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Digital Currencies Academy


Deadline for applications: 31 March 2020

  • Description

    Digital currencies are transforming our monetary system. Since the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was introduced in 2009, many new developments have challenged the use of traditional payment instruments and financial contracts. Current examples are LIBRA, an initiative led by Facebook to challenge national and international payment arrangements and the recent wave of initial coin offerings (ICOs) that has rattled traditional financial regulation.

    The course gives a thorough introduction into the topic of digital currencies. It first exposes participants to some of their technological foundations and then discusses the economic significance of their design and impact. Participants will also be exposed to current policy and regulatory challenges through case studies, mediated group discussions and expert panels. Among the topics covered are cryptocurrencies, central bank issued digital currencies (CBDCs), optimal digital currency areas, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and private efforts to facilitate international payments.

  • What you will learn

    After having completed this course, you will:

    • have understood the basics of technology (e.g., blockchain, distributed ledgers, distributed consensus).
    • have learnt about crucial design choices and the economic trade-offs involved.
    • have obtained familiarity with to cutting edge research on cryptocurrencies, ditigal tokens and CBDC.
    • have understood how to assess the role of central banks in providing digital currency.
    • have an overview of the emerging regulatory framework for privately issued coins.
    • have got up to speed on recent developments in international payments infrastructure.
  • Meet the course director

    Thorsten V. Koeppl is a Professor and RBC Fellow in the Department of Economics at Queen’s University. He is currently also the Scholar in Financial Services and Monetary Policy at the CD Howe Institute one of Canada’s most influential policy think tanks. Prof. Koeppl advises the Bank of Canada on Central Bank Digital Currency and in the past has served as an adviser to several other policy institutions in matters of financial market organization, regulation and intervention in the past. Prof. Koeppl has degrees in management and in economics from the Universities of Eichstaett/Ingolstadt and Basle, and received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 2002. His main research interests are in the areas of macroeconomics (in particular monetary economics), financial market infrastructure and blockchain economics. He has published on these topics in top economics journals such as Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Theory, Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Financial Economics among several others.

  • Prerequisites

    An Master’s Degree in economics, finance, or a related subjects is required to attend the course.
  • Application

    In order to apply for the Digital Currencies Academy, please fill in the application form before 31 January 2020.

    Applications will be reviewed for ensuring their suitability to the programme within the first two weeks of February 2020. The outcome of the selection will be notified by 17 February 2020. Selected applicants will receive a link for online payment.


    • Payment is due within 30 days of notification of acceptance.
    • Registrations are confirmed on receipt of full payment of the programme fee.
    • Places are allocated in order of receipt of payment.
  • Fees

    2500€ – Public Authorities (e.g. National Competent Authorities, Central Banks) and European Institutions

    2900€ – Private Sector

    1300€ – Academics (Assistant, Associate or Full Professors) *seats for academics are limited and assigned by the FBF secretariat on a case-by-case basis

    2250€ – FBF Alumni (previous participants in FBF residential courses)

    The course fee covers coffee and lunch breaks. Travel and hotel costs are not included.


    • In case a course is cancelled, registered participants will receive the full refund.
    • In case a course is moved to another date, registered participants may request a voucher to attend another FBF course.
    • Registered participants who cancel their participation will receive a voucher to attend another FBF course.

    For more details, please contact fbf@eui.eu
  • Practical information

    A certificate of attendance will be provided to all participants after the course.


    Please notice that the course dinner, and most of the social activities, will take place downtown.

    Recommended hotels in downtown Florence:

    Recommended hotels nearby the EUI:

    Suggested restaurants in Florence city centre


    On arrival, participants will be provided with temporary wi-fi access for the whole duration of the course.

    Privacy Notice

    The personal information you have provided will be processed in compliance with the EUI Privacy Statement for conferences. For general queries: fbf@eui.eu


    General information on local transport

    From Florence airport:

    Florence airport is located 8 km from the city centre, approximately 30 minutes by taxi or bus. Taxis can be found outside the arrivals terminal; no reservation is needed. A taxi ride from the airport costs about €20 and takes approximately 25/30 minutes.

    A tramway (line T2) connects the airport to the city centre. Trains leave from the airport terminal and take 20 minutes to the main railway station. One-way tickets can be bought from vending machines for €1.50.

    The airport is also connected to the main railway station in Florence by a shuttle bus (‘Vola in bus’) that leaves every 30 minutes (on the hour and on the half-hour) and takes 25 minutes. Tickets are available on board for €6.00.

    From the central railway station:

    Take bus n. 7 at the bus stop Stazione Nazionale in the direction “Fiesole Piazza Mino”, get off at the stop ‘San Domenico 01’. For bus routes and timetables consult the official timetable.

    Bus tickets are sold outside the railway station, at ATAF ticket kiosks and vending machines, tobacconists (tabacchi), newspaper kiosks (edicole), and most cafès (bar). Bus tickets can be purchased also on board with a contactless credit card (Mastercard, Maestro, Visa and V PAY).

    Private car

    From the A1 Milano-Napoli (Autostrada del Sole), take the Firenze Sud exit and follow directions to the city centre/Stadio. Follow the directions to the stadium (Stadio), then for Fiesole. San Domenico is on the main road to Fiesole.

    The EUI has several free parking areas available all over the Campus.