate about blockchain alternatives and the accompanying challenges (the so-called scalability trilemma). After that, we look at the possibilities of implementation and some best practice examples.
  • I like, I wish

Für diesen Kurs einschreiben

Der Kurs ist kostenlos. Legen Sie sich einfach ein Benutzerkonto auf openHPI an und nehmen Sie am Kurs teil!
Jetzt einschreiben


31. März 2021
17. März 2021

Anforderungen für Leistungsnachweise

  • Den Leistungsnachweis erhält, wer in der Summe aller benoteten Aufgaben mindestens 50% der Höchstpunktzahl erreicht hat.
  • Die Teilnahmebestätigung erhält, wer auf zumindest 50% der Kursunterlagen zugegriffen hat.

Mehr Informationen finden Sie in den Richtlinien für Leistungsnachweise.

Dieser Kurs wird angeboten von

Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel

Christoph Meinel (Univ.-Prof., Dr. sc. nat., Dr. rer. nat., 1954) ist wissenschaftlicher Direktor und Geschäftsführer des Hasso-Plattner-Instituts für Digital Engineering gGmbH (HPI). Christoph Meinel ist ordentlicher Professor (C4) für Informatik und hat den Lehrstuhl für Internet-Technologien und Systeme am HPI inne. Seine besonderen Forschungsinteressen liegen in den Bereichen Internet- und Informationssicherheit und Web 3.0: Semantic, Social, Service Web, sowie im Bereich innovativer Internetanwendungen und Systeme, vor allem zum e-Learning & Tele-Teaching und zur Telemedizin. Daneben ist er aktiv in der Innovationsforschung rund um die Stanforder Innovationsmethode des Design Thinking. Frühere Forschungsinteressen lagen im Bereich der theoretischen Grundlagen der Informatik in den Gebieten Komplexitätstheorie und effiziente OBDD-basierte Algorithmen und Datenstrukturen.

Christoph Meinel lehrt am HPI in den Bachelor- und Masterstudiengängen "IT-Systems Engineering" und in der School of Design Thinking. Er bietet MOOCs an auf der openHPI-Plattform und betreut zahlreiche Doktoranden. Zudem ist er Honorarprofessor an der Informatik-Fakultät der Technischen Universität Peking und lehrt als Gastprofessor an der Shanghai Universität. An der Universität Luxembourg ist er Research Fellow am interdisziplinären Zentrum (SnT). Zusammen mit Prof. Larry Leifer von der Stanford University ist er Programmdirektor des HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Programms.

Christoph Meinel ist Autor bzw. Co-Autor von 9 Büchern und 4 Anthologien sowie diversen Tagungsbänden. Er hat mehr als 400 wissenschaftliche Arbeiten in angesehenen wissenschaftlichen Journalen und auf internationalen Konferenzen veröffentlicht. Darüber hinaus ist er Herausgeber der elektronischen Fachzeitschriften ECCC – Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity, ECDTR - Electronic Colloquium on Design Thinking Research, des IT-Gipfelblogs und des tele-TASK-Archivs.

Tatiana Gayvoronskaya

Tatiana Gayvoronskaya (Master of Science in Business Computing, 2013) has been worked in research on blockchain technology, identity management and IT security at the HPI since 2016. Her professional and research experience includes technical aspects of the blockchain technology with its possibilities and challenges as well as its public awareness. She has investigated how companies and the public are familiar with the technology, where they get their insights and how they use them. Together with Prof Dr. Christoph Meinel, she has already developed and implemented a MOOC on the OpenHPI platform on the topic of blockchain, which was heled in July 2018. The survey previously issued by Tatiana Gayvoronskaya and Prof Dr. Christoph Meinel was the basis for the MOOC. With this experience, she supported and accompanied another course on the topic in 2019.