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Building Web3 & Blockchain Applications

KAIST, Spring 2023

This course deals with developing Web3/Blockchain apps. It is conducted in English and is an online class. It is for KAIST students, but external listeners can also take the course through online application. As a final assignment, you need to create a Web3 app prototype or submit a Web3 business plan. It is run as a web3-style class community, not a one-way class. Through a Discord community, students, professors, invited speakers, and expert mentors aim for an all-round class where they learn and inspire each other.

Course Overview

  • Course Title: Building Web3 & Blockchain Applications (CS492 Special Topics in Computer Science)
  • Course Type: Major Elective
  • Credit: 3
  • Hours: 16:00 – 19:00 KST(GMT+9) Wednesdays (8 March - 7 June)
  • Place: Online Zoom
  • Language: English
  • Professors: Jaesun Han, Min Suk Kang, Sukyoung Ryu

Course Introduction

Blockchain is a disruptive technology that can increase the transparency of information and give trust between transaction parties. By utilizing these characteristics, many trust issues in modern society can be solved. In addition, the Web3 app, which grants data ownership to users, can solve the data monopoly issue of platform companies. In this class, we will expand the scope of blockchain use, which is currently concentrated on cryptocurrency, and explore ways to solve various social problems and global challenges. Web3 apps are different from developing existing Internet applications. Since smart contract codes are written in the blockchain, transparency and trust can be improved, while security and code audit become more important. And since applications implemented as an open protocol are accessible without permission, web3 apps can be developed as if assembling Lego blocks. Web3 forms a community where all participants are the owners of the service. Therefore, designing and programming an incentive model and a governance model is a crucial task to ensure community-centered operation. The following topics will be covered:

  • Web3/Blockchain basics
  • Blockchain technology fundamentals and advanced topics
  • Web3/Blockchain application architecture and programming
  • Web3/Blockchain building blocks: cryptocurrency, DeFi, NFT, DAO, GameFi, X2E and more
  • Solving social problems and global challenges with Web3/Blockchain


  • The goal of this class is to help students understand the basic concepts and technologies of blockchain and web3, learn how to develop new blockchain/web3 applications, and use them in practice.
  • Students will experience web3 building blocks such as NFT, DAO, and DeFi, and learn recent blockchain research topics such as L2 and ZKP.
  • In particular, domestic and foreign experts working in the blockchain industry will be invited to share their practical knowledge. Finally, students can gain experience in planning web3 apps or developing prototypes.

Course Grading

Pass / Fail (S/U Grades only; no letter grades)

  • Each student chooses from a Web3 app prototype or a Web3 startup proposal.
  • “Pass” will be given only when a student demonstrates a complete Web3 app prototype (Option 1) or presents a promising Web3 startup proposal (Option 2).
  • Attendance alone does not guarantee “Pass”.

Option 1. Web3 app prototype

  • Building a Web3 app prototype with Solidity smart contracts and web frontend.
  • Using EVM-compatible blockchains like Ethereum, Klaytn, Polygon, L2, etc.
  • Running the Web3 app prototype.

Option 2. Web3 startup proposal

  • Planning a Web3 app and building an architecture of the Web3 app.
  • Proposing an incentive model and a governance scheme for a target community.
  • Writing a pitch deck to found a Web3 startup.

Schedule (Tentative)

3/8Course Introduction
Blockchain/Web3 101
Blockchain/Web3 Ethics
Blockchain/Web3 Applications: Case Studies
Jaesun Han
Min Suk Kang
Sukyoung Ryu
3/15Blockchain Technology 101Min Suk Kang
3/22Blockchain Technology: Advanced
(L1/L2, ZKP, Sharding, etc)
How complicated it is to build a blockchain platform
Min Suk Kang
Sangmin Seo (Director, Klaytn Foundation)
3/29Smart Contracts & Programming SolidityWanseob Lim (Ethereum Foundation)
4/5Blockchain/Web3 Business and Ecosystem
(Dapp, Wallets, DEX, IPFS, Oracles, etc)
Building blockchain applications: top-down view
Jaesun Han
4/12Smart Contracts Security and Issues
Developing robust Web3 applications
Brian Pak (Cofounder & CEO, Theori)
4/19Mid-term exam period (no class & no exam)-
4/26Token Economy & Incentive Model
Governance by Community
Seungwon Jeong (Professor, KAIST)
Jaesun Han
5/3Cryptocurrency and Stablecoin
DeFi (Decentralized Finance)
Jaesun Han
Adrian Li (DFX Finance)
5/10NFT & SBT
NFT/SBT Applications
Jaesun Han
Daniel Minsu Kim (Founder & CEO, NFTBank)
5/17NFT and Creator Economy
NFT and Metaverse
Jaesun Han
Sébastien Borget (Cofounder, The Sandbox)
5/24Web3 Games
DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization)
Johnny Lee (General Manager, Games at Solana Foundation)
Rolf Hoefer (Serial DAOist, Founding and Managing Partner, Cultur3)
5/31Web3 Applications in 3C (Community-Contents-Commerce)
Web3 Applications for Social Problems and Global Challenges
Jaesun Han
Invited Speaker (Founder of Web3 apps)
6/7Web3 startup building & fund raising
Students Presentation on Web3 Projects
Jaesun Han
Min Suk Kang
Sukyoung Ryu

Class Community with Discord

The community goal is to learn by doing. The core of web3 is the community of like-minded people. The community is organized with class participants so that they can experience it directly. Community members are students, auditors, professors, external expert mentors, and guest speakers. The community will play a role of:

  • Class announcements and sharing related materials
  • Allowing class participants to meet online at all times.
  • Asking questions related to class content or blockchain/web3.
  • Sharing the class project and getting feedback and advice from external experts.

It is a closed community for class participants only. In the early days, professors and expert mentors will play a major role as operators. However, We will experiment with members to create community governance. It is not a DAO, but it can be evolved into a DAO with the experiments. We strongly prohibit money transactions, investment recommendations, advertisements, and etc to the community (exclusion if caught).

Policy for auditors

The audience is limited by the approval for an online application. Those who are interested in web3 app development and business can apply regardless of 1) whether they are students in KAIST, 2) whether they are Koreans, and 3) whether they are working in the blockchain industry. The tuition fee is 200,000 KRW(160 USD) and will be donated to KAIST Computer Science department. Students(Undergrad & Grad) are discounted 50% to 100,000 KRW(80 USD). Auditors can participate in the class, the final project assignment, and the class community if they want.

  • English application (Closed)
  • Korean application (Closed)

Expert mentors

We are going to invite blockchain/web3 industry experts as course mentors. Mentors will 1) answer questions related to the lecture contents or blockchain/web3, 2) give advice and guide students on their final projects, 3) share their experiences and insights (if desired) in a separate session, and 4) run the class community together. Mentors will be 1) recommended by professors or 2) approved for an online application. You can apply if you fall under either of the following two: 1) Experts in blockchain/web3, or 2) Experts in vertical industries where the web3 app can be applied. Even if you are not a blockchain and web3 experts, you will also be invited as a mentor to change your business by applying web3. For example, among experts in fields such as content, entertainment, community (SNS), commerce, environment, and social impact, and etc, if you are interested in web3, you can find a way to exchange ideas with students in the community. All mentors should not have a one-sided mind, but a community-mind that they learn from each other.

  • Mentor application (Closed)

Mentor benefits

  • Communicate with talented people, share insights, and get inspiration.
  • Take classes without paying for the tuition fee.
  • Engage with the final projects of students (Web3 app & business)
  • Run the class community together and participate in an experiment that evolves into Web3 DAO.