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Problem Description

Blockchain has gained a (sometimes somewhat infamous) reputation as basis for crypto-currencies like BitCoin. But actually, the potential of blockchain reaches far beyond ersatz currencies.

Basically, a blockchain is a secure, distributed ledger (i.e. master record) of transactions. All transactions can be verified by all participants at any given time. No transaction can be altered without being noticed. This makes blockchain a great base for so-called “smart contracts”.

Blockchain-based smart contracts have the potential to disrupt all “trust platform” businesses – as the trust is kind of built into the technology, there is no need for a centralized platform-in-the-middle approach anymore. This is a challenge for the Ubers, AirBnbs, insurances, and banks of this world. Blockchain-based smart contracts offer a reliable, light-weight, and therefore cheap way of creating small-footprint transactions between market participants.

A great introduction to get started on the subject is this reference architecture document:

Project Definition

In this project, we will design a showcase for a smart contract based on blockchain technology. For the purpose, the team will conduct the following steps:

  • Selection of a proper showcase application
    • In collaboration with our project partner, Viadee consulting, the team will pick a showcase, for instance an ad-hoc insurance contract like
      • insuring passengers and material during the test drive of a car
      • insuring open air parties or festivals (i.e. marriages, birthdays, concerts, …) against cancellation or damages due to bad weather
      • insuring medium-priced goods like smart phones, tablets, ski, bikes,… against risk of damage, loss, or theft during a period of increased risk (travel, sports competition, relocation, …)
    • As of planned today, there will be another additional project partner, most likely an international insurance company, helping us with picking a realistic showcase.
  • The subsequent steps will be conducted in two parallel, coupled subprojects:
    • Technology & Implementation (this project)
      • Implementation of the smart contract using Hyperledger Fabric (
      • Evaluation of technical obstacles and pitfalls
      • Identification of good practices and architectural patterns for building blockchain-based smart contracts
    • Business Case (the other project, supervised by Prof. Eckstein) – please see other description
  • Assessment of blockchain-based smart contracts with regard to the showcase at hand
  • Documentation and presentation

Learning Outcomes

  • Gaining familiarity with a state of the art technology
  • Out-of-the-box thinking, practically applied to some everyday business application
  • Designing and implementing a realistic business case
  • Working together in mixed team (business & technology)


  • Willingness to delve into an hitherto unknown technological concept
  • Interest in business model and large-scale implications of technologies
  • Programming skills
  • Willingness and ability to adopt a new technology and programming model (Hyperledger Fabric)

External Project Partner