Technical review and projects

Option A: Programming Project


  • Topic proposal: Oct. 07, 2021
  • Midterm submission: Nov. 21, 2021
  • Final submission: Dec. 11, 2021

Students can work in groups. But once groups are formed, collaboration is only allowed within the group. More specifically, inter-group collaboration is prohibited. Each group can have no more than 3 people.


  • Proposal (15%): one-pager including the chosen topic and members in your team.
    • Motivation of your proposed systems to build, like why do you want to use Blockchain? What benefit does Blockchain bring in your application
    • Initial system design including system modules and assignment to team members.
  • Mid-term report of project (35%): Mid-term needs to include the following elements
    • System architecture, including detailed system modules, both on chain and off chain.
    • Implementation progress. Describe what modules have already been implemented, which tools used in implementation, if possible, a demo with screenshots of your implemented system so far.
    • Implementation plan. Describe what modules have NOT been implemented yet, and the assignment to team members to further the progress.
    • Be as concrete and specific as possible. Bonus points will be given to students/groups with novel design/applications and concrete demos.
    • Group with a good mid-term report will be given an opportunity to meet the instructor for further advises.
  • Final report/demo (50%): Demo needs to allow other people to reproduce your results.
    • The demo option is to include in your project submission the screenshots (or better yet, videoshot if you have too many screens to show). We may sample some teams (but not all teams) to do the demo in person.

Option B: Technology Review


  • Topic selection: Oct. 07, 2021
  • Final submission: Dec. 11, 2021

Technical reports have to be done by individual students.


  • Proposal (15%): one-pager about the chosen topic.
  • Final report (85%): Formal survey of the technology with no less than 10 pages (format: 12-point font size on single-spaced 8.5" x 11" pages). You should clearly lay out different topics studied in your report. For instance, if you survey "techniques for Blockchain throughput", you can have sections for "on-chain techniques" including sharding, new consensus algorithms, etc. and sections for "off-chain techniques" including say payment channels and networks, etc.
    • Here is a more detailed description of technology review: Topics can come from weekly lecture and class discussions as well as papers in the reading list. You are required write a technology review of 10-15 pages, including figures and references.
    • An example: Write a 10-page summary of the current state of work improving Blockchain throughput. The paper should address the following:
      • What is the overall thrust in terms of development and goals, or products and goals of industry in this area?
      • What technical solutions or standards exist: elaborate on them. Include protocols, data formats, and architectures.
      • State what problems remain to be solved and how the developer community is approaching them.
      • List any open problems.

Sample topics

  • Sample topics for both projects and technology review: [link]