Computer Science,
Control and
Geoinformation Doctorate

Course on Foundations of blockchain: data structures, programmability, consensus, and beyond - October 2023


Foundations of blockchain: data structures, programmability, consensus, and beyond.


Matteo Nardelli, Bank of Italy

When and Where

  • Schedule: Monday from 15:00 to 17:00, from October 2nd to October 30th 2023 (10 hours, 5 lectures)

All lectures in sala Riunioni (Ingegneria della Informazione building, ground floor, room AT 07)

Main Topics

This course presents the foundations of blockchains, aiming to provide a general understanding of this technology and a toolbox for developing novel services and applications re-using the working principles of blockchains.

The course is organized into four key parts. First, it provides a high-level description of blockchains, introducing the key concepts, data structures, operations, and the different types of blockchains. The second part aims to provide a base understanding of the working principles behind blockchains. Besides presenting wallets, transactions, and their programmability (using scripts and smart contracts), the course will provide a description of two major public permissionless blockchains (Bitcoin and Ethereum), identifying the key differences among them. The third part is focused on the internals, investigating the concepts of privacy, trust, and consensus. The course concludes with some of the ongoing research results on implementing a Central Bank Digital Currency using principles and techniques coming from the blockchain world.

Short Bio

Matteo Nardelli works in the Applied Research Team of the IT Department of the Bank of Italy. He received the Doctorate degree in computer science from the University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2018. Matteo received the 2018 SPEC Kaivalya Dixit Distinguished Dissertation Award for his Ph.D. thesis. His research interests are in the field of distributed computing systems, with a special emphasis on deployment and run-time adaptation of distributed applications, such as data stream processing and microservices. He has published more than 35 papers in international journals, books, and conference proceedings; two of these publications received awards at international conferences. He has served as a TPC member of international workshops and conferences (including IEEE/ACM UCC, IEEE ICFC, ACM DEBS Industry and Applications track, ZEUS) and as a reviewer for various top-ranked international journals (including IEEE TCC, IEEE TPDS, IEEE TSC, ACM TAAS, IEEE TSE, IEEE Internet Things J, IEEE TNSM, FGCS, IEEE Trans Ind Inform, IEEE Trans Fuzzy Syst, SPE).