Blockchain 101, 101, and 101: Repetition Education

Understanding blockchain and the world of possibilities stemming from this [insert buzzword here] technology is an ongoing task when operating in this space. When first jumping in, deciding where to start can be more than daunting. More often than not, reading one “Introduction to Blockchain” or “Blockchain 101” article will not provide the level of understanding you may be looking to achieve. To build out your understanding of blockchain and eventually have the information “click”, reading numerous articles from various authors, with different perspectives, and in different media formats, will help you build your own picture of blockchain.

While everyone’s “go-to” resources for understanding blockchain will be different, below are a few that I found to be the most useful (and a couple extras specific to security / cybersecurity). Regardless of what information and sources you find the most helpful, reading, reading, and reading again is the most powerful way to truly develop a comprehensive understanding blockchain. Bottom line — take “Blockchain 101”, and take it again and again until you feel comfortable to take the next step to “Blockchain 102".

Introduction to Blockchain:

1. Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2009 Bitcoin blockchain white paper, building on former distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and digital currency, while solving the “double spend” problem and integrating incentives based on behavioral economics. This paper is the origin of the Bitcoin blockchain popular today: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

2. Simple and popular introductions to blockchain:
a. http://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/articles/blockchain-explained/
b. https://medium.com/blockchain-review/how-does-the-blockchain-work-for-dummies-explained-simply-9f94d386e093

3. Don Tapscott’s Ted Talk on blockchain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK6Ldefgbl0 and his book Blockchain Revolution.

4. Five minute video of high-level technical explanation of blockchain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jOJk30eQs

5. “Unchained” podcast and Forbes’s Laura Shin and Andreas Antonopoulos explain blockchain: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/forbes-podcast-network/unchained-big-ideas-from-the-worlds-of-blockchain-and-fintech/e/46007989

6. In-depth visual explanation of the cryptographic protocol that drives blockchain: https://anders.com/blockchain/

7. Great series “Bitcoin Explained like You’re Five” by Chris Pacia:
a. http://www.michaelnielsen.org/ddi/how-the-bitcoin-protocol-actually-works/
b. https://chrispacia.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/bitcoin-mining-explained-like-youre-five-part-2-mechanics/
c. https://chrispacia.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/bitcoin-cryptography-digital-signatures-explained/
d. https://chrispacia.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/bitcoin-explained-like-youre-five-part-4-securing-your-wallet/
e. https://chrispacia.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/bitcoin-explained-like-youre-five-part-5-macroeconomics/

8. More detailed, technical explanation of the Bitcoin protocol: http://www.michaelnielsen.org/ddi/how-the-bitcoin-protocol-actually-works/

9. Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar. The first chapter provides a high-level introduction and background to bitcoin and other cryptoassets. Chapters 2 and 3 cover investment guidance. This book also provides an excellent explanation on how value is derived in cyrptoassets.

10. Talk Blockchain to Me website and YouTube. Video series explaining blockchain with wonderful, easy-to-understand explanations.

11. If you are interested in investing in crypto, check out 21 Cryptos Magazine.

Blockchain and Security Implications:

1. High-level overview of why blockchain is important and relevant for the future of security: https://www.sotiriasecuritycomms.com/2017/09/15/security-implications-blockchain-technology/

2. Three companies using blockchain for a security play with different use cases: https://www.forbes.com/sites/omribarzilay/2017/08/21/3-ways-blockchain-is-revolutionizing-cybersecurity/#61b7e42f2334

3. Deloitte report on blockchain and cybersecurity: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ie/Documents/Technology/IE_C_BlockchainandCyberPOV_0417.pdf

4. Blockchain as a trust anchor for cybersecurity: https://guardtime.com/blog/blockchain-and-implications-for-trust-in-cybersecurity