Note that the assignment descriptions and instructions on this page are for informational purposes as they were intended for residential MIT students enrolled in the class during the Fall semester of 2016.

Individual Write-ups

The write-ups should be brief (no more than three double-spaced single-sided pages in any reasonable font) and focused on analyzing the required readings for two classes of your choice – but you are advised not to wait until the student organized sessions, #10, #11, and #12. Each write-up counts for 10% of the grade (i.e., 20% of the total grade is for these write-ups). You should look at all the readings for the relevant class, although you don’t have to cover everything in your write-up.

Write-ups are due at the start of class on the day the readings are to be discussed. These write-ups should be analytical discussions of some issue central to the reading and can also usefully serve as your talking points during the class discussion. Please do not write a summary of the reading or repeat facts from the reading except to bolster your argument. Based on the information provided in the case materials, please be analytically judgmental and evaluative – i.e., take a position and argue it well.

You can use the Study Guide Questions to help structure your write-up, or you can take a different approach. In either case, you should propose alternate views and action plans whenever appropriate. Discuss the relevance and applicability of the frameworks proposed in the readings and lectures. In short, you should write what you think of a situation or issue, not a summary of the views presented. Be original. These case write-ups are INDIVIDUAL assignments.

A helpful hint for write-ups: Write up some of the basic ideas that will be discussed in class #2 or #3 – make this part of your preparation for the course and this will help you get into the flow of the material. Then, in a second write-up, apply those basics to the readings for one of the later class sessions. Be creative and thoughtful in what you write. Do this early and get it out of the way.

Group Research Paper

This group project is due at the beginning of the last class, and will count for 40% of the grade. You need to submit a written report on the potential for any one blockchain-related opportunity – in any country or market.

The length of the text should be 10-15 pages, single-sided and double-spaced in 12 pt. font or less; exhibits can be an additional 5-10 pages, as needed. You can be optimistic or pessimistic, but you should ground your assessment in data as much as possible – and link your analysis to the themes and examples discussed in one or more of our classes.

Final papers will be graded on content as well as clarity of writing. Please follow a consistent format for citing all references used to develop your argument – and please be sure to cite clearly all sources, including those you find online. For more details, including acceptable citation formats, please see the MIT Libraries' citation guide. Please pay particular attention to the section on “Avoiding Plagiarism.”

This is a GROUP assignment. You can work in teams of 3-4 people on this project. Teams of 5 may be permitted but only after discussion with Simon Johnson. All group members will be required to report which colleagues did how much work on the project.