Seminar Course in the Study Program Q+ at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz on Cryptocurrencies and the Digitalization of the German Financial and Banking System of the Future

On June 15, 2023, our co-founder Professor Dr. Ingo Fiedler led an event course on the topic “Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple & Co. – About Cryptocurrencies and the Abolition of Cash. Digitalization in the German Financial and Banking System of the Future.” within the Study Program Q+ at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Study Program Q+

The Study Program Q+ is a flexible supplementary program at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, aimed at particularly talented and interested students. Students from all disciplines collaborate on current scientific and societal questions. The interdisciplinary Q+ events are developed by Q+ students, faculty of the University of Mainz, and external collaborators from around the world. After successful participation in a certain number of events, students receive a certificate for the completion of the Q+ Study Program.

Lecture on the Function of Money, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrencies

The event on cryptocurrencies began with a lecture, which initially addressed the societal function of money and briefly introduced the functioning of blockchain technology along with its use cases. This was followed by a more in-depth examination of crypto assets and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and stablecoins. In addition, digital central bank currencies were also briefly discussed. The focus of the lecture was on the macroeconomic and societal perspective of cryptocurrencies, especially in terms of regulatory implications.

Group Work and Student Presentations

In the second part of the event, the students worked in small groups to prepare presentations on various topics related to cryptocurrencies. These included the following contributions:

  1. Cryptocurrencies: An Evolutionary Step in Our Monetary System?
  2. Cryptocurrencies in the Western World and Developing Countries
  3. Cryptocurrencies as a Curse and Blessing for Crime Fighting
  4. The Role of Banks in the Age of Cryptocurrencies
  5. The Energy Consumption of Bitcoin

The concluding presentations were followed by lively, inspiring and multifaceted discussions among the students, in which their own ideas and research results were presented with great passion.

Conclusion and Outlook

It was a successful, inspiring and value-added event format in which the participating students showed an exceptionally high level of engagement and great interest in the opportunities that cryptocurrencies can offer, as well as the challenges they present to the traditional banking and financial system. The joint discussions highlighted the importance and relevance that the digitalization of the banking and financial system in general, and cryptocurrencies in particular, possess. Thus, the discussions provided ideas on how the issues currently being debated in academia, business and politics on the opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the banking and financial system are shaping the future generation of thinkers and decision-makers.

The Blockchain Research Lab would like to thank Dr. Doris Lindner and Dr. Christian Knöppler of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz for the invitation and organization of this successful event. We are looking forward to continuing the dialogue on this current and relevant topic and related issues, making an ongoing and essential contribution to research and education in this field.