Blockchain & Alternative Finance: A Practical, Strategic & Commercial Guide

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Developments in the FinTech space are transforming financial services and blockchain and distributed ledger technology is at the forefront of this revolution. Both The Wall Street Journal and The Economist have described it as technology that could change the world. And this applies to both developed and emerging economies alike.
Blockchain offers banks, asset managers and other organisations the potential to achieve considerable cost savings, efficiencies and resilience in relation to their payment and payment execution systems. These are developments that no senior executive can afford to ignore. Gaining a foothold at this early stage is vital in shaping the technology strategies of the future.  Alternative Finance can change peoples’ lives, and economies, forever. 
At its core, this course provides a grounded and organisationally relevant introduction to blockchain and related cryptocurrency technology. Starting from first principles, the course approaches the technology from a number of different perspectives providing foundational knowledge that will enable delegates to return to their own organisations, or community projects, with a clear understanding of how this important technology impacts the bottom line. The blockchain components are then supplemented with an overview of Alternative Finance within Africa.


On completion of the course, delegates will receive a certificate of completion issued in conjunction with the University of Pretoria. As the learning provider, GIBS will, on request, provide the supporting documentation to organisations. This documentation can then be used during the skills levy claim back process, with which organisations can motivate a claim back at either a level B or level D

Who should attend

  • Directors, Strategists, Managers and Analysts, covering line and project roles working in Technology, Operations, Finance, Government, Charity, NGO and Policy Roles

  • Commercial, Legal, Compliance and Procurement Teams



Johannesburg Hotel

This programme takes place on a non-residential basis at a central Johannesburg hotel. Non-residential course fees include training facilities, documentation, lunches and refreshments for the duration of the programme. Delegates are responsible for arranging their own accommodation, however, a list of convenient hotels (many at specially negotiated rates) is available upon registration.

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Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company's exact requirements? If you'd like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company's office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course.

To find out more about running this course in-house:

Our Tailored Learning Offering

If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We'll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.


We can offer any of our public courses delivered at your office or we can devise completely tailored solutions:

Read more about our offering or complete a call back request to speak to a learning specialist.



Day 1


Background and Introductions

Course Structure

  • Why is blockchain so important? Benefits and pitfalls considered
  • How is blockchain used? High level case studies
  • Alternative Finance - linkage to alternative payment solutions


  • How organisations work and examples
  • Front to back - business process flows & making money - goods & services
  • Technology architecture - centralised vs. distributed
  • Banking and payments infrastructure
  • Central banking, correspondent banking, commercial banking, investment banking
  • Alternative finance frameworks in Africa
  • What is the interaction between organisations?
  • Supply and purchase

The Emergence Of Cryptocurrencies (And The Blockchain)

  • What is money and how does it acquire value?
  • The advent of the internet and the case for digital money
  • How central banks work within the broader economy

History of Cryptocurrencies

  • The world pre-bitcoin
  • Bitcoin and why study it?
  • The emergence of blockchain from Bitcoin - the BoE paper
  • Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Today - Intro - Exchanges - CryptoCompare
  • The concept of a blockchain - multiple blockchains
  • What other blockchain, cryptocurrency platforms are there and what do they do?
  • Current examples and their application

High Level - How blockchains (and cryptocurrencies) work?

  • Simple explanation
  • The challenge of online money – issues related to the sending and receiving of money
  • The relationship between blockchain and cryptocurrency - separable
  • Enterprise Grade - Public and Private Blockchains - High Level Use Cases

Key Technical Components
Part 1 - Cryptography - The Basics

  • Digital signing and Public key encryption
  • Hashing (importance of)
  • The concept of identity
  • Example basic currencies

PRACTICAL EXERCISES – Understanding Wallets, Sending and Receiving Bitcoin

Day 2

DAY 1 - Recap

Key Technical Components (continued)
Part 2 - Building the Blockchain 

  • Centralised and decentralised networks
  • Consensus (and relationship to identity)
  • Consensus algorithms
  • Building a blockchain - looking at a blockchain working
  • Rewarding participation - the need for a currency; private vs. public

Part 3 - Using a Blockchain

  • Creating a currency
  • The synergy between a blockchain and cryptocurrency (and why is this beneficial)
  • Smart contracts
  • A Bitcoin transaction and transaction fees

Part 4 - The Community and Governance

  • The DAO and Ethereum story
  • Technology governance
  • Regulatory and central banking perspectives
  • Government perspectives


Part 5 - Regulation and the Law

  • Legitimacy - what the law says
  • Tax Treatment
  • Money Laundering
  • New York’s BitLicense

Part 6 - Application

  • Disrupting your business model
  • Commercial perspectives - how do you engage a blockchain company?
  • What are the economics of issuing a cryptocurrency?
  • The broader narrative - what’s happening in blockchain?


  • Core technology components
  • Trust fabrics - hashing and Anti-Money Laundering solutions
  • Blockchains
  • Cryptocurrencies as utility vectors
  • Smart contracts

What’s happening in the real world?

  • Trust fabrics
  • Blockchain providers
  • Clever crypto solutions and platforms
  • Cryptocurrency features
  • The Relevance of Blockchain to Your Own Organisation
  • Workshop sessions - how could this work for you as an organisation?

Applying Blockchain Across Multiple Organisations

  • Recap on context
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Proof of concept
  • Building a community of critical mass
  • Blockchain broker

Where next for blockchain technology?

  • Vision and opportunities
  • Barriers

Day 3

Alternative Finance - Overview and Definition

  • Why Alternative Finance?
  • Metrics - Size, Players, Growth, Trends, Structure, Headlines
  • The challenge of interoperability

Africa’s Alternative Finance Market

  • Microfinance
  • Crowdfunding
  • Peer to Peer Business Lending
  • Business Lending
  • Equity Based Crowd Funding
  • Female Participation

Payment Systems in Africa
M-Pesa - Case Study

  • M-Shwari and M-Kesho - Kenya
  • Other African countries
  • Emerging Alternative Payment Platforms - BitCoin, and Others

Case Study - Crowd Funding for Energy Projects

  • Energy 4 Impact
  • Business Model, Programmes and Governance

Islamic Finance and Islamic Crowdfunding

Regulatory Perspectives - Existing and Proposed


Why us

We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

  • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
  • Track record – we have delivered training solutions for 95% of worlds’ top 100 banks and have trained over 250,000 professionals.
  • Knowledge – our 150 strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
  • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 20,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 180 countries.
  • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 96% on service and 95% on product