In this course we will discuss blockchains, cryptoassets, and smart contracts. The course is intended for lawyers but, unusually, we will not only cover legal issues and discuss court cases. We will also look into smart contracts from the technical point of view, to a certain extent. In fact, we will actually program and deploy smart contracts, issue crypto tokens, etc. Hopefully, this will give you some understanding of what a smart contract actually is.
This course is a hands-on experience in understanding and drafting smart contracts. In this course you will:
- master the theory and vocabulary behind blockchain and smart contracting,
- gain insights into the future of the medium and how the legal world will treat smart contracts, and
- be able to draft your own basic smart contract.
The course will take in bimodal format when you can attend online or in person at Pericles as you prefer. However, we highly recommend attending in person if you are able to do so.
No prior programming or technical experience is needed beyond access to a computer that connects to the internet and the ability to use Zoom and to install programs.
You will need access to a computer during classes.
Course format: Lectures will alternate between 3 hour hands-on sessions in odd numbered classes and 2 hour legal/theory sessions in even numbered sessions. Hands-on lectures will explain the technical and theoretical aspects of that week’s topics. Students will be divided into groups to download the appropriate software and find answers to the professor’s assignments. To the extent that students don’t finish their work by the time the class ends, students can continue for homework individually or schedule further group meetings to finish, depending on their group’s preferences. In the next class students will meet to review the homework and discuss class readings about the legal aspects of smart contracts. Then the 3rd class will go back to hands-on format and study groups, and so on.
Although 30 clock hours are scheduled, we do not anticipate 30 hours of in-class lecture will be needed. Some of the anticipated time is for group exercises.
Classes 1: Blockchain basics. Creating your own Etherium wallet and making free test ether exchanges
Class 2: Discuss the results of your exercises and troubleshoot if needed. Discuss emerging regulation of crypto currency around the world.
Class 3: Smart Contracting Basics. Using the Etherium virtual machine and becoming familiar with the various types of assembly languages. Finding Solidity and Lexon samples the professor has created, running the contracts and exploring the results.
Class 4: Discuss the results of your exercises and troubleshoot if needed. Discuss the present and future state of smart and semi-automated contracts.
Class 5: Solidity Basics. Learning Solidity and modifying and testing a simple contract.
Class 6: Discuss the results of your exercises and troubleshoot if needed. Continue to discuss the present and future state of smart and semi-automated contracts.
Class 7: Lexon Basics. Test and modify the Lexon paid escrow contract.
Class 8 Discuss the results of your exercises and troubleshoot if needed. Discuss the future of lawyering and the future of dispute resolution for smart contracts.
Class 9: Etherium tokens. Get acquainted with token contracts, deploy and make test transfers.
Class 10: Discuss the results of your exercises and troubleshoot if needed.
Classes 11 & 12, Wrap up any discussions, evaluate the course and complete the examination.