How to start with blockchain – helpful resources you should know

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More and more regularly I am asked about good ways to looking at in more detail. Inspired by Arno’s reading list I decided to share my own version.

While there is obviously a gargantuan amount of information available, not everything is equally suited to do the job. Especially if you are new to the topic or don’t sport a technical background. Additionally blockchain meanwhile features a certain span and so does the interest and perspective of people looking at it.

The following should help to point in a good direction and give you the necessary foundation to understand better what you don’t know. So you can ask the right questions afterwards.

The Basics:

Here is a list of the fundamental resources to warm-up.

 

The Industry and Line of Business Perspective:

Now if you are more interested in use cases and scenarios where blockchain could be applied this information will help. There are far more reports and analysis out than anybody can read in a reasonable time frame though.

  • The best report to cover Financial Services – if you are not from the industry – is by far and large the UBS whitepaper “Building the trust engine”. It is even an entertaining read by report standards.
  • The World Economic Forum published the most comprehensive research so far. While it is with a Financial Services focus I highly recommend at least skimming through it until something catches your eye. This is at least a year worth of work by six people and the report shows it.
  • Goldman Sachs spreads the topic across industries and gives detailed insights that also covers case studies from utilities, real estate and reputation management.

 

The Perspective:

Here is the section for the techies amongst you that would like to understand the mechanics and information technology at work.

 

Self-Assessment:

Here is a basic list of topics for you to assess your level of understanding after you covered some or all of the above.

  • Where does blockchain originate from and what is the relationship to Bitcoin?
  • How did blockchain evolve over the last years?
  • What are the differences between public, private and consortium blockchain?
  • What are criteria for scenarios where each of the above would be the ‘best’ technical solution?
  • Why blockchain was picked-up by Financial Services first and is most prominent in that industry?
  • What are smart contracts and how could they be used?
  • What happened during THE DAO incident and what implications did it have to the concept of smart contracts? Here is a hint.

Do you have any more resources that you think are helpful to get started with blockchain? Post them in the comments along with a brief statement why you believe they help.


is Innovation Manager | Digital Change Agent | Futurist at SAP